Superfoods – Berries

In this section we list just tree types of berries the strawberry, the blueberry and the cranberries, they stand out of the crowd but we can say most edible berries are good for you and well worth including in your diets. Remember that strictly in a botanical sense also tomatoes, coffee and bananas are berries. The grape berries will be mentioned under red wine.

Data from Wikipedia:

Strawberries Nutrition Facts
Strawberries

Strawberries

One serving (100 g; see Table) of strawberries contains approximately 33 kilocalories, is an excellent source of vitamin C, a good source of manganese, and provides several other vitamins and dietary minerals in lesser amounts.

Strawberries contain a modest amount of essential unsaturated fatty acids in the achene (seed) oil.

Few studies have directly examined the effects of eating strawberries on human health. However, limited research indicates that strawberry consumption may be associated with a decreased cardiovascular disease risk and that phytochemicals present in strawberries have anti-inflammatory or anticancer properties in laboratory studies.


Blueberries

Blueberries have a diverse range of micronutrients, with moderate levels (relative to respective Dietary Reference Intakes) of the essential dietary mineral manganese, vitamin C, vitamin K and dietary fiber. One serving provides a relatively low glycemic load score of 4 out of 100 per day.

Blueberries contain anthocyanins, other pigments and various phytochemicals, which are under preliminary research for their potential role in reducing risks of diseases such as inflammation and cancer. Similar to red grape, blueberries may contain resveratrol.

Most polyphenol studies have been conducted using the highbush cultivar of blueberries (V. corymbosum), while content of polyphenols and anthocyanins in lowbush (wild) blueberries (V. angustifolium) exceeds values found in highbush cultivars.

In preliminary research, feeding blueberries to rats reduced brain damage in experimental stroke and may cause increased production of vascular nitric oxide that influences blood pressure regulation. Additional research showed that blueberry consumption in rats altered glycosaminoglycans that are vascular cell components affecting control of blood pressure.

Other preliminary studies found blueberry consumption lowered cholesterol and total blood lipid levels, possibly affecting symptoms of heart disease. Wild South American varieties may contain higher levels of polyphenols, but this finding remains unconfirmed and uncertain of its significance.

Other preliminary research showed that supplementation of diets with wild blueberry juice may benefit the brain, improve memory and learning in older adults, while possibly reducing blood sugar and symptoms of depression.


Cranberries

Raw cranberries have moderate levels of vitamin C, dietary fiber and the essential dietary mineral, manganese, (each nutrient having more than 10% of the Daily Value per 100 g serving; see right table) as well as other essential micronutrients in minor amounts.

Raw cranberries are a source of polyphenol antioxidants, phytochemicals under active research for possible benefits to the cardiovascular system and immune system, and as anti-cancer agents, such as in isolated prostate cancer cells. However, it is uncertain whether polyphenols and flavonoids account for the benefits of diets rich in plant-derived foods.

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