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
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
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
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
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
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.