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The Benefits of Berries

By Amy Silva

Berries contain vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. There are many kinds of berries, including some you may not have heard of before. Acai berries weren't very well known or available in the United States until recent years, and now you can find them added to a lot of different foods, supplements, and juices. Read below to find out what adding berries to your diet can do for you and how to incorporate them into your meals, snacks, and drinks.

Here are seven popular berries:

  • Blackberry
  • Blueberry
  • Cranberry
  • Elderberry
  • Goji berry
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry

And here are seven lesser-known berries that are good for you.

  • Barberry
  • Chokeberry
  • Cloudberry
  • Currant
  • Lingonberry
  • Salmonberry
  • Tayberry

Health Benefits of Berries

Studies show berries can lower blood sugar and LDL cholesterol, and help lessen the risk of some diseases, like cancer. Insulin levels can be improved, and they may even help those trying to lose weight by lowering overall calorie intake. They can also help reduce chronic inflammation. This is great news because chronic inflammation may lead to later health issues like heart disease and diabetes. Berries contain fiber and folate, and Vitamins C and K1, among other nutrients, depending on the type consumed.

What to Do With Berries

One can enjoy the benefits and flavor of berries by adding them to different foods and drinks. They add flavor to drinks like tea, juice, wine and smoothies. As for food, sauces, syrups, and jellies and jams can transform bland foods. Other ways berries can be used is in pies, cobblers or other baked goods, in candy and desserts, or added to breakfast foods such as oatmeal, muffins and pancakes. The list goes on.

A Few Tips

One good thing about berries is they don't need to be purchased fresh and eaten quickly to be enjoyed. A helpful tip for saving money and enjoying the best flavors is to purchase berries when they're at their peak, in season and on sale. Eat them while ripe, can them for jellies and jams, dry them in a food dehydrator and use them in muffins or other foods, or freeze them to enjoy later in the season in smoothies and baked goods.  You can buy them already frozen too. This avoids the need to stock up and have the freezer full of them. Drying berries is another way to enjoy them year-round, just be careful with those with added sugar if you have certain health issues or are trying to watch your diet.

Berries are a wonderful addition to nearly every type of diet. They add flavor to food and drinks and offer added health benefits.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Glade Park, Tex.

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