When it comes to nutritional value, berries have a great reputation. Not only are they packed with antioxidants, called anthocyanins that may help sharpen your memory as you age, they may be beneficial in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells and are a good source of fiber, a nutrient important for a healthy digestive system. If that isn’t enough to make you want to dive in to a bowl of berries, studies suggest that berries may be also good for your heart and bones.
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72 middle aged people who consumed just under a cup of mixed berries daily, had increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and lowered blood pressure, two positives when it comes to heart health.
As we age, estrogen levels decrease in our bodies and bone breakdown outpaces bone formation resulting in bone loss, a risk factor for osteoporosis. In one study conducted by scientists at Florida University, rats were fed blueberries every day for three months. The scientist discovered these rats had significantly increased their bone density. “We believe that polyphenols in the berries slowed the rate [of bone turnover], ultimately saving bone,” says Bahram Arjmandi, Ph.D., R.D., the study’s lead author and professor and chair of the department of nutrition, food and exercise sciences at FSU.
More research is needed to know whether the benefits translate to humans, but the studies suggest that eating even a small amount of berries each day could be healthy for your bones.
The bottom line is that there are numerous reasons to add a bowl of berries to your daily diet. The best way to eat berries is in their raw, natural state, as heating or freezing can damage the antioxidants.
You can also get several of the health benefits of berries by taking a daily complex. Our Acai Advantage is a highly potent complex which combines the extracts of eleven fruits and berries.