7 Berries You Should Eat Everyday

Berries have been shown to be some of the healthiest foods on the planet. Every month or so it seems new research is being published and new berries are being discovered and analyzed for their health giving properties.

Extremely high in antioxidants, berries rank among my favorite foods. So here is my list of different kinds of berries that are extremely high health benefits (in no specific order).

1. Goji Berries

Traditional societies link this potent berry to sexual vitality, happiness, longevity, and overall physical strength. Grown in Tibet and Nepal, goji berries have been scientifically linked to possessing the ability to fight negative health conditions and protect the liver from contaminates.

Deep red in color, goji berries are composed of 18 essential amino acids, 21 trace minerals, vitamins B1, B2, B6, and E, linoleic acid, selenium, germanium, and more amounts of beta carotene than the common orange carrot.

A study from the Chinese Journal of Oncology found that patients with cancer responded better to treatment when goji berries were added to their daily diet.

Other Names for Goji Berries: Chinese Wolfberry, Mede Berry

2. Blueberries

The blueberry is literally an antioxidant powerhouse. That famous deep blue color is related to high amounts of phytonutrients called anthocyanidins [1]. These phytonutrients aid in the process of neutralizing free radical damage in our cells.

Over time, the collagen matrix of our tissues and cells begins to deteriorate. Blueberries help to keep this from happening, with the highest capacity for free-radical neutralization of any other berry.

A recent study from Tufts University analyzed over 50 common fruits and vegetables, looking for hard scientific data on their antioxidant capabilities. Blueberries consistently came out on top of this list. Blueberries aid in the ability of the body to synthesize vitamin C, as well as improve the integrity of capillaries and tissues.

Blueberries also help to reduce our chances of developing diseases related to inflammation of the cells. This includes a reduced risk for heart disease, many types of cancer, cataracts, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, glaucoma, and peptic ulcers.

The American Institute for Cancer Research has stated the following in reference to this powerful blue fruit: “We now know that blueberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants, substances that can slow the aging process and reduce cell damage that can lead to cancer.”

3. Acai Berries

The acai berry is a relatively new-found health treasure. Once only known in the forests of the Amazon rainforest, the acai berry was traditionally used as a powerfully healing, energy-boosting fruit.

Similar to red wine, acai berries are dense in levels of anthocyanins, a substance associated with heart health and lowered levels of cholesterol.

Due to their strong antioxidant contents, acai berries are also related to slowing the process of aging and preventing diseases related to cellular oxidative damage. In fact, one acai berry holds ten times the amount of antioxidant vitamins as grapes, and two times the amount of blueberries.

4. Bilberries

Three times smaller than the blue berry, but similar in appearance and flavor, bilberries are extremely high in antioxidant anthocyanidins.

Bilberries are a well-known fruit for helping diabetes, as anthocyanidins protect the lining in our blood vessels from being degenerated through the process of toxic oxidation.[2] Bilberries have also been linked to possessing components that aid in the ability to increase night vision, protect the eyes, and reduce the occurrence of poor vision, cataracts, and macular degeneration.[3]

Bilberries also hold components that increase the amount of blood flow to the circulatory vessels. This fact allows them to be useful in treating conditions related to circulatory problems such as varicose veins and hemorrhoids. Bilberries are best taken in a supplement or extract form.

Other Names for Bilberries: Huckleberry, Wineberry, Dyeberry

5. Strawberries

With over 600 varieties of strawberries on the earth, you won’t have to look hard to find this deep-red health booster. Like most other berries, strawberries are high in antioxidant phytonutrients known as phenols. Phenols are responsible for protecting the heart from disease, reducing risks of cancer, and acting as an overall anti-inflammatory fruit.

Studies show that strawberries may also help protect our brains from age-related mental debility, due to a powerful antioxidant capacity. Strawberries also reduce macular degeneration of the eyes, and are an excellent source of potassium, fiber, many B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, iodine, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and copper.

One study from Cornell University [4] demonstrated that strawberries stopped the proliferation of HepG(2) liver cancer cells. Another study showed that a substance found in the berry called isothiocyanate inhibited esophageal cancer.

6. Blackberries

Blackberries are more than just powerful antioxidants. They are also extremely high in some of the highest forms of chronic disease and cancer-fighting compounds: vitamins C, E, and ellagic acid.

They also hold high levels of a soluble fiber known as pectin, a substance that studies link to lowered levels of cholesterol. Related to the rose, lab studies on these thorny-bushed berries at Ohio State University showed the ability to stop tumor formation in the oral cavity, as well as proliferation of colon cancer cells.

