Antioxidants and the health benefits of berries

Antioxidants are found in Tasty Wild Berries

 

Antioxidants are abundant in wild berries. Wild berries are one of the healthiest fruits on the planet. One cup of the berries gives 13427 total antioxidants. They give an excellent source of antioxidants; vitamins A and C, flavonoids (quercetin and anthocyanin). That is around ten times the recommended level by USDA’s in just one cup.

Antioxidants and Flavonoids

Anthocyanin, a flavonoid a potent antioxidant responsible for the dark blue color in the wild berries.

Acai Berries and Blueberries were found to have strong health protection potential (Rodriguez et al, 2012). Researcher Ronald Prior Ph.D. from wild berries Association of America conducted a study on wild berries antioxidant capacity using a lab testing procedure called ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. He found that one-cup serving of Wild Berries has the total capacity (TAC) than 20 other fruits and vegetables, including strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, and plums.

Wild berries were also found to have two times the antioxidant power of ordinary berries, that is why they are an antioxidant leader. The total antioxidant capacity in raw wild berries is 9621 µmol TE/100 g

antioxidants health benefits and wild berries
Antioxidants are found in wild berries

How Antioxidants Work

Antioxidants are one the trending and hot topics of today because they help to protect our bodies from age-related risks. Every day, they are a wage battle between our body cells and free radicals (unstable oxygen molecules that are a byproduct of metabolism) (Bernstein et al, 2013).

When you are not getting enough antioxidants to the body, free radicals build up causing oxidative stress that is linked to cancer, diabetes, heart diseases and aging diseases. DNA damage by oxidative stress is the part of the reasons why we grow older and development of cancer disease (De Bont et al, 2004).

Antioxidants in Berries

The antioxidants from the wild berries such as anthocyanin, flavonoids have the capability of neutralizing the free radicals thus aid in preventing cell damage. Antioxidants also guard against inflammation, one of the leading factors to brain aging, Alzheimer’s disease and degenerative diseases.

One 4-week study was conducted with 168 participants, and every participant  was instructed to drink one litre of a mixture of blueberry and apple juice daily; the results indicated that they were 20% reduction of oxidative DNA damage (Wilms et al,2007).

antioxidants health benefits in wild berry smoothies
Berry smoothies are full of antioxidants

Antioxidants Health Benefits and Wild Berries

Wild blueberries have reasonable sugars when compared to other fruits. However, the bioactive compounds in them have appeared to outweigh negative impacts of sugar during blood sugar control. Anthocyanins in wild berries have significant effects on glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity (Martineau, 2006).

Wild berries protect blood cholesterol from damage. Oxidative damage is not only limited to the DNA and cells but also becomes problematic when LDL lipoproteins are oxidized. Thus, the antioxidants in wild berries cut the levels of oxidized LDL.

Wild Berries and Tea

Wild berries antioxidants prevent cancer, protect the brain from damage, and fight age-related diseases and high cholesterol in the body. Try a smoothie that is a combination of wild blueberries and black tea.

Earl Grey helps in digestion and highly rich in antioxidants. Earl has a compound bergamot that improves person’s mood, thus aids to overcome stress, depression, and anxiety. Helps in digestion and contributes to relieve painful digestion, nausea, and colic. Early grey has catechins, an antioxidant that fights oral infections.

For a stronger tea flavor, boil a ¼ cup of water; place Earl Grey in hot water for about 1-3 minutes. After the tea has steeped, pour the tea leaves and hot water into the blender and add ¾ of the remaining cup of cold water. Better still make the Tea a day ahead and freeze it into ice cubes Then add them to your wild berry smoothies and get an antioxidant fix.

Berry Smoothies full of Antioxidants

Kale, Berry and Coconut Milk Smoothie

Almond Milk Smoothie with Blueberries, Bananas and Grapes

Avocado Chocolate and Acai Berry Smoothie

REFERENCES

Bernstein, C., Prasad, A. R., Nfonsam, V., & Bernstein, H. (2013). DNA damage, DNA repair and cancer. New Research Directions in DNA Repair. InTech. doi, 10, 53919.

De Bont, R., & Van Larebeke, N. (2004). Endogenous DNA damage in humans: a review of quantitative data. Mutagenesis, 19(3), 169-185.

Meddah, B., … & Prentki, M. (2006). Anti-diabetic properties of the Canadian lowbush blueberry Vaccinium angustifolium Ait. Phytomedicine, 13(9), 612-623.