We’ve all heard about how great berries are for you, and that’s wonderful news because they also taste great. But what is it that these little gems truly provide that is better than any other kind of fruit?
For many of them, it is actually the pigment that gives them their deep, rich, or vibrant colors. These pigments are often made of disease-fighting, powerful antioxidants. So whether you like blueberries that are purple, deep red, vibrant red, purple, or even nearly black, these shades are helping your body to protect itself against a large range of medical conditions ranging from cancer to heart disease.
In the scientific world, antioxidants in food are measured using a test called Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC). The higher the number of the ORAC value of a given food, the greater its level of antioxidants.
The average ORAC value of produce that is fresh or lightly cooked is usually between 600 and 800 units per serving. But berries contain far more than those figures, meaning that in a small amount of food, you can give yourself a massive dose of healthy antioxidants that will help to keep your body healthy. This is great news to people who want to be healthy as a whole, as well as to individuals who are trying to lose weight, because berries are also a popular desert treat that assists in keeping that sweet tooth under control.
One cup of blueberries has a 5486 ORAC value. A cup of blackberries have a value of 4654, strawberries have 3520, and raspberries still have a respectable 2789. Scientists feel that an individual who consumes antioxidants between the range of 2000 and 5000 ORAC units every day may be able to boost the body’s supply to such a degree that it will improve overall health. Clearly, a cup of berries is all that is needed to accomplish that goal. You certainly can’t say that about most other sweet desserts!
Beyond antioxidants, berries also come with a range of additional nutritional benefits. They are often very high in vitamins, as well as a spectrum of minerals. Therefore, eating a cup of berries as your dessert in the evening can not only help you to boost your antioxidant levels and overall disease fighting ability, but you will also be giving yourself a dose of healthy nutrition to help to better round out your overall diet.