We’ve made it through the first month of the new year, and for many people, this is where things get tough.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges many people seem to face when trying to eat healthier is finding easy, delicious ways to incorporate a wider variety of food into their diet.
Eating different foods than what your taste buds and body are used to can be a difficult experience, especially if your body is used to highly processed foods that are low in nutrient content. Many people aren’t even sure how to start eating healthy. The good news is, there are a variety of healthy, natural foods that are easy to bring in to your diet. Today, we’ll talk about one of my favorite of these healthy foods — berries.
Berries, in many ways, are a gift from nature. According to About.com, “Berries are low in calories, high in fiber and they contain vitamins and minerals your body needs to function normally.” Berries come in a variety of types, so it’s not difficult to find one with a taste that you love. Eating a wide variety of berries is one of the best ways to broaden the scope of nutrients your body is taking in. With that in mind, today we’ll talk about the health benefits of berries as well as a few easy ways to up your berry intake!
So what are the health properties of berries? For one, berries contain vast quantities of antioxidants. Sparkpeople.com reports, “Scientists have discovered that berries have some of the highest antioxidant levels of any fresh fruits. Raspberries, for example, contain an especially high level of antioxidants—three times more than kiwis and 10 times more than tomatoes.”
Why are antioxidants important?
Put simply, antioxidants combat free radicals that normally wreak havoc on the cells inside and outside of your body. Left to roam freely, free radicals can accelerate aging, wear out tissues, and even contribute to a variety of degenerative conditions. Antioxidants are the bodies way of combating free radicals. Unfortunately, the body can’t generate enough antioxidants on its own. That’s where antioxidant rich foods — like berries — enter the picture. Especially in our frenzied culture, there are endless amounts of free-radical containing toxins that ravage our internal systems.
Pollution in the air can especially contribute to the toxins we encounter. A fresh supply of anti-oxidants helps to protect your body from these toxins. Examples of antioxidants include beta-carotene, vitamin c — also called ascorbic acid– and vitamin e. The good news is, fruits deliver these anti-oxidants in multitudes. According to Web MD, “berries deliver super-healthy antioxidants that help fight disease. In fact, one landmark study shows that just one cup of berries provides all the disease-fighting antioxidants you need in a single day.”