Millions of processes take place in our body every day, such as converting the food we eat into energy. These processes require oxygen. By-products that use oxygen are called oxidants, which are often referred to as “free radicals.” Free radicals can also enter our bodies through external sources such as tobacco smoke, pollution, and sun exposure. Just as oxidation can cause rust on the surface of some objects, free radicals can cause damage to cell walls, cell structures, and even a cell’s genetic material. When a cell’s genetic material is attacked, it can lead to changes in the “genetic blueprint” of the body’s DNA and has been linked to a number of health problems. 1
Antioxidants deactivate free radicals by binding to oxidants, thereby preventing the occurrence of damage. Diets rich in antioxidants, such as.B those containing vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and carotenoids (beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin), have been linked to a reduced risk of developing heart disease. 2
Berries 3 contain a variety of antioxidants that help keep free radicals under control. Anthocyanins, ellagic acid and resveratrol are types of antioxidants found in a selection of berries. One study showed that blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, along with pomegranates, have the highest antioxidant activity of commonly consumed fruits. 4
Studies suggest that the antioxidants in berries may help reduce inflammation. Long-term inflammation caused by chronic stress, sedentary lifestyles, and unhealthy eating habits can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, so 5 berries are really important to counteract these negative effects! But that’s not all berries can do.
Test-tube and human studies suggest that berries may protect cells from high blood sugar levels, increase insulin sensitivity, reduce blood sugar and the insulin response to high-carb meals. Importantly, these effects appear to occur in both healthy people and people with insulin resistance. 6
Berries are also an excellent source of soluble fiber, which is known to be important for slowing the movement of food through the digestive tract. This slower movement helps us feel full over a longer period of time. Ideally, this can help us eat less and make weight management easier. One study found that doubling fiber intake can help you consume up to 130 fewer calories per day. 7
Not surprisingly, berries are considered heart-healthy foods that can help lower LDL levels and protect bad cholesterol from oxidation, which can reduce the risk of heart disease. In a controlled study of obese people, those who ate 1.5 ounces (50 grams) of freeze-dried blueberries for 8 weeks noticed a 28% reduction in their oxidized LDL levels. 8
Berries are highly nutritious, can provide a variety of health benefits, and are easy to incorporate into an Active Wellness nutrition plan! Kenzen® Super Ciaga® – Powder makes it even easier if you have trouble getting fresh berries. Just combine it with PiMag® water or mix it into smoothies for an energy and antioxidant boost!
1, 2 https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/16739-antioxidants–heart-health
4, 5, 6, 7, 8. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-reasons-to-eat-berries#:~:text=Berries%20are%20some%20of%20the,cholesterol%2C %20beim%20Reduzieren%20oxidativen%20Stress