Cherries are fruits and Berries are fruits
but Cherries are not Berries
Berries are small, soft, round fruit of various colors usually blue, red, or purple. They can be sweet or sour in taste and they'll often be eaten as jams, jellies, preserves and in our desserts. For the most part they have very good nutritional profiles being high iu fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants. By including these fruits into your regular diet you may prevent some chronic illnesses or at the least reduce symptoms from those you may already be battling.
Blueberries are popular berries that serve as a great source of vitamin K.
One cup (148 grams) of blueberries provides the following nutrients:
- Calories: 84
- Fiber: 3.6 grams
- Vitamin C: 16% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 24% of the DV
- Manganese: 22% of the DV
Blueberries also contain antioxidant polyphenols called anthocyanins which may reduce oxidative stress by lowering the risk of heart disease in both healthy people and those at high risk for the disease. In addition, blueberries may improve other aspects of heart health by lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol in the blood, reducing the risk of heart attack, and enhancing the function of arteries. Studies show that blueberries may lower the risk of diabetes as well. Their bioactive compounds can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 26%. A large observational study has shown that people who eat blueberries also have slower rates of cognitive decline, meaning their brain remains healthier as they age. More research is needed to determine how they play this role, however, I'll continue to pop my blueberries in the freezer and enjoy an excellent snack. No nutritiomal value is lost by freezing them.
Raspberries are often used in desserts and serve as a very good source of fiber.
One cup (123 grams) of raspberries provides:
- Calories: 64
- Fiber: 8 grams
- Vitamin C: 36% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 8% of the DV
- Manganese: 36% of the DV
Raspberries also contain antioxidant polyphenols called ellagitannins, which can help reduce oxidative stress. One study showed that when cyclists consumed a drink containing raspberries and other berries, oxidative stress caused by exercise decreased significantly. The most commonly consumed raspberries are the American or European red varieties. However, there are many different types of raspberries, and black raspberries have been shown to have a number of health benefits, too. Black raspberries may be especially good for heart health. Studies have proven that black raspberries can reduce risk factors for heart disease, such as blood pressure and blood cholesterol. Other studies show that black raspberries may reduce inflammation in people with metabolic syndrome. It's the black raspberries in particular which may benefit heart health and my doctors tell me anything that reduces inflammation is a good thing.
Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, are native to China and used in traditional medicine. They have recently become very popular here also.
One ounce (28 grams) of dried goji berries provides:
- Calories: 98
- Fiber: 3.7 grams
- Vitamin C: 15% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 42% of the DV
- Iron: 11% of the DV
Goji berries also contain high levels of vitamin A and zeaxanthin, both of which are important for eye health. A study of 150 elderly people found that eating 14 grams of a proprietary milk-based formulation of goji berry per day reduced the decline in eye health due to aging. This study, along with a second similar study, showed that eating goji berries could raise blood zeaxanthin zeaxanthin levels. Like many other berries, goji berries contain antioxidant polyphenols. One study found that drinking goji berry juice for 30 days increased blood antioxidant levels. Another study found that drinking goji berry juice for 2 weeks increased metabolism and reduced waist size in overweight people. Treat ypur eyes to some goji berries!
Strawberries are one of the most commonly consumed berries in the World and also one of the best sources of vitamin C.
One cup (144 grams) of whole strawberries provides:
- Calories: 46
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Vitamin C: 97% of the DV
- Manganese: 24% of the DV
Strawberries are good for heart health. In fact, a study of over 93,000 women found that those who ate more than 3 portions of strawberries and blueberries per week had over a 30% lower risk of heart attack. Other studies have shown that strawberries may reduce a number of risk factors for heart disease including blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and oxidative stress. Strawberries can also reduce inflammation by lowering inflammatory chemicals in the blood and may help control blood sugar levels, which is important for preventing diabetes. In one study of over 200,000 people it was found that eating strawberries reduced type 2 diabetes risk as much as 18%. Finally, another study showed that eating 2 ounces (60 grams) per day of freeze-dried strawberry powder reduced oxidative stress and inflammatory chemicals in people at high risk of developing esophageal cancer. In summation strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C plus they're proven to reduce risk factors for heart disease and can also help control blood sugar.
Bilberries are very similar to blueberries, and the two are often confused. Bilberries are native to Europe, whereas blueberries are native to North America.
