Which fruits are loaded with health-boosting antioxidants, contain disease-fighting phytochemicals, provide fiber, amino acids and micronutrients, and are so versatile they can be added to almost any sweet recipe? Berries. Berries are among the healthiest foods on the planet due to their more than impressive nutrient profile and antioxidant content. Adding them to your diet supports immune system health, as well as digestive, cardiovascular, and cognitive function, while filling you up and boosting your energy levels.
What types of berries are the healthiest? Here is a list of the best berries.
The 12 Healthiest Berries
Perhaps the most well-known berry, the blueberry is considered a top-notch superfood due to its antioxidant content and nutritional value. The antioxidants in blueberries fight oxidative stress that can cause major health issues, including cancer, neurodegeneration, and premature aging. Blueberries are also beneficial due to their fiber content, which aids digestion and promotes weight loss. They are used in a variety of ways, including as an ingredient in baked goods, yogurt parfaits, oatmeal meals, salads, and more.
Rich in vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese, blackberries support immune system function, reduce inflammation and promote a healthy cardiovascular system. Blackberries also have an ORAC (free radical absorbance capacity) score of 5,905, making them one of the most antioxidant foods with proven anti-cancer effects.
3. Goji Berry
The Goji berry has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. Studies show it increases energy levels, sleep quality, focus, and mental acuity. This is due to the phytonutrient, vitamin and mineral content of the berry, which includes more than 100% of your daily value of vitamin A, as well as 11 essential amino acids. Goji berries are consumed to support heart health, combat low mood, protect skin and eye health, and improve immunity.
Elderberry has gained attention for its ability to boost the immune system and fight respiratory ailments, such as colds and flu. Elderberry syrup or supplements are used to reduce the duration of colds and flu and improve symptoms. The berry has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiviral effects, making it a useful remedy for infections. Additionally, elderberry may help lower blood sugar, promote detoxification, and relieve allergies.
5. Acai Berry
Acai bowls have been all the rage lately, but what do you know about this Brazilian fruit? Acai berries are very high in antioxidants (including anthocyanins which protect heart health and improve immune system function), electrolytes, dietary fiber, trace minerals, B vitamins, amino acids and sterols plants. As with many berries, the acai berry’s antioxidant count is impressive and helps the body be more resistant to the effects of free radical damage.
Eating a cup of strawberries a day greatly exceeds the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, as well as manganese, folate, potassium and magnesium. Strawberries are also rich in antioxidants, including quercetin, tannins and polyphenols. Strawberries have been shown to help improve immune system function, fight cancer and heart disease, improve skin health, and benefit cognitive function.
Raspberry is another powerful antioxidant, and it is rich in micronutrients, including vitamin C, manganese, vitamin K and magnesium. Research suggests that adding raspberries to a balanced diet may aid weight loss by boosting metabolism and aiding digestion. The raspberry diet can also aid in diabetes management as it has a low glycemic index and little impact on blood sugar, while being high in fiber.
Cranberries contain one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of any fruit, making them a powerhouse for protecting cells against free radical damage that can lead to chronic disease. They are known as a natural remedy for urinary tract infections, thanks to their antibacterial properties. Cranberries are also beneficial for the digestive tract, as they have detoxifying effects that help eliminate toxins from the body. They may also benefit cognitive functions, according to research.
Blueberries are similar to bilberries and have an impressive nutritional profile, serving as an excellent source of phytochemicals, like anthocyanin and polyphenols. Blueberries also contain B vitamins and iron, which support metabolic processes. Bilberry is slightly tart but sweet, and it is often used to make jams and baked goods.
10. Barberry (barberry)
Barberry is not as popular, but it is just as beneficial as the fruits you usually find in the fruit and vegetable aisle of your local supermarket. They are a rich source of vitamin C and contain beneficial alkaloids, including berberine. Barberry has soothing properties, works to reduce inflammation and fight infections. It is usually consumed in the form of tea, capsules or tincture for its therapeutic properties.
You’ll see blackberries used in smoothies, pies, and other dessert recipes. It is rich in fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K and iron. Research suggests that blackberries help stabilize blood sugar levels, protect liver health, support healthy digestion, and lower cholesterol levels.
12. Juniper Berries
Juniper berries aren’t technically berries but are clearly considered to be. Juniper berries are actually female seed cones that look like other berries (hence their name) but are used as a spice. They serve as a natural antiseptic and antioxidant, and the essential oils of the fruit are used to improve skin conditions, stimulate digestion and promote sleep.
When used as a spice, juniper can be added to sauces and marinades to give them a peppery flavor. Adding berries to your diet is an easy way to boost your nutrient intake and fight chronic disease. Some of the best types of berries for your health include blueberries, strawberries, elderberries, blackberries, and cranberries.
Eating berries is easy. Their sweet flavor makes them a perfect addition to yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, pies, muffins, pancakes, salads and frozen treats.