Advertising
Advertising

15 Amazing Health Benefits Of Berries You Didn’t Know About

15 Amazing Health Benefits Of Berries You Didn’t Know About

Berries are wonderful fruits. You can put them in desserts, drinks, salads, or use them to adorn other foods like pancakes. You can even eat them by themselves and they still taste really good. As you’ve likely ascertained by now, berries also have a myriad of health benefits. Let’s take a look at how these tasty treats can help keep you healthy!

1. Berries are packed with antioxidants

Pretty much all berries are loaded to the brim with antioxidants. For those who don’t know, antioxidants help prevent illness, improve your skin and hair, and lead to a healthier life. That’s why people who drink smoothies all the time always seem so happy!

2. Berries can help you lose weight

benefits of berries

    Berries are low in calories and that means you can load up on them without packing on the pounds. Because they are juicy they contain a lot of water, so much of their mass is really water, which contains no calories at all. A medium sized strawberry has between three and six calories. A cup of blueberries has only about 80 calories. Instead of grabbing the potato chips, grab yourself some berries.

    Advertising

    3. Berries have a bunch of fiber

    Pretty much all berries consist of about 85% water. The rest is mostly fiber and fiber is an integral part of a healthy diet. It helps you stay regular and maintain your weight, and is essential for bowel health. Keep in mind, though, that you must actually eat the fruit to get the fiber! There really isn’t any fiber in juice even if it’s 100% juice. To get the fiber, you’ll need to grind your berries up in a smoothie or eat them whole.

    4. Berries contain a boat load of folate

    Folate (better known as vitamin B) is known for its health benefits that include improvements to cardiovascular health. There are even studies that suggest that it can help stave off mood disorders like depression. It is especially good for pregnant women as it helps prevent fetal growth disorders and may prevent neurological birth defects.

    5. Berries have a ton of anthocyanins

    benefits of berries

      The jury is still out as to what anthocyanins do exactly, but pretty much everyone believes that they give you health benefits of some kind. For those who don’t know, anthocyanins are what gives berries their distinct colors. Think of them like nature’s food coloring. They are believed to have preventative and therapeutic properties, such as the ability to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

      Advertising

      6. Berries can help manage and prevent diabetes

      The nutrients in berries have been shown to help prevent type 2 diabetes and that’s a good enough reason to eat them right there. However, they are also really good for people who already have diabetes. Thanks to the high fiber we talked about earlier and their ability to be sweet without having a lot of actual sugar, they are perfect for diabetics looking for a sweet treat.

      7. Berries can help prevent mental decline

      There was a study published that suggested that women who ate berries frequently could prevent the process of mental decline that comes with age. The study says that women who ate a healthy amount of berries had better thinking, reasoning, and memory. It’s not a wild difference but when you’re getting up there, everything helps right?

      8. Cranberries and blueberries can help urinary tract infections

      Studies have shown that drinking cranberry juice can help you get over urinary tract infections thanks to their nutrients and ability to flush out harmful agents that can cause infection. Another study showed that blueberries have more or less the same effect. If you’re looking for better urinary tract health, cranberry and blueberry juice are where it’s at!

      9. All berries can help prevent heart disease

      This is standard for pretty much all fruit. For each piece of fat-free, cholesterol-free, nutrient-packed berry you eat, that’s one step further away from heart disease you’ll come. We don’t need to tell you how many studies have shown this because it’s practically all of them. More colors in your diet is better and berries come in a lot of different colors!

      Advertising

      10. Strawberries can help keep your eyes healthy

      Studies have shown that eating at least three servings of strawberries per week can help prevent macular degeneration.

      11. Blueberries can be frozen without removing any of their antioxidants

      blueberries benefits of berries

        All berries are great but there is the problem of them going bad. You can only buy so many at a time because all fruits tend to go bad pretty quickly. This isn’t a problem with blueberries because it’s been proven that you can freeze blueberries but still retain all of their nutritional benefits. That means you can stock up and keep them around for months!

        12. Cranberries can actually help you more when taken as an extract

        Cranberries are among the more unique berries. People actually don’t generally eat them raw because they are extremely tart. They’re usually sweetened and eaten dried or consumed as a beverage. However, they can also be taken in pill form as an extract. Recent studies have shown that taking them in “dietary supplement” form is actually vastly healthier for you than consuming the juice because the nutrients work best when you get all parts of the berry rather than just the juice.

        Advertising

        13. Cranberries can prevent cancer!

        Numerous studies have shown that cranberries do a whole bunch of things to help prevent cancer. This is done in a number of ways, such as improving general health in your entire body, but there are also chemicals in cranberries that help prevent the formation of cancer cells.

        14. Berries may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease

        Some studies have suggested that the polyphenolics found in many berries help clean out the built up toxins in the brain that are a contributing factor in Alzheimer’s disease. Nothing is concrete, mind you, but when it’s a brain disease as bad as Alzheimer’s, anything that could help is something worth trying out.

