Berries are among the healthiest foods you can eat.
They’re delicious, nutritious, and provide a number of impressive health benefits.
Here are 7 good reasons to include berries in your diet.
Berries contain antioxidants, which help keep free radicals under control.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that are beneficial in small amounts but can damage your cells when their numbers get too high, causing oxidative stress
Berries are a great source of antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid, and resveratrol. In addition to protecting your cells, these plant compounds may reduce disease risk
One study showed that blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries have the highest antioxidant activity of commonly consumed fruits, next to pomegranates
In fact, several studies have confirmed that the antioxidants in berries may help reduce oxidative stress
One study in healthy men found that consuming a single, 10-ounce (300-gram) portion of blueberries helped protect their DNA against free radical damage
In another study in healthy people, eating 17 ounces (500 grams) of strawberry pulp every day for 30 days decreased a pro-oxidant marker by 38%
SUMMARYBerries are high in antioxidants like anthocyanins, which may protect your cells from free radical damage.
Berries may improve your blood sugar and insulin levels.
Test-tube and human studies suggest that they may protect your cells from high blood sugar levels, help increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce blood sugar and insulin response to high-carb meals
Importantly, these effects appear to occur in both healthy people and those with insulin resistance
In one study in healthy women, eating 5 ounces (150 grams) of puréed strawberries or mixed berries with bread led to a 24–26% reduction in insulin levels, compared to consuming the bread alone
Moreover, in a six-week study, obese people with insulin resistance who drank a blueberry smoothie twice per day experienced greater improvements in insulin sensitivity than those who consumed berry-free smoothies
SUMMARYBerries may improve blood sugar and insulin response when consumed with high-carb foods or included in smoothies.
Berries are a good source of fiber, including soluble fiber. Studies show that consuming soluble fiber slows down the movement of food through your digestive tract, leading to reduced hunger and increased feelings of fullness.
This may decrease your calorie intake and make weight management easier
What's more, fiber helps reduce the number of calories you absorb from mixed meals. One study found that doubling your fiber intake could make you absorb up to 130 fewer calories per day (
In addition, the high fiber content of berries means that they’re low in digestible or net carbs, which are calculated by subtracting fiber from total carbs.
Here are the carb and fiber counts for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of berries
- Raspberries: 11.9 grams of carbs, 6.5 of which are fiber
- Blackberries: 10.2 grams of carbs, 5.3 of which are fiber
- Strawberries: 7.7 grams of carbs, 2.0 of which are fiber
- Blueberries: 14.5 grams of carbs, 2.4 of which are fiber
Note that a typical serving size for berries is 1 cup, which converts to about 4.4–5.3 ounces (125–150 grams) depending on the type.
Because of their low net carb content, berries are a low cab friendly food.
SUMMARYBerries contain fiber, which may increase feelings of fullness, as well as reduce appetite and the number of calories your body absorbs from mixed meals.
Berries are low in calories and extremely nutritious. In addition to being high in antioxidants, they also contain several vitamins and minerals.
Berries, especially strawberries, are high in vitamin C. In fact, 1 cup (150 grams) of strawberries provides a whopping 150% of the RDI for vitamin C .
With the exception of vitamin C all berries are fairly similar in terms of their vitamin and mineral content.
Below is the nutrition content of a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of blackberries
- Calories: 43
- Vitamin C: 35% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Manganese: 32% of the RDI
- Vitamin K1: 25% of the RDI
- Copper: 8% of the RDI
- Folate: 6% of the RDI
The calorie count for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of berries ranges from 32 for strawberries to 57 for blueberries, making berries some of the lowest-calorie fruits around
SUMMARYBerries are low in calories yet rich in several vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C and manganese.
Berries have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Inflammation is your body's defense against infection or injury.
However, modern lifestyles often lead to excessive, long-term inflammation due to increased stress, inadequate physical activity, and unhealthy food choices.
In one study in overweight people, those drinking a strawberry beverage with a high-carb, high-fat meal noticed a more significant decrease in certain inflammatory markers than the control group (
SUMMARYBerries may help reduce inflammation and decrease your risk of heart disease and other health problems.
Berries are a heart-healthy food.
Black raspberries and strawberries have been shown to help lower cholesterol in people who are obese or have metabolic syndrome
In an 8-week study, adults with metabolic syndrome who consumed a beverage made from freeze-dried strawberries daily experienced an 11% drop in LDL (bad) cholesterol
What's more, berries may help prevent LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized or damaged, which is believed to be a major risk factor for heart disease.
In a controlled study in obese people, those eating 1.5 ounces (50 grams) of freeze-dried blueberries for 8 weeks noticed a 28% reduction in their oxidized LDL levels
SUMMARYBerries have been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and help protect it from becoming oxidized, which may reduce your risk of heart disease.
Berries may help reduce skin wrinkling, as their antioxidants help control free radicals, one of the leading causes of skin damage that contributes to aging
Though research is limited, ellagic acid appears responsible for some of the skin-related benefits of berries.
Test-tube and animal studies suggest that this antioxidant may protect skin by blocking the production of enzymes that break down collagen in sun-damaged skin
Collagen is a protein that is part of your skin's structure. It allows your skin to stretch and remain firm. When collagen is damaged, your skin may sag and develop wrinkles.
In one study, applying ellagic acid to the skin of hairless mice exposed to ultraviolet light for eight weeks decreased inflammation and helped protect collagen from damage .
SUMMARYBerries contain the antioxidant ellagic acid, which may help decrease wrinkling and other signs of skin aging related to sun exposure.