Berries for Health and Weight Loss

blackberry-raspberry-blueberryBerries have long been known for their healing power and contribution to healthy weight loss. Berries are low in calories. A cup of blueberries has but 84 calories and is full of Vitamin K, manganese, Vitamin C and dietary fiber. A cup of raspberries is even more formidable. Raspberries, with 63 calories, not only have the vitamins and minerals of blueberries, but also have omega-3 fatty acids, which help regulate cholesterol levels in the body. Berries can be eaten by the pintfull without fear of weight gain. Many of them have natural substances that promote health.

Blueberries

Blueberries are among the most beneficial of foods. They are full of antioxidants, which are substances that combat free radicals, molecules that attach themselves to the body’s DNA and living cells and destroy or damage them. The antioxidants found in blueberries are largely anthocyanins, which also give the blueberry it’s wonderful color. These antioxidants are also phytonutrients, or nutrients found in plants. Another good thing about blueberries is that they can be frozen without damage to their anthocyanins. They’re best enjoyed raw and though they taste absolutely delicious in desserts, the addition of sugar, fats and bleached flour might diminish their health giving properties.

Blueberries also have a low glycemic index, which is important for Type II diabetics, who have to control their blood sugar levels. They also contain nitric oxide synthase, a substance that can protect the heart and help lower blood pressure.

Raspberries

Raspberries are also full of anthocyanins. The anthocyanins in raspberries not only act as antioxidants but as antibacterials and are good for removing toxins from the body. Like blueberries, freezing raspberries doesn’t affect the quality of their anthocyanins.

Monavie

There is a juice called Monavie made from the acai berry, another berry known for its powerful antioxidant qualities. Unlike the blueberry, raspberries and other berries, the acai berry doesn’t come from a bush but from a palm that grows in South America. The acai berry looks like an oversized blueberry, but has a seed in its center. Acai berry is also full of anthocyanins.

Berries such as the ones mentioned contribute to weight loss because they’re not only low in calories, but they add extra fiber to the diet. Fiber enhances blood sugar control and the effectiveness of insulin and reduces the number of calories the body absorbs when the person eats. The reduction of even a few calories per day can add up to pounds lost over a year.

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