        15. Berries may help prevent Parkinson’s disease

        As we all know, the legendary Robin Williams died not long ago. One of the contributing factors was his recently diagnosed Parkinson’s disease. There have been studies that have shown that eating at least two servings of berries per week can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease by up to 25%, with some men facing a reduced risk of up to 40%.

        It’s very easy to incorporate berries into almost any diet, and with the various health benefits discussed here there’s literally no reason not to make a better attempt at putting more of them in your diet. They are so healthy for you and they taste great. Go out and get some!

        Featured photo credit: Love Grove Health Solutions via lovegrovehealthsolutions.com

        More by this author

        Joseph Hindy

        A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

        12 Inspirational Speeches That Teach You the Most Valuable Life Lessons 10 Benefits of Sleeping Naked You Probably Didn’t Know 15 Most Effective Cool Down Exercises For Every Workout 10 Things Guys Love That You Didn’t Expect 20 Google Search Tips to Use Google More Efficiently

        Trending in Health

        1 Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack) 2 8 Best Teas for Weight Loss and Fat Burning 3 The Effects of Stress on Your Body And Mind (You Never Knew) 4 7 Signs You’re Burnt out (And How to Bounce Back) 5 How to Cope with COVID Anxiety And Stress

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on October 5, 2020

        Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

        Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

        Intermittent fasting weight loss is a type of diet that’s rapidly growing in popularity and becoming the way to lose weight. Scientists and nutrition experts like it, too. New books and articles on the topic are being published daily. Intermittent fasting is also popular with followers of the Paleo diet since our ancestors appear to have eaten this way for thousands of years.

        I’ve been following this type of diet myself for 2 years. Doing so helped me lose and keep off 70 pounds without ever having to count calories, limit carbohydrates, or eat 6 to 7 meals a day.

        This article teaches you all about intermittent fasting weight loss and details why it is one of the best weight loss diet hacks around. Once you finish, you will be able to implement into your diet and experience the benefits it offers almost immediately.

        What Is Intermittent Fasting?

        As you may have figured from its name, intermittent fasting weight loss is a diet plan where you set fasting periods during the day. This is usually between 16-20 consecutive hours, but it can be as little as 12 hours or as much as 24 hours (or even 36 hours).

        While fasting you can eat and drink low calorie or calorie-free foods. Think coffee, tea, water, and vegetables.

        The more time you spend fasting every day, the better your results. You can do these fasts as often as you like. Again, the more often you do so, the better[1].

        Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting

        Following this diet plan is super simple. All you have to do is choose a period of time during the day that you will fast. This should be between 16-20 hours.

        The longer you fast each day, the better. Don’t worry about calorie restriction or measuring carbohydrates. Just focus on going about your day until it’s time to eat.

        It’s best to choose a set period of time to conduct your fast. I like to fast from 8 PM to 4 PM the following afternoon. I’ll then have my first meal of the day and a snack or two a few hours later. Once 8 o’clock rolls around, it’s back to fasting.

        Advertising

        My experience with intermittent fasting is that it’s best to start with a 16 hour fast (i.e. 8PM one evening to 12PM the next day) for the first 1-2 weeks. Once you are comfortable with this schedule, you can increase the amount of time you spend fasting. Do this by adding 30 minutes to each fast until you get to where you are fasting for 20 hours at a time.

        You don’t have to fast every day in the beginning either. You may be more comfortable breaking in slowly with 2 or 3 days per week, or trying alternate day fasting. Add additional days of intermittent fasting as you become more comfortable with this style of eating.

        Tips To Make Intermittent Fasting Easier

        1. Drink Plenty of Water

        Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice into your water to help get rid of any cravings you experience. You can also drink coffee, tea, or other calorie-free beverages. After a few weeks, you will find that intermittent fasting keeps you from craving sugar entirely.

        2. Take in Caffeine in the Morning and Early Afternoon

        The caffeine in coffee and tea may actually make intermittent fasting weight loss a little easier since it’s good for curbing your appetite. Be careful not to overindulge as this may lead to you feeling a little too wired. I also recommend these natural energy boosting tips to keep you going during the day.

        3. Avoid Artificially Flavored Drinks

        One type of calorie-free drink that should be avoided are diet sodas and other beverages that use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet & Low. Studies show that the can actually stimulate your appetite[2] like a drink that contains sugar and cause you to overeat.

        4. Don’t Gorge at Your First Meal

        The first meal after your fast should be the amount of food you typically eat. Binging will only make you feel awful and diminish the benefits you get from the fast.

        To avoid this, try creating meal plans, at least for the first few weeks. This will help you get into the rhythm of eating regularly portioned meals during your eating window.

