Spring and summer is officially berry season. Not only are berries delicious, they’re readily available and can be added to almost any meal. Incorporating berries in your diet is one easy method to jump starting healthy summer habits.
Improve Memory and Stay Sharp
Berries are packed with a compound called anthocyanidins. These compounds are found almost only in the berry family and can pass the blood-brain barrier to directly affect the memory centers of your brain. Berries also help to clean up damaging toxins which build up over time and lead to Alzheimer’s.
According to the Nuerology journal, those who eat two servings of berries a week have a 25 percent less chance of developing Parkinson’s disease. Additional studies show that those with higher berry intakes can postpone cognitive decline by about 2-3 years.
Berries are sweet, however they are loaded with natural sugars rather than artificial sweeteners. They are also packed with fiber. Because of this, they can be used in a diabetic diet as a serving of fruit and can replace fruit juices, which are higher in sugar and have no fiber.
Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer
Studies show that:
- Strawberries protect against breast cancer, colon cancer and leukemia.
- Blueberries protect against prostate cancer and heart disease.
- Raspberries can help prevent liver and esophageal cancer and may slow cancer growth
- Blackberries can reduce your risk of liver, colon, lung and esophageal cancer
The best way to help manage weight is to work on feeling full. Because of their liquid content and fiber, berries help us to feel full.
Adding berries to yogurt, salads or eating them as a dessert after dinner can help you to avoid unnecessary sugars and shed those extra pounds. A diet high in fruits and veggies may also help you lower blood pressure in addition to weight loss.
A few easy options for incorporating berries into your diet are:
- Adding berries to salads, yogurt and oatmeal
- Baking whole wheat blueberry muffins
- Eating berries as a dessert or mid-day snack
- Blending a few berries and additional fruits together for a morning smoothie
- Blending berries for a fresh salad dressing
- Pairing berries and cheese together for a light snack
Who says you need to start fresh during the New Year? Start a healthy habit this summer by adding berries to a colorful diet and live a healthier and longer life.
Need more guidance on weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle? Click here to request an appointment with a physician to set up a plan that works for you.