3.5 ounces (100 grams) of bilberries provide:
- Calories: 43
- Fiber: 4.6 grams
- Vitamin C: 16% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 12% of the DV
Many scientific studies have shown that bilberries are effective at reducing inflammation. A couple of studies have shown that eating bilberries or drinking bilberry juice can reduce inflammation in people at risk of heart disease or metabolic syndrome. A study of 110 women found that eating bilberries for approximately one month resulted in reducing their levels of endothelial markers that are implicated in the development of heart disease. Bilberries also reduced waist circumference by 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) and weight by 0.4 pounds (0.2 kgs). It's also noted that eating a diet rich in bilberries, whole grains, and fish reduced blood sugar in people with high blood sugar which should come as no surprise. Bilberries may also increase “good” HDL cholesterol and reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol. Another winner!
Acai berries grow on acai palm trees native to the Brazilian Amazon region. They have become popular health food supplements because of their high antioxidant content.
3.5 ounces (100 grams) of acai berry puree provides:
- Calories: 70
- Fiber: 5 grams
Keep in mind that acai berries are often consumed dried or freeze-dried, which can affect the nutritional content. Acai berries are one of the best sources of antioxidant polyphenols and may contain as much as 10 times more antioxidants than blueberries. When consumed as a juice or pulp, acai berries can increase blood antioxidant levels and reduce chemicals involved in oxidative stress additionally, acai berry pulp has been shown to reduce blood sugar, insulin, and blood cholesterol levels in overweight adults who consumed 200 grams per day for 1 month. These effects have also been shown in athletes. Drinking 3 ounces (100 ml) of an acai juice blend for 6 weeks reduced blood cholesterol and reduced oxidative stress after exercise, which may speed up recovery from muscle damage. The antioxidants in acai may also help reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis. A study of people with osteoarthritis found that drinking four ounces (120 ml) of acai juice per day for 12 weeks significantly reduced pain and improved overall daily living.
Cranberries are an extremely healthy fruit with an extremely sour taste. They are rarely eaten raw and instead are commonly consumed as juice.
1 cup (110 grams) of raw cranberries provides:
- Calories: 46
- Fiber: 3.6 grams
- Vitamin C: 16% of the DV
- Manganese: 12% of the DV
Like other berries, cranberries contain antioxidant polyphenolsm, however, most of these antioxidants are in the skin of the cranberry, therefore, cranberry juice doesn’t contain as many polyphenols. The best-known health benefit of cranberries is their ability to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Certain chemicals in cranberries prevent the bacteria E. coli from sticking to the wall of the bladder or urinary tract, thereby reducing the risk of infection. Cranberry juice may reduce the risk of other infections as well. H. pylori is a type of bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers and cancer. A number of studies have shown that cranberry juice can prevent H. pylori from attaching to the stomach wall and thus prevent infection. Cranberry juice has also shown various benefits for heart health in many studies. Drinking cranberry juice can reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, oxidative stress, and “stiffness” of arteries. Please note that due to their tart & sour taste many cranberry products are loaded with sugar so keep that in mind when choosing YOUR perfect brand. Cranberry extract appears to contain the highest benefit!
Grapes are widely consumed either as whole, raw fruit or as juice, wine, raisins, or vinegar.
One cup (151 grams) of whole, raw grapes provides:
- Calories: 104
- Fiber: 1.4 grams
- Vitamin C: 5% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 18% of the DV
The skin and seeds of grapes are an excellent source of antioxidant polyphenols. Studies show that grape seed polyphenol extracts can lower both blood pressure and heart rate although due to the small samplings the effect of polyphenols on blood pressure remains unclear. A large observational study found that eating grapes or raisins 3 times per week was associated with a 12% reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes. While another study found that eating 17 ounces (500 grams) of grapes per day for 8 weeks reduced blood cholesterol and oxidative stress in people with high cholesterol. And finally, grape juice may even benefit brain health. A super small study of 25 women found that drinking 12 ounces (355 ml) of Concord grape juice every day for 12 weeks significantly improved memory and driving performance. We should keep some grapes in our glove compartments if this is true?
Berries are some of the healthiest foods you can eat, they’re low in calories yet high in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Many berries have proven benefits for heart health including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol while reducing oxidative stress and often blood pressure too. They can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by acting as a great alternative to sugary snacks. Try to eat a few portions of berries a week and sample different types. Berries are tiny, tasty, and tantalizingly colorful and can also be powerful allies for your health, protecting everything from your head to your heart.