        5. Minimize Processed Carbohydrates and Sugars

        While intermittent fasting does make it possible to eat a little looser than normal, you should still eat as little bread, pasta, rice, etc. as possible.

        Focus instead on eating protein from beef, fish, or pork, carbohydrates from vegetables, fruit, and sweet potatoes, and healthy fats from foods like almonds, avocados, fish, and olive oil.

        Advertising

        You can find some carb sources that will aid your weight loss journey here.

        How Intermittent Fasting Helps You Lose Weight

        Eating this way has many benefits with regard to weight loss. The first is that when you’re fasting, your body will be forced to use its stored body fat for energy. Burning calories this way, instead of from the food you’re eating throughout the day, will help you experience significant weight loss, but specifically lose weight from any excess body fat you’re carrying.

        This means that you won’t just be thinner, but you will also look better and be much healthier than if you lose weight the old-fashioned way[3].

        Intermittent fasting can help optimize the release of the key fat-burning hormones in your body. This is especially true for the two most important hormones: human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin.

        Human growth hormone plays a key role in turning on your body’s fat-burning furnace so that it gets the calories you need to work and play from stored body fat. Studies show that fasting can significantly increase the production of HGH[4].

        The influence intermittent fasting weight loss has on insulin is just as impressive and possibly more important. Keeping your insulin levels low and steady is key to losing excess fat and keeping it off.

        Diets that are rich in processed carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice) and simple sugars (candy, cookies, and soda) have the opposite effect. They cause your insulin levels to rapidly spike and then crash every time you eat one of these foods. The net result of this phenomenon is that your body will store more of what you eat as excess body fat instead of burning it off as energy.

        Chronically elevating your insulin levels like this can also lead to the development of type II diabetes, obesity, and other chronic health problems. Intermittent fasting easily solves this problem.

        One study found that men who participated in intermittent fasting had “dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity”[5].

        Advertising

        This happens because you’re not giving your body food, so it will not produce insulin, allowing insulin levels to balance out until you eat again. This helps your body stay in a calorie and fa-burning state. You’ll also find that it gives you more energy throughout the day.

        Another great weight loss benefit of intermittent fasting is that hunger pangs and cravings that may normally plague you throughout the day will be reduced, if not altogether eliminated. This is probably due to its ability to balance your insulin and blood sugar levels and, in turn, help correct other hormonal imbalances.

        Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss FAQs

        Now that you know what intermittent fasting is and how to get started, it’s time to answer your other questions.

        Below are answers to the questions frequently asked about intermittent fasting. These answers should help you and make getting started a lot easier.

        How Much Weight Will I Lose?

        The amount of weight you lose with fasting is determined by how often and long your fasts are, what you eat afterward, and other factors. Fasting for 16-20 hours a day can help you safely lose 2-3 pounds of fat every week.

        While losing this much weight every week is great, it’s how it makes it happen that’s really cool. Losing weight with intermittent fasting means that you will never have to count calories or plan and prepare several meals a day.

        Can I Work out While Fasting?

        Yes, you can. In fact, doing the right type of workout while fasting will help you lose weight faster and even build muscle.

        The best workouts to do while fasting for weight loss are 3-4 intense strength training workouts weekly. This means anything from standard strength training to kettlebell or body weight workouts.

        Focus on doing 3-4 total body exercises per workout with as little rest as possible between sets. Doing this will help you burn more calories during and after your workout. You’ll also build muscle, which will help you look and feel better as the weight comes off.

        Advertising

        Won’t I Lose Muscle When I Fast?

        First of all, you aren’t fasting long enough for your body to start breaking down muscle for energy. You have, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of calories from your stored body fat to use before that will begin to happen. Studies actually show that even after fasting for 3 days, no muscle is lost.

        Is Fasting Safe?

        As long as you are healthy, not pregnant, and aren’t taking medications, fasting is safe. Like all diets, you should discuss it with your doctor before beginning an intermittent fasting style of dieting.

        I also feel that it may not be smart to follow this type of diet when you’re especially stressed. Since this diet can be a little stress-inducing at first, doing so when your ability to be relatively stress-free and rested probably isn’t a good idea.

        Are There Any Supplements I Can Take to Make Fasting Easier?

        As with any other weight loss plan, it’s a good idea to take a few nutritional supplements to ensure that your daily requirements are met. This includes a once or twice daily multi-vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D.

        I’ve also found taking 10 grams of branch chain amino acids before and after my workouts really helps, too. They’re great for giving you more energy during your workout and decreasing post-workout muscle soreness.

        For supplements to specifically help with digestion, check out this article.

        Conclusion

        Now you know what intermittent fasting is and how it can help you lose weight quickly, safely, and pretty much effortlessly.

        If you want to give it a try, find a fasting schedule that fits with you lifestyle and give it a go.

        More About Intermittent Fasting

        Featured photo credit: Toa Heftiba via unsplash.com

        Reference

        Read Next