Nature has furnished us with a host of goodies. Health experts have always advocated the use of natural foods for maintaining good health. According to most health experts, the reason for the denigration of human health in recent times is that our diet has become more ‘synthetic’ than ever. As such, one of the most effective ways to maintain the best health and fitness level is to go back to nature.
Among the various goodies, that nature has given us so abundantly are included hundreds of different species of berries. These tiny, colorful fruits are packed with an amazing level of nutritional goodness. Berries are known for their high antioxidant values—some of these products have the highest antioxidant value of all fruits—and it is this nutritional asset present in them that makes them lead the health brigade.
We are going to see various such berries that nature has given us in its bounty and which have a great level of nutritional content in some form of the other. Here, as we are getting started, is a list of the top 7 berries that nature has to offer, berries that must be part of our everyday diet.
The acai berry is a relatively new discovery to most parts of the world, including the USA, but this berry has been in use for centuries. A native of the Brazilian rainforest region, the berry is naturally grown only in that part of the world. Due to its short shelf life, there are difficulties in preserving and transporting the berry to different parts of the world, where there is a huge demand currently for it.
Acai berries are known to be the highest natural source of antioxidants present in nature, even more than red wine, which was considered the number one food for fighting against free radicals. It is these free radicals that can cause a very high amount of damage to the human system. Acai berries work by eliminating free radicals and thus improving the body on the whole.
Acai berries are great for various aspects of human health and fitness. They are highly rated for their effectiveness in weight management. Apart from that, they are also known for their role in anti-aging, improving stamina, improving mental health, controlling diabetes, enhancing heart function, controlling blood pressure and so on.
All acai available in countries outside the rainforest is in some of the other preserved forms due to its short shelf life. Commonly available acai products are in the form of pulps, freeze-dried powders, syrups, and squashes, etc.
While the acai berry enjoys its position as the number one healthy berry available in nature, the maqui berry comes a close second. This is a temperate fruit which grows indigenously in Chile and Argentina and is exported to other parts of the world in various forms.
Maqui berries have lower antioxidant content than acai berries, but we will get into detailed comparisons later. This berry has several health benefits, most of which are related to the digestive system. The berry provides consumers with a high level of monounsaturated fats, dietary fibers, and plant sterols, which are highly important in improving the heart function of a person apart from improving their digestive metabolism. The berry also has enough antioxidant content to correct digestive problems and cause unnecessary fat to burn out.
The goji berry is found in Tibet and Nepal, but now they are being cultivated in several other parts of the world as well. This Asian berry is actually one of the first berries that medical science accepted to have curative benefits. The berries are full of nutritional goodness in the forms of amino acids, trace minerals, vitamins of the B complex and E and several others. The berry has a deep red color, which is in part due to the presence of beta-carotene in it, which is a precursor for vitamin A.
Goji berries have been ascribed with several health benefits. They are known to improve the immune system of the body. They can do a wonderful job in maintaining proper health of the liver. The goji berry is also accepted to improve stamina and libido along with providing a better mental strength to the person who uses them regularly.
These berries, which are actually blue in color, are known for their very high antioxidant content. The berries get their blue color because of the high amount of plant nutrients present in them, which are known as anthocyanidins. These natural ingredients are responsible for the natural antioxidant action of the berries.
The blueberry performs an impressive task in repairing the wear and tear that takes place in the body. Its high antioxidant content eliminates free radical action and keeps the body in its highest state of functioning at all times.
Along with improving the body’s immunity and metabolism, blueberries are medically proven to have a positive effect on conditions such as varicose veins, hemorrhoids, peptic ulcers, cataract, glaucoma and even some kinds of cancers. This has led to a great deal of scientific and medical interest in these berries in recent times.
Strawberries are perhaps the most abundant kinds of berries in the world. There are about 600 different varieties of them on the planet, all deep red in color because of the antioxidant plant nutrients that are present in them in high amounts.
This highly attractive berry has a significant number of benefits as well. It is known for improving mental conditions such as debility, stress, and depression. They are known for ocular health and also for improving the overall metabolism of the body. Recently, a study with is still going on has indicated that regular consumption of strawberries may be very good for the control of liver cancer.
The bilberry is another highly attractive blue colored berry. The blue color, as in blueberries, is again due to the presence of anthocyanidins. But, they are about three times smaller in size than them.
Bilberries are well-respected in the world of natural foods because of their vast number of benefits in maintaining human health. These berries are considered to be very good in monitoring blood sugar level. They can help prevent early wear and tear of the arteries and veins. They are also known to improve vision and keep various eye defects at bay.
The name indicates their color, which is mainly due to the very high level of antioxidants present in them. It is because of this fact that blackberries are highly effective in treating and preventing the onset of various chronic diseases.
Blackberries are exceptional at improving the immunity of the body. They provide the body with necessary fibers and hence are useful for maintaining the digestive metabolism of the body as well. Blackberries were recently found out by a study conducted by the Ohio State University to be effective in the formation of oral and colon tumors. This has sparked new interest in this berry in recent times.
So, these are the seven great berries that must definitely be a part of your regular diet. In the further pages, we are going to take up these berries in detail and see ways in which you can use them for your health and fitness.