Every day for my first meal of the day, I have a big bowl of oatmeal with berries. Or, wait, is it a big bowl of berries with oatmeal? Either way, I love to pile on the berries. They’re delicious and my body LOVES them.
Berries are powerful. Their deep and bright colors are not only pretty, they are the very indication of high antioxidant levels. Antioxidants protects cells from free radical damage, which causes aging and disease. More specifically, berries contain antioxidants that boost your immune system, combat the blood clots that often lead to heart attacks and strokes, blunt the insulin spikes we get from eating high-glycemic foods, protect against liver and heart disease, and may even combat cancer.
To put berries into perspective with other fruits, blueberries have over three times the antioxidant power of mangoes, and almost SEVEN times that of apples and bananas. Blackberries, the most powerful common berry of all, have over six times the antioxidant power of mango, and THIRTEEN times that of apples and bananas!
There are many kinds of berries, all delicious, and each with their own special properties. Among these include blackberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, cranberries, goji berries, raspberries, strawberries, acai berries, mulberries, and barberries.
Cherries are particularly anti-inflammatory, which makes them great for muscle recovery. This means less soreness and less loss of strength during the days following an intense workout.
Goji berries have the highest concentration of melatonin and so are a great and natural way to improve sleep. They are also great for the eyes.
Diana Ruiz is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach in training. She is a spiritual activist, reiki practitioner, and has a passion for healthy plant-based food. You can follow her Instagram @datesanddimples and check out her website dianacruiz.com.
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