Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and cranberries, fresh, frozen, in the form of puree or juice, it doesn't matter. The important thing is to include berries in your diet! In fact, these juicy and tasty fruits are not only a precious source of fiber, vitamins and mineral salts, but also of powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances, even useful in counteracting obesity, excess of cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. This is what emerges from a very recent review published in the Food and Function magazine by an American team (Calvano et al, Food Funct, 2019).
Blueberry juice, cranberry or defrosted raspberries added to yogurt, but also delicious smoothies prepared with a puree of berries, in short, you are spoiled for choice. It is very easy nowadays to supplement your diet with berries, even when it is not the season. This is why the researchers decided to analyze the action of berries, taken in various forms such as juices, fresh or frozen fruits, on various health indicators such as blood sugar, body weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. To do this, the scientists drew on previous research and what emerged was that berries, taken in quantities compatible with a varied and balanced diet, are truly beneficial to health. In particular, mixed berries taken at lunch or dinner have been shown to counteract the hyperglycemic effect of sugar, white pasta and bread. In fact, berries, thanks to their fiber and anthocyanin content, slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, thus reducing the glycemic peak and the release of insulin, and counteract oxidative stress by protecting the work of the pancreas. The benefits of berries have also been seen in overweight or obese people. In fact, 40 grams per day of frozen strawberries eaten for breakfast has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels, reducing them by almost 13%. Then, 50 grams per day of frozen blueberries taken for 2 months in people diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, that is a condition characterized by the presence of more risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood sugar, high blood pressure and excess of abdominal fat, significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, bad LDL cholesterol and its oxidation, which increases the risk of arteriosclerosis. Cranberry juice has been shown to be hepatoprotective and effective against chronic inflammation, which is a condition that, in the long run, can increase the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, depression and can weaken the immune system. Not only that, 480 ml of cranberry juice was also able to reduce the oxidation of bad LDL cholesterol. Also a 125 gr serving of frozen raspberries has been shown to protect health by improving insulin sensitivity. These same beneficial effects have also been seen in people with type 2 diabetes.
In short, berries are not only delicious but also healthy and it is worth including them in your daily diet!