7. Cherries

Cherries are high in quercetin and ellagic acid. This antioxidant flavonoid has been shown to act as an anti-cancer agent in cells and tissues.

Cherries are also high in anthocyanins and bioflavonoids, substances related to reducing the symptoms of arthritis, inflammatory conditions and migraine headaches. Cherries also contain melatonin, an important natural chemical related to healthy sleep rhythms and maintaining a youthful appearance.

Growing Your Own Berries

Most berries are fairly easy to grow in your backyard and fun to pick and eat first thing in the morning for breakfast. I do recommend all berries should be organically certified of course. Although not listed as one of my favorite berries, raspberries are extremely high in ellagic acid and also have tremendous health benefits.

What are your favorite berries? Let me know in the comments below.

 

References:

1. "Anthocyanins in aged blueberry-fed rats are found centrally and may enhance memory," Nutritional Neuroscience, Volume 8, Number 2, April, 2005 , pp. 111-120(10)

2. "Direct vasoactive and vasoprotective properties of anthocyanin-rich extracts," J Appl Physiol. 2006 Apr;100(4):1164-70. Epub 2005 Dec 8.

3. "Dietary supplementation with bilberry extract prevents macular degeneration and cataracts in senesce-accelerated OXYS rats," Adv Gerontol. 2005;16:76-9.

4. "Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of strawberries," J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Nov 5;51(23):6887-92.

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About the author

author-picture

Dr. Edward F. Group III has his Naturopathic Doctorate, Clinical Herbalist, Holistic Health Practitioner, Clinical Nutritionist certifications, and is a Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition and the American Board of Functional Medicine. He founded Global Healing Center Inc. in 1998 which has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

A dynamic author and speaker, Dr. Group focuses solely on spreading the message of health and wellness to the global community with the philosophy of full body cleansing, most importantly colon cleansing, consuming pure clean organic food, water, air, exercise and nutritional supplementation. Visit GlobalHealingCenter.com to learn more about living green and healthy!


Comments

Anonymous's picture
1

Roger

I wished you had used the words "organic or home grown" while extolling the benefits of certain berries. Most all store-bought berries are loaded with as many as 16 different pesticides with strawberries and blueberries ranking among the highest in pesticide contamination which CANNOT be washed off! I believe blackberries and black raspberries are also on the list. As far as the other berries you have listed I do not know. The FDA has recently approved a pesticide (the name escapes me) for California strawberry growers only that has been found to be particularly harmful to humans! That's the FDA for you working for the consumer's best interests!

jlw1969's picture
2

Loretta Watson

I freeze blueberries and strawberries so I can make delicious frosty beverages using a little Greek yogurt and filtered water in my blender with some Stevia. Yummmm. In the morning I make a shake with frozen blueberries and strawberries and pineapple and banana and a raw egg in my blender, topping everthing off with raw milk. Blend until smooth and creamy. Double yumm

Boomer12k's picture
3

Boomer12k

Loretta, I am with you!
I put 1/4 cup filtered water, 1/3 of a can, frozen low acid orange concentrate, I cut the concentrate into 3rds. I put in 1-2 handfulls of frozen Blueberries, and 4-5 Strawberry and low fat yogurt, and blend for a 4 cup Breakfast!!!! YUMMY!!!!!

Be Well and Happy!
Steve

Anonymous's picture
4

Blessedgreatly

I'm sure Dr. Group means well, but can we get into the realm of reality here? Getting in all SEVEN of his recommended berries would be a tremendous challenge logistically and financially for even one person. Now multiply that out to a family of three or more! The prior comments posted here include a couple of the recommended berries, evidently missing the point of the article. Group is recommending all SEVEN every day. I assumed he was promoting a product that actually had all of these in one supplement, but didn't find it. I'm waiting for some knowledgeable health professional to make it clear to me exactly how to get these superfoods in in ways and amounts that can actually be done. The suggestion to grow your own at the end of the article is lame. People hold down jobs, live in apartments, etc., etc. Even if they live in the country, one of these berries grows in the Amazon and another one is from mountainous areas in China, I believe. And to get cherries to produce would take years and lots of attention. The vast majority of us are not farmers. Reality; possibility. Sorry Dr. Group for sort of "going off" on you, but what you have proposed is utterly unrealistic. As I see it, the best way to go on this issue is to eat as many of the good fruits/berries as you realistically can (season of year, costs, etc.) and supplement with the rest. What is the evidence I need ALL of these every day?

