It’s common knowledge that berries are good for you. We hear them included as part of a healthy diet all the time.
Most berries contain a healthy dose of antioxidants, which are known for reducing the damaging effects of free radicals and among other things, helping to prevent cancer and slow down the aging process.
There are also a few varieties of berries that are only in recent years becoming available and popular in the U.S. These come from various parts of the world and contain so much nutrition in their tiny packages that they’ve earned the title "superfood."
These superfruits have an extremely high antioxidant value and ORAC score. In some cases, the whole fruits have been freeze dried and ground into a powder, enabling us to get a very high concentration of the fruit or berry in a small quantity. This means that just using a teaspoonful in a smoothies could provide a very high dose of powerful antioxidants.
Superfoods have a powerful way of restoring function to the body’s organ systems, including the brain and endocrine systems that directly relate to mood and energy. Food can be your medicine! Read on to learn about these yummy little nutrition powerhouses.
These tart berries are native to Brazil but also grow in other warm climates like Peru, South Africa, Australia and Hawaii. Acai is packed full of antioxidants, leading to claims of it's anti-aging properties and ability to boost the immune system and metabolism.
Try these berries fresh, frozen or powdered.
The Incan goldenberry is also known as the cape gooseberry. It isn’t a true gooseberry, but a botanical relative to the potato and tomato that’s been growing in the Andes for thousands of years. The shape and texture is similar to a raisin, but with a sweet and tart flavor. Goldenberries are high in fiber, vitamin A and antioxidants, but low in sugar (comparatively speaking).
If you're not quite ready to try these berries on their own, try them in a superfood trail mix.
Mulberries are a great source of Vitamin C, with about 130 percent of the recommended daily value in every ounce. They also contain potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and dietary fiber.
In alternative medicine, mulberries have been used for centuries to regulate blood sugar levels, reduce the visible signs of aging, and boost the immune system. Dried mulberries also contain less than half the amount of sugar in other dried fruits.
These small red berries are extremely nutrient dense, containing 18 amino acids and 21 minerals. Some studies have linked goji berries to increased relaxation, improved athletic performance, better sleep and overall wellbeing.
Of course, as with any new herbs or supplements, you should consult a doctor before adding anything new to your routine.
Photo credit: Paul Delmont