For health benefits, can’t beat those berries
T here’s Chuck, Halle, Walter, Ken and Daryl ( Berry, Berry, Berry, Berry and Strawberry, that is!).
And while they all pack superpowers as actors or athletes, they can’t compete with the amazing health benefits of actual berries – particularly blueberries and strawberries.
Strawberries and blueberries contain anti- inflammatory nutrients called anthocyanins, a specific type of flavonoid that dilates blood vessels and keeps gunky plaque from building up on the inside of your arteries. And a study of 96,000 women in their 20s, 30s and 40s found that the risk of heart attack plummets 32 per cent from eating those berries three times a week.
That’s compared with those who eat the berries only once a month -- even if they consume a lot of other veggies and fruits.
Guys, just because you weren’t in this study, don’t think you won’t benefit from eating berries too – dig in. To get the benefits:
1. Eat them raw ( well- rinsed) and without added sugar. If you put them on 100 percent whole- grain cereal, you’ve got a major hearthealthy breakfast.( Remember, use non- fat milk or yogurt, or try almond, soy or walnut milk.) Also enjoy blackberries, black cranberries and raspberries – they, too, pack a wallop of heart- lovin’ anthocyanins.
2. Toss them into salads, and mix them up with fresh herbs ( mint or basil are great choices).
3. Cooked berries also rock -- they don’t lose their anti- inflammatory powers, but anthocyanin does degrade by 16 per cent to 41 per cent. Try a spicy fruit sauce flavoured with cayenne pepper, cilantro and diced tomatoes on baked fish or skinless chicken.