December 4, 2016

Berries Are Good, But Watch Carbs – P2

This is a continuation of the previous blog.

#6. Berries May Help Lower Cholesterol Levels: Berries are a heart-healthy food.

Important point - berries have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels and help protect LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized.

#7. Berries May Be Good for Your Skin: In addition to their many other health benefits, berries may help reduce skin wrinkling. This makes sense, given that the antioxidants in berries help control free radicals, one of the leading causes of skin damage that contributes to aging.

Important point - berries contain the antioxidant ellagic acid, which may help decrease wrinkling and other signs of skin aging related to sun exposure.

#8. Berry Antioxidants May Help Protect Against Cancer: Several antioxidants in berries, including anthocyanins, ellagic acid and resveratrol, may reduce the risk of cancer. Specifically, animal and human studies suggest that berries may help protect against cancer of the esophagus, mouth, breast and colon.

Important point - berries have been shown to reduce markers associated with tumor growth in animals and people with several types of cancer.

#9. Berries Can Be Enjoyed on Nearly All Types of Diets: Fortunately, berries can be included in many kinds of diets. Although people on low-carb and ketogenic diets often avoid fruit, they can usually enjoy moderate amounts of berries. For example, a half-cup serving of blackberries or raspberries contains less than 4 grams of digestible carbs.

Liberal amounts of berries can be incorporated into the paleo, Mediterranean, vegetarian and vegan diets. For people who want to lose weight, the low calories in berries make them ideal to include in meals, snacks or desserts.
Organic and wild berries are now widely available in many parts of the world. When they are not in season, frozen berries can be purchased and thawed as needed.

The only people who need to avoid berries are those who require a low-fiber diet for certain digestive disorders, as well as individuals who are allergic to berries. Allergic reactions to strawberries are most common.

Important point - berries can be enjoyed on most diets because they are low in calories and carbs and widely available in fresh or frozen forms.

#10. They May Help Keep Your Arteries Healthy: In addition to lowering cholesterol, berries provide other benefits for heart health. One of these is better function of your arteries. The cells that line your blood vessels are called endothelial cells. These cells help control blood pressure, keep blood from clotting and perform other important functions.

Excessive inflammation can damage them, inhibiting proper function. The term for this is endothelial dysfunction, and it’s a major risk factor for heart disease.
Berries have been shown to improve endothelial function in studies in healthy adults, individuals with metabolic syndrome and smokers.

Important point - berries have been found to improve arterial function in several studies of healthy people, those with metabolic syndrome and smokers.

#11. Berries Are Delicious Alone or in Healthy Recipes: Berries are undeniably delicious. They make a wonderful snack or dessert, whether you use one type of berry or a mixture of two or more. Although they are naturally sweet and require no additional sweetener, adding a bit of heavy (double) or whipped cream can transform them into a more elegant dessert.

For breakfast, try berries topped with either plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or ricotta cheese, along with some chopped nuts. Another way to include berries in your diet is as part of a salad.

Important point - berries are delicious when served alone, with cream or in healthy recipes.

Take Home Message:

Berries taste great, are highly nutritious and provide many health benefits. By including them in your diet on a regular basis, you can improve your overall health in a very enjoyable way.

Franziska's full article with all information/research links is here.

If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

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