When we talk of berries most of us think of the acai berry diet and acai berry weight loss, but there are other delicious and juicy berries that work equally well in promoting weight loss in a healthy way. Berries, the ideal fruits to enjoy with ice creams or turn into a delicious smoothie have been upheld by dieticians and health conscious people because of their endless health benefits and now research shows that berries are one of the best fruits for weight loss. We are often faced by the question what fruits are good for losing weight? The answer lies in these tiny juicy fruits. It is always better to enjoy a combination of various kinds of berries rather than eating only one type. The best berries for weight loss are blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. Berries aid in weight management by boosting up the metabolism process that enhances calorie burn. And being loaded with fibers, it helps in maintaining satiety and preventing food cravings.
The Weight Loss Mechanism of Berries
There is a wide range of health benefits of berries and these juicy fruits have been in the spotlight for quite some time because they are considered the magic fruit that help with weight loss. But there is a mechanism behind the weight loss benefits of berries. It helps in losing weight with its fivefold benefit.
Rich Source of Antioxidants
Berries are the best fruits for juicing weight loss because berries are storehouse of antioxidants and these antioxidants help in neutralizing free radical damage and protects the body against various chronic diseases. There is also a strong link between antioxidants and weight loss. Research shows that those who consume more antioxidants through their foods weight less, even if they don’t eat fewer calories. These who consume more plant-based products rich in antioxidants have smaller waistlines and lower percentage of total body fat compared to those who eat a diet high in sugar, meat and fried foods. So, a healthy diet for weight loss must include antioxidants, especially berries.
Regulation of Blood Sugar
Berries are considered the most effective fruits that help in weight loss because they help in controlling insulin response in the body. A cup of strawberries with a meal can help in reducing blood sugar level and insulin level after meals. The antioxidants present in strawberries slow down the efficiency of the enzymes that rapidly break down starch into simple sugar.
Therefore, lesser quantity of sugar is released into the blood stream that helps in lowering the blood sugar level. This mechanism is extremely important for weight management, because excessive release of insulin stores more sugar in the fat cells. Therefore, enjoy a cup of juicy strawberries along with your meals.
Boost the Metabolism
Berries are considered the perfect weight loss fruits because they help in speeding up the body’s metabolism, thereby enhancing the fat burning process. A natural substance known as ketones, found in raspberries work in a similar way like capsaicin to pump up body’s metabolism and prevent the increase of total body fat and visceral fat. It is especially effective in burning the deep-seated internal belly fat which helps in reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, heart attack, stroke, Type 2 Diabetes and certain forms of cancer. So, munch on these delicious fruits or toss a few berries in your cereal or smoothies with kiwi and other fruits.
Rich Source of Fiber
Yet another reason to eat berries for weight loss is that berries are loaded with fiber that plays an important role in weight loss. Research shows that for each gram of fiber consumed our body eliminates 7 calories. Berries provide a good combination of carbohydrates and fiber, both of which are essential for weight management. A cup of raspberries contains 15 grams of carbohydrates, out of which 8 grams are fiber. The high fiber content of the berries helps in maintaining satiety for a prolonged period and reduces food cravings making it one of the healthy snacks to eat at night. So, enjoy a glass of raspberry smoothie in between meals to keep yourself fuller for longer.
Reduces Belly Fat
The functions of berries for weight loss is especially effective in burning the deep-seated belly fat that is extremely difficult to get rid of. Regular consumption of blueberries helps in a significant reduction of belly fat. It also aids in lowering the level of cholesterol in the blood and improving the level of insulin for better blood sugar control. It can be combined with effective exercise to remove belly fat to get a toned abdomen. So, make it a point to munch on a handful of blueberries every day to get a flat, toned belly.
Other Health Benefits of Berries
Berries are not just the perfect weight loss foods; they have various other health benefits as well. They are one of the best anti aging fruits. Being loaded with potent phytochemicals, these tiny, juicy fruits fight the cell damage caused by oxygen-free radicals and oxidative stress and keep fatal diseases such as cancer at bay. So, enjoy a bowlful of delicious strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries every day to ensure a healthy body.
Enhanced Brain Functions
One of the most popular benefits of eating berries is improving cognitive functions. Berries such as blueberries and strawberries help in keeping the mind sharp and delays cognitive decline in older individuals. A type of flavonoid known as anthocyanidins found in berries can cross the blood-brain barrier and find its way to the memory and learning centers of the brain and help in enhancing the functioning of this specific region of the brain. Protect your brain and slow down the progress of age-related mental decline by consuming one serving of berries on a daily basis.
Efficient Diabetes Management
Berries and diabetes management don’t go quite hand in hand because berries are sweet. But, this sweetness has nothing to do with diabetes because they are loaded with carbohydrates and fiber – both of which form essential parts of the diabetic diet.
Therefore, berries should be included in the fruits serving of diabetic patients. The fiber present in the berry fruit takes time to break down in the intestine, leading to slow and consistent release of glucose in the blood that helps to maintain blood sugar at a balanced level. But it is better to eat whole berries rather that drinking the juice or consuming them in the form of smoothie.
Fight and Prevent Cancer
Berries are one of the best cancer-fighting foods as well. Being loaded with flavonoid and antioxidants, blueberries and raspberries are often included in cancer-prevention strategies. The antioxidants present in berries protect the cells from the damage caused be free radical molecules and slow down the development of cancer.
The antioxidant compounds present in blueberries and raspberries are anthocyanosides, resveratrol and ellagic acid that help in reducing the risk of colon cancer and breast cancer.
The high concentration of minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and manganese along with Vitamin K in berries, specifically blueberries help in enhancing the strength of bones and maintaining a strong bone structure. The two vital minerals iron and zinc play a crucial role in increasing the elasticity of joints and bones thereby, reducing the risk of fractures. Deficiency of vitamin K has also been linked to increased risk of bone fracture. Optimum consumption of vitamin K also improves calcium absorption in the body and reduces calcium loss.
Lowering Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor that leads to various heart diseases and stroke. The bioactive compounds (flavonoids) called anthocyanin present in strawberries and blueberries help in controlling hypertension. The flavonoid helps in relaxing the walls of the blood vessels so that a greater amount of blood can flow through the veins.
The endothelial cells present in the inