What if improving your heart, brain, motor skills, and cancer risk was as simple as eating one thing? Sounds crazy, right? Well, it’s not quite that simple but pretty darn close.
Numerous studies have been done the past few years and berries are the winner! Repeatedly, data indicates that the chemical compounds (anthocyanins, polyphenols) found in berries can improve elasticity in blood vessels, reducing the risk of heart disease. Another study indicated the benefits of berries in the prevention of certain cancers. Berries have also been linked to improvement in cognitive and motor skills function in older adults. Emerging evidence indicates that these compounds reduce neuroinflammation and oxidative stress (both contributors to aging and cognitive and motor skill decline).
Can you say powerhouse? Super food? And the best news is that frozen and canned berries are just as nutritious as fresh. So, brighten up your next gloomy winter day with a serving of berries---any variety will do but the darker colored berries (blueberries, blackberries) give you the most benefit. A serving is ½ cup, eat at least two servings per week to gain health benefits.
Try berries in a smoothie or on top of yogurt or cottage cheese, stir them into your morning oatmeal or toss them into your luncheon salad. Just eat them and reap the benefits of good health!
Enjoy this Berry Yogurt Bark –it’s so good you will think you are eating a decadent dessert—and maybe you are!
Find the recipe here.
Huntley AL. The health benefits of berry flavonoids for menopausal women: cardiovascular disease, cancer and cognition. Maturitas. 2009;63(4):297-301. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2009.05.005
Rajaram S, Jones J, Lee GJ. Plant-Based Dietary Patterns, Plant Foods, and Age-Related Cognitive Decline. Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md). 2019;10(Suppl_4):S422-S436. doi:10.1093/advances/nmz081
Subash S, Essa MM, Al-Adawi S, Memon MA, Manivasagam T, Akbar M. Neuroprotective effects of berry fruits on neurodegenerative diseases. Neural Regen Res 2014;9:1557-66
Shukitt-Hale B, Bielinski DF, Lau FC, Willis LM, Carey AN, Joseph JA. The beneficial effects of berries on cognition, motor behaviour and neuronal function in ageing. The British journal of nutrition. 2015;114(10):1542-1549. doi:10.1017/S0007114515003451