The benefits of berries are extensive. Berries offer super nutrition disguised as nature’s candy. I watched the blackberry bushes when I was a child with great anticipation. I braved rattlesnakes and wasps to pick those berries! The sun would be hot but my mom’s kitchen was cool as I proudly deposited my treasure onto the kitchen table. However, the sweet juiciness of those berries was only a small part of their appeal.
Berries are an excellent source of fiber, including soluble fiber. Since soluble fiber slows food down as it passes through your digestive tract, you stay full longer. One study indicated that doubling your fiber may result in eating about 130 calories less per day. (1) This could result in losing about a pound every month.
Low carbohydrates are one of the benefits of berries. Net carbs are the grams of carbohydrates in a food minus the fiber that it contains. Since the Net Carbs are the only carbs that are digested, they are the carbs we count. Blueberries contain 14.5 grams of carbs and 2.4 of fiber or 12.1 grams of Net Carbs per 100 grams. Strawberries have 7.7 grams of carbs with 2 grams of fiber or 5.7 grams of Net Carbs. Blackberries are higher in fiber at 5.3 grams and have 4.9 grams of Net Carbs. The fiber king is raspberries, having 6.5 grams and only 5.4 grams of Net Carbs. Because berries are sweet and satisfying they are a natural dessert alternative with very low Net Carbs.
Benefits of Berries Include Taste!
Berries can make even plain food special. I love to add partially thawed, frozen berries to plain, full-fat Greek yogurt. I add Splenda to taste and I have a rich, decadent dessert. Fresh blackberries on top of oatmeal and sprinkled with Splenda make a filling, sweet breakfast. Cottage cheese can be bland. Add blueberries and your 0 calorie sweetener of choice for a nutritious, delightful snack. Berries pair very well with many good protein sources. Read David’s article Pragmatic View On Protein for guidelines on protein.
Various Benefits of Berries
There is evidence that berries may help improve blood sugar levels when they are eaten with high carbohydrate foods that usually raise blood sugar. Since the fiber in berries slows absorption of the carbs, blood sugar is more stable. Berries are also rich in antioxidants which may help protect you from free radical damage and improve the appearance of your skin. They are highly nutritious with a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Berries have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Since inflammation is the beginning of most diseases, including most cancers, berries could replace the apple in “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Now that’s good medicine!