Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Benefits of Blueberries & Blackberries

Blueberries have long been considered one of the wonder foods: not only do they taste good, but they also offer a variety of health benefits. Consuming blackberries is also beneficial. Eating blueberries and blackberries is a simple, delicious way to add extra nutrition to your diet.

Antioxidants - Polyphenols, substances found in blueberries, actually make them blue. These same substances also contribute to the health benefits and antioxidant properties of blueberries, making them one of the richest antioxidant foods. Eating blueberries helps fight free radicals, which are connected with cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's disease, according to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.

High Fiber - Blueberries provide an ample source of fiber, according to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. A lack of fiber is a common problem in American diets. Fiber helps with digestive problems and promotes heart health. Blueberry consumption benefits both the digestive system and the heart.

Low Calories - Both blueberries and blackberries are delicious, have a one-of-a-kind taste and are good for you. Those wishing to shed a few pounds need not look any further for healthy snacks that add little to daily calorie intake. Munch on these two types of berries without worrying about the consequences. One cup of raw blueberries is a sizable snack that only adds 80 calories to the day's intake, while blackberries are even lighter on calories at 62 per cup.

Vitamin C - Vitamin C is essential for normal development and growth. The human body requires a regular supply of vitamin C to develop collagen, repair damaged tissues and slow down the effects of aging. The body expels vitamin C through urine, therefore making it necessary to replenish it with vitamin-rich foods and supplements daily. One cup of blackberries provides the body with half of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, according to the Natural Health website. Blueberries are also rich in vitamin C, providing 25 percent of the daily-recommended amount in one cup.

Fight Cancer - Eating more fruits and vegetables has long been associated with reducing the occurrence of cancer. Blackberries are especially good in fighting the disease. In a study published by The Journal of Biological Chemistry, blackberries contain a compound known as C3G, which produces activity in the cells similar to chemotherapy. This compound was isolated and given to test animals who showed a significant reduction in cancer cells. This activity, combined with high amounts of antioxidants, make the blackberry a smart food for fighting cancer.

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