A study from the National Public Health Institute in Finland concluded that consumption of berries can help prevent cardiovascular disease. Berries are a rich source of polyphenols, a compound also found in cocoa, tea, and red wine. Since these foods have been shown to improve cardiovascular health, the authors of the study sought to find out if berries do too. The subjects were given a wide variety of berries, from bilberries and lingonberries to the more traditional strawberries. In just eight weeks of eating 2 servings of berries per day, the subjects saw "favorable changes" in cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Of course, this study only adds to an already long list of health benefits of berries. Here is a list of some common berries and their most important health benefits.
- Blueberries. Blueberries are now widely regarded as a "superfood". While this label may be an exaggeration, blueberries have well-documented cardiovascular and cognitive benefits due to their high levels of antioxidants. Routine blueberry intake has been shown in laboratory settings to reduce blood pressure (both systolic and diastolic), improve memory, and delay the effect of aging.
- Strawberries. As confirmed by the NPHI study cited above, strawberries have been associated with prevention of cardiovascular disease and improvements in blood pressure. Amazingly, strawberries also have anti-cancer health benefits, though the mechanisms for this property are not well understood.
- Raspberries. There is a growing amount of research centered on managing obesity and type 2 diabetes with raspberries. Raspberries contain a compound called rheosmin, which can increase metabolism in our fat cells. Raspberries contain a second compound called tiliroside, which can help manage blood sugar levels of people with type 2 diabetes by activating adiponectin.
With berry season coming up, there's no reason not to include more in your diet! Here are a great recipe to get you started. Remember, berries freeze well, so next time you're berry picking, get enough for the rest of the year.
Gluten Free Blueberry Cake
Create a tender and sweet gluten free blueberry cake that's both easy to make and sure to please those with gluten intolerance and those without. Learn how to prepare this recipe in this how-to video tutorial.
CATEGORIES: Recipes, Fruit, Cholesterol, Gluten-Free , Healthy Foods, Heart Health, Vegan, Vegetarian