You’ve got a pestering sweet tooth and the urge to munch. On your kitchen counter, you see a snack cake and a bowl of berries. What do you reach for?
Before you grab the snack cake… consider this! Berries are not only fruity and refreshing, but they also carry incredible health benefits that you just won’t find in processed foods.
Not all that impressed? You will be once you check out these awesome reasons for adding more berries to your diet. See you in the produce aisle!
Why Berries Top the Charts as a Power Snack
They Boost Your Heart Health
Berries are a heart-healthy food. Studies show that blackberries, strawberries and others can reduce bad cholesterol (LDL). They can also prevent LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized or damaged – a major risk factor for heart disease.
In other news related to your heart, berries are great for improving the function of your arteries. They help the cells that line your blood vessels control blood pressure, prevent clots and perform other important tasks that may be inhibited by inflammation.
They Can Manage Your Hunger.
Keep your stomach from growling! Berries are an excellent source of soluble fiber. Fiber helps slow down the movement of food through your digestive tract and can also help you stay fuller for longer periods of time. High fiber also means lower carb counts.
If you’re not as hungry, you’ll probably eat less. Managing your hunger and appetite is a definite step toward weight-loss and calorie control.
They’re Packed with Beneficial Antioxidants.
Antioxidants keep free radicals under control. They protect your cells from oxidative stress and help reduce your disease risk, including some cancers. Consider them an all-around defender against unwanted stress.
In addition to their disease-fighting properties, antioxidants help control inflammation. Chronic inflammation is thought to contribute to conditions like diabetes, heart disease and obesity. They’re also amazing for your skin, helping to reduce wrinkling and damage with age.
They Pack Tons of Vitamins and Minerals.
Berries may be low in calories, but they’re extremely high in nutrients. Several vitamins and minerals can be found in any one berry. These include calcium, vitamin C, manganese, folate, iron and vitamin B6. All of these properties boost your health and keep you running strong.
They’re Low-Calorie and Versatile.
High-calorie foods tend to tip the scale, but the calorie counts of berries are extremely low. A typical serving of berries is about one cup, which equals about 125-150 calories depending on the type you choose. For a filling snack to curb you over midday, that’s not bad at all!
Even better – berries are extremely versatile. You can eat them on your own or use them in yogurt, breakfast foods, salads, smoothies, jams and more. CLICK HERE for some creative ways to add more berries to your diet and diversify what’s on your plate.
The Bottom Line:
You should always have a hearty serving of fruits and/or veggies in every meal, and the health benefits of berries are undeniable: low in calories; rich in antioxidants; full of fiber; great for protecting against disease; great for improving cardiovascular health and more.
If you can’t bring yourself to snack on them as they are, add them to your favorite foods and get creative! There’s no limit to the berry-full possibilities you can achieve if you work at it.
For more fun with berries, CLICK HERE.