3 Super Berries That Your Body Craves
Who doesn’t love a bowl of fresh juicy berries? Berries are the natural dessert of the fruit world.
But, don’t let their sweetness fool you. These three particular berries are more than just delicious, they are nutrient powerhouses that can help prevent vision loss, blood clots, diabetes, cancer, and even keep your gut healthy.
Bilberries are the European cousin of the American blueberry. This dark berry native to northern Europe is often used in baking and jam making. For centuries, bilberries also called huckleberries, airelle, wineberry, or whortleberry have been hailed as medical miracles.
World War II Royal Air Force pilots often ate bilberry jam, which was credited to improving their night vision. Recent studies have found that bilberry improves vision accuracy and can even help those suffering from glaucoma, myopia, retinitis, and pigmentosa.
Bilberries are packed with an antioxidant compound known as anthocyanin. This pigment gives the berries their dark purple almost black color and is linked to lowering the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Bilberries also contain quercetin, tannins, ellagitannins, and phenolic acid that are responsible for the antimicrobial effects as well as DNA repair properties of this juicy berry. Here are just a few of the additional health benefits found in bilberries.
Blood Clot Prevention
If you have recently had surgery, are confined to a chair or a bed for long periods, are overweight, have had cancer or are being treated for it, or take hormones (especially birth control) you could be at risk for a blood clot.
Bilberries can thin the blood and help release vasodilators to reduce clotting and increase blood supply. The anthocyanosides found in bilberries produce an anti-inflammatory effect. They even help stimulate the growth of collagen that aids in the development of capillaries and improve the flow of blood.
In a controlled study at the University of Oslo, 31 subjects who drank bilberry juice for 4 weeks all showed a decrease of inflammatory plasma biomarkers.
Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Bilberry leaves are a wonderful addition to any diabetic’s diet. The leaves are full of essential compounds that can regulate blood sugar and reduce spikes in blood glucose levels. Bilberry has also shown promising evidence that it may also inhibit retinopathy due to uncontrolled blood sugar levels.
Removes Heavy Metal Build-Up
Anthocyanins found in bilberries are also powerful scavengers that can chelate (or remove) metal ions and heavy metal toxic build-up.
Hailing from Scandinavia, lingonberries are also known as cowberries or dry ground cranberries – consider them a more complex type of fruit similar to the North American bog cranberry that can be eaten right off the bush.
Ask any Scandinavian about the sweet-tart lingonberry and watch a smile light up in their eyes. The fruit was so vital in 13th century Iceland that laws were enacted to limit berry-picking and how much fruit could be eaten on the spot.
Lingonberries have been used for generations as a natural healing food. Lingonberries can be eaten raw, used in jams, sauces, and even fermented. Their tart flavor and bright red color hide the powerful medicinal attributes found in these fruits.
Lingonberries contain a compound called arbutin – which relieves heartburn, indigestion, can be used to treat urinary tract infections, and intestinal disorders. Inuit of the Artic regions often ate them fresh and used the juice of these tasty berries to treat skin conditions and infectious diseases.
A Potent Anti-Inflammatory
Just 2 tablespoons of frozen lingonberries have powerful antioxidant benefits if you suffer from arthritis or other inflammatory diseases. The berries contain quercetin that can reduce inflammation levels and reduce the pain associated with inflammation. It even works to restore glutathione levels (the mother of all antioxidants) in your body.
Procyanidins make up around 63-71% of the phenolic compounds found in lingonberries and have been studied for their cancer prevention properties. This compound can reduce the onset of cancer by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.
3. Aronia berry or Chokeberry
The little-known chokeberry (Aronia melancorpa) is now becoming a superfood on its own merit.
A native of North America and used in Europe and Russia for juices and wines these small sharp berries pack a punch of nutrition and should be incorporated into your daily diet.
These berries are full of vitamin C, tannins, and anthocyanins that can contribute to your overall health and provide anti-aging protection.
Aronia Berries Are Bursting With Antioxidants
In fact, aronia berries have the highest antioxidantcapacity when compared to other super fruits. USDA research shows that aronia berries rated 16,062 on the ORAC value scale versus 4,479 for pomegranates.
Aronia berries may help repair cellular damage, reduce your risk of chronic disease, reduce inflammation in your body, reduce muscle recovery time after workouts, reduce LDL cholesterol levels, and even reduce your risk of cancer.
Balance and Regulate Gut Flora
Your gut is home to millions of beneficial bacteria that act as your own built-in immunity warriors. These bacteria fight off pathogens, viruses, and microbes to keep your immune system strong.
In fact, probiotics are now being made from yeast derived from polyphenols and anthocyanins of the Aronia berry. These compounds lower the pH level of the intestine that increases the growth of beneficial intestinal flora.
Why not take the time to add just one of these super berries to your daily diet and enjoy the benefits of these powerful little edible gems?