More Reasons to Pick Berries

Blueberries are more than delicious—with more antioxidants than any other fruit, they’re incredibly nutritious. The antioxidants in blueberries may help lower the buildup of bad cholesterol within the body, decreasing risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. One serving contains less than 100 calories and provides about a quarter of your daily need for vitamin C and about 14 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber. They may even reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. In several studies blueberries have been shown to reverse brain degeneration caused by aging. Strawberries, shortcake’s best friends, are another sweet health food. One study shows that eating strawberries can boost your red blood cells’ response to oxidative stress, which is associated with various diseases. Volunteers ate about three cups of berries per day for about two weeks. (That’s a lot of berries; a regular serving would be about a cup.) Blood tests showed that compounds in the berries reduced oxidative stress, which is linked to heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. Blackberries are just bursting with antioxidants. They also contain ellagic acid, an antioxidant that prevents sun damage and may even have restorative effects on previously damaged skin. Eating just a cup of blackberries a day gives you half your daily recommended intake of vitamin C. One cup also provides more than 30 percent of your daily fiber needs and about 36 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin K, which promotes calcium absorption.