Thanks.

Anonymous's picture
5

lajoy

all of the above or any combination with one added ingredient - whey protein made from the raw milk of grass fed cows - no sugar added - delicious

Anonymous's picture
6

Anonymous

I agree with Blessedgreatly, this article is totally unrealistic. Bilberries? Are you serious? I have never seen these in any grocery store, farmers market, or roadside stand in my entire life. And I also have to second Roger's comments on organic vs. non-organic berries. Pesticides are a major concern for me in the produce section so I wouldn't buy any berries out of season, not even bilberries.

Anonymous's picture
7

Harley

Roger:

You wrote in part...

Most all store-bought berries are loaded with as many as 16 different pesticides with strawberries and blueberries ranking among the highest in pesticide contamination which CANNOT be washed off!

NOT SO!!! It is easily 'washed off' with 11.5 pH water from an Enagic water ionizer. And by the way, 9.5pH Kangen water is a much better than ANY berry on the planet, and it's WATER.. It is also an EXCELLENT anti-inflamatory.
So there!!

Anonymous's picture
8

Smithson

Oh for goodness sake get a grip. The good Doc is not suggesting you have to eat EVERY single one of these berries EVERY single day. It's a language thing. Just stop for a moment and reread the title and opening. Do you REALLY think he means you have to shove all of these berries down every day? He obviously means you should be eating healthy berries everyday and here are some of the best.

Why is it that people are (A) so darn literal and (B) so darn angry all the time?

This is a nice useful article with some good information on how certain berries are good for you. Why blow it up into something much bigger than that? If you can find these varieties in your area then try them. If you can grow some of them at home then do. If not then just move on.

And if you take a breath for a moment and just look at this doctor's biography, or his other articles, or his website you can easily see he is an advocate of organic eating.

It is amazing to me how some people just love to find fault and seem to look for opportunities to tear people down instead of just saying "Thanks for sharing that with me." Yet those people never seem to contribute anything of their own.

Thanks Dr. Group for this good information. I learned a lot and I will certainly be trying a couple of these that I have not had before. And lajoy I love your idea of combining several into a delicious shake!

Anonymous's picture
9

GardenMom

Harley you are off base on the washing all the pesticides off. You can certainly wash some of the surface pesticides off with water and gentle scrubbing but some pesticides are incorporated right into the fruits and vegetables as they grow. They are in the skin and flesh and washing them is not going to get rid of those. Best is to go organic whenever you can with most fruits and vegetables...scrubbing and peeling those that aren't organic and for the soft ones like berries always go organic or not at all.

Anonymous's picture
10

Danu

I live in Quebec, near the US border. Lots of huge (& therefore maybe dubious...) strawberries from California (didn't knew about the new pesticide...thanks) I fight my type 2 diabetes & overweight with diet & had excellent results (on & off)... Of course, the article is very useful but as was said not totally realistic. I am an artist, not rich, & if junk food is cheap the good stuff (organic or not, fruits are not cheap...) is expensive... AREN't CRANBERRIES also an excellent choice/ (I've read they are, especially for the males over 50...)?

Anonymous's picture
11

Lori

Harley - I checked out the water system you've mentioned but read nothing about washing off pesticides. Any research you can point me to? The problem with alot of fruit and pesticides is that the chemicals get into the pulp of the fruit, particularly if the fruit (or veggie like celery) has a high water content. They don't just sit on the surface.

Anonymous's picture
12

Lori

I've been finding lately that when I click on a comment, it's not there. Is it just me??

Alice Wessendorf's picture
13

Alice Wessendorf

Thanks for the heads up on the comment problem Lori. Checking into it now.

Dquixote1217's picture
14

Tony Isaacs

Organic would be an infinitely better choice than store bought, but even then often we find pesticide contamination to some degree. Better by far would be to grow your own and keep the chemical toxins away.

Water better than berries? Hmmmm . . . one thing is for sure, you may be able to wash a good amount of surface pesticides off berries and other produce, but you cannot wash pesticides OUT of produce.

For a healthy breakfast or anytime drink, blend some of those berries and a banana with some raw, organic goats milk and a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses and perhaps some added raw organic honey. Mmmmmmmm!

You can also consume berries with unflavored organic yogurt and a bit of honey. Maybe add some organic nuts and/or granola if you want a bit of crunch. Or do the same with the goats milk and an organic flaxseed cereal . . .

Besides the above suggestions, I just got in my back-ordered Vert 330 HD juicer and you can bet that berries are going to among the items that I feed into it.

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