Eat Berries for Sweet Health Benefits

These little fruits pack a big health punch thanks to their stores of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants.

| June 13, 2006


Berries are one of the best sources of anthocyanins, a class of natural compounds protective against cancer and cardiovascular disease.


Want a great-tasting way to protect yourself against cancer, strokes, heart and vascular disease, plus the effects of aging? Eat more berries!

Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and mulberries are positively bursting with vitamins, fiber and compounds like flavonoids, which act as antioxidants.

Blueberries are compact sources of ellagic acid, a particularly powerful antioxidant. In a study by Tufts University, blueberries were shown to help reverse defects in memory, cognition and motor function associated with aging.

The antioxidant quercetin, which is stored in the skins of dark berries, protects against cancers and works best when combined with vitamin C — and berries just happen to be one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin C. Rutin, a flavonoid found in berries, has also shown protective effects against ulcers.

Mulberries are rich in resveratrol, another compound that has cancer-preventing abilities. And like other berries, mulberries have plenty of anthocyanins. Not only is this class of natural compounds protective against cancer and cardiovascular disease, it has even shown antiviral and antibacterial properties. In fact, berries are one of the best sources of anthocyanins, which give fruits and vegetables their red, blue and purple colors. Usually, the darker the berry, the higher the concentration of anthocyanins.

Perhaps the best thing about berries is that they’re a satisfying sweet, healthy snack that tastes good and is good for you, too.

9/7/2011 6:53:09 AM

Sadly berries that are really good for us are loaded with pesticides and fungicides. Find a farmers market in the spirng and summer, you can meet the growers and ifnd out how they care for their plants, and load up on the berries and freeze. Easy and much cheaper. Please don't buy in stores unless marked as truly loccal. It ins't hard to grow your self, each state has support through the Extension System, local county agents or Master Gardeners. You can get a blueberry bush that is dwarf and you only need one unlike the regular shrubs. Strawberries you can grow in containers also. I have a dwarf blueberry that has had berreis for 4 or 5 years and i will plant more to offset any that I buy from my market. 3 or 4 of those rectangle Ziploc type boxes can hold a lot of berries for the winter. Different types of berries can be planted right into the ornamental garden beds and give you lots of fruit. You should not rinse berries until yo thaw them, they should be totally dry when you freeze them.

dianne shuntich
8/31/2009 11:50:00 AM

I wanted to ask Mr. Genovese, or anyone else who might know: How would you make tea from mulberry leaves? Mr. Genovese mentioned making it with the green leaves. Do you not have to dry them first? If so, do you just leave them out in the sun? Put them in a low oven? For how long at what temp? Thanks in advance for any help.

dianne shuntich
8/31/2009 11:44:01 AM

Can I reply directly to someone who left a comment and ask them something, or does it have to go on the forum?

gary genovese
3/16/2009 8:27:50 AM

I have recently moved to Laos as it got to hard to survive in America. My wife and I have been here 1 year already and we have been enjoying our Organic Mulberries twice a year when they grow on our Mulberry trees. I am sure you have heard by now how great the green leaves of the Mulberry tree is. It taste like mild green tea from Japan and it's twice the amount of calsium than regular green tea and there is no caffeine in this tea too. And it is the only tea in the world that has all 18 Amino Acids in it. It has been proven to help stop type 2 diabetes and helps relieve cholestrol too. It has so many benefits to mention here. We have been drinking Mulberry green tea for 4 years now and I see the difference in my body. We use to import it to USA but now that e live here where it grows it is to expensive to send it there for sale.

judi ciccone
6/14/2006 12:00:00 AM

I try only to eat organic - but organic berries are so very expensive. What about the conventional berries - how good are they? Lots of pesticides? I know strawberries that are not organic are loaded with pesticides.

meibao nee
6/14/2006 12:00:00 AM

Berries are very good for us, however, we are eating berries out of season and flown in from countries in the Southern Hemisphere. It is expensive, does not conserve oil (Peak Oil), and buys into corporate America trying to look like they care about our health. Also, ever notice Cascadian Farm organic frozen berries--how the amount keeps shrink? It went from 16 oz to 11.5 oz! Protest. Stop buying it or call them on this. Read the labels and notice how we are getting less for our dollar. Vote with your dollar. Thank you.

milliann johnson_1
6/13/2006 12:00:00 AM

Had the great pleasure of bringing in a blueberry crop a couple years ago. We harvested commercial and a U-pick crop. I delighted our younger visitors with summer heat relief by giving them berries that were whole & frozen. These were not like the wimpy berries you see in the grocer, some were the size of quarters. And the great thing is you lightly rinse, lay on towel to dry. get large baking sheet lay out not touching, place in freezer, depending on your freezer usually well frozen in less than an hour. Can save in zip lock baggies. For whatever reason these were so much richer, sweeter and satisfying. Great Hot day snack.

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