|Health Advice For U|
Berries contain natural sugars and wonderful flavours. Unlike many other foods that are really good for you, but which don’t taste good, berries taste great. Berries offer potential protection against cancer, a boost to the immune system, and a guard for the liver and brain. The purported anticancer properties of berry compounds have been attributed to their apparent ability to counteract, reduce, and repair damage resulting from oxidative stress and inflammation. They may also boost our levels of natural killer cells, a type of white blood cell that’s a vital member of the immune system’s rapid-response team against virus-infected and cancerous cells.
Berries such as Indian gooseberries, strawberries, blueberries and grapes are naturally high in antioxidants. These are the substances that fight the free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules in the human body. A free radical is simply a molecule that is missing an electron. As soon as a molecule loses one of its attached electrons, it becomes unstable and seeks to re-stabilize itself by stealing an electron from the nearest molecule. This causes the attacked molecule to then become a free radical, and starts a chain reaction. Ultimately as the process continues this can lead to cell damage.
If the human body is not able to process them, they can cause oxidative stress, which has been linked to heart disease, cancer, arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
Antioxidants are molecules loaded with extra free electrons. When we have enough antioxidants, the free radicals get their electrons from the antioxidants in our body, rather than stealing them from our cells.
Not only does Indian gooseberries (amla) is having antioxidant properties, they also slow down cancer cells and the berry’s tannins and flavonoids also seem to help destroy the cancer cells.
Blueberries have many uses as blueberry extract has been used in ancient herbal and medicinal treatments for thousands of years. Eating two thirds of a cup of blueberries will give you as much anti-oxidant protection as five servings of apples or squash.
Berries, with their high concentrations of antioxidants and nutrients help combat and can even reverse the aging process.
Berries help lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes too. It is always best to have whole, fresh fruit because antioxidants in berries lose their functionality when they come into contact with oxygen.
Berries that are rich in anthocyanins include red and black grapes, blackcurrants and strawberries. Anthocyanins are the compounds that give fruits their unique blue, purple and red colours. They bring down the risk of type 2 diabetes.
People who suffer from long-term conditions such as arthritis, sinusitis and asthma also experience chronic inflammation as their immune system is constantly fighting the condition. Chronic inflammation eventually leads to organ damage such as the heart in cardiovascular diseases or the brain in Alzheimer’s. The flavonoids, anthocyanins and other polyphenol compounds present in berries, especially amla, have potent anti-inflammatory properties that may stave off organ damage.
If you can’t eat raw amla, try pickling it. The sugars and salts present in homemade amla pickles preserve much of its antioxidants.
You can eat berries raw, add them to your favourite cereals, or make a smoothie drink with various berries, fruits, milk and yoghurt. If you can’t get fresh berries, dried berries are also filled with very concentrated levels of the valuable antioxidants.