Berries are known to have the highest concentration of antioxidants among all fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants are powerful nutrients and enzymes that help to repair and prevent damage to our cells caused by oxidation. They play a role in preventing the development of some chronic diseases, slowing down the aging process, and boosting energy levels naturally. Here are the top three dark fruits to add into your daily diet along with their top five benefits.
A recent study from Tufts University analyzed over 50 common fruits and vegetables for hard scientific data on their antioxidant capabilities. Blueberries consistently ranked at the top of this list. That deep blue color is related to high amounts of phytonutrients, called anthocyanins. These phytonutrients aid in the process of neutralizing free radical damage in our cells.
Related to the rose, lab studies on these thorny-bushed berries at Ohio State University showed their ability to stop tumor formation in the oral cavity, as well as proliferation of colon cancer cells. Blackberries are more than just powerful antioxidants. They are also extremely high in some of the highest forms of chronic disease and cancer-fighting compounds: vitamins C, E, and ellagic acid.
More than being simply delicious, cherries are high in quercetin and ellagic acid. This flavonoid has been shown to promote cell and tissue health. Cherries are also high in anthocyanins and bioflavonoids, which are substances related to reducing the joint and muscle discomfort. Cherries also contain melatonin, an important natural chemical related to healthy sleep rhythms and maintaining a youthful appearance.
Top Five Benefits
1. Natural Energy Boosters
Berries contain phenols, which are essential antioxidants for helping the body to create energy at the cellular level. Darker berries tend to hold higher antioxidants than light fruits, which help reduce inflammation and fatigue in the body that’s known to slow us down.
2. Vaginal Health
They say drinking cranberry juice helps to treat UTIs, and there’s evidence to back up this claim. Cranberries’ high levels of antioxidants and acidic compounds aid in fighting off infections and preventing the bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. They also contain vitamins E and C which boosts immunity and helps to flush your system.
3. Youthful Appearance
Dark fruits are packed with flavonoids and polyphenols to keep your skin wrinkle free. When eaten regularly, they can brighten the skin tone and fight off wrinkle-inducing free radicals. Not only are they a great source of antioxidants, but they also contain a high level of pectin. Pectin helps clear up toxins that may contribute to breakouts. Along with this, they contain high levels of vitamin E that help to reduce things like acne and fine lines. I consider them to be a plant based form of modern day botox, but much cheaper may I add.
4. Healthy Hair
There is no other fruit that matches these berries when it comes to their power to encourage healthy hair growth. Rich in vitamin C, berries feed hair follicles and promote blood circulation to the scalp. Berries also contain vitamin B which provides oxygen to the cells and thus, helps to hair loss, prevent grays, promote hair growth, and add softness and shine to your hair.
5. Fiber Full
Berries are a great source of fiber, including soluble fiber. Soluble fiber slows down the movement of food through your digestive tract, reducing hunger and increasing feeling of fullness. Fiber helps to aid in the number of calories you absorb from mixed meals.
In conclusion, berries take the cake for me. More than just being delicious and great add ons in my morning smoothies, they hold such great benefits to the human mind and body. A true treat from nature.