Berries are an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber. All berries, but particularly strawberries and raspberries, are rich in the protective antioxidant compound ellagic acid. In laboratory studies, this phytochemical has shown the ability to prevent cancers of the skin, bladder, lung, esophagus and breast.
Research suggests that ellagic acid seems to utilize several different cancer-fighting methods at once: it acts as an antioxidant, it helps the body deactivate specific carcinogens and it helps slow the reproduction of cancer cells.
Red Raspberries are also rich in cyanidins, quercetin and kaempferol and demonstrate anti-inflammatory activity, anti-cancer properties, and heart-protective benefits. The same compounds appear to play protective roles in reducing the risk of diabetes.
Strawberries contain a wide range of phytochemicals, called flavonoids, each of which seems to employ a similar array of anti-cancer strategies. Additionally strawberries contain quercetin and cholorogenic acids, all of which protect the heart, enhance metabolism, retard the aging process of our cells, reduce inflammation, and reduce the risk of many degenerative diseases.
Blueberries are especially high in potent purple pigments called anthocyanins. These blue colors are the most powerful antioxidants in nature, and also demonstrate anti-inflammatory activity and mood-enhancing properties.
The best news is that berries are low in sugar, unlike most fruits, and so you can eat as many as you wish. Here's to a cup of berries a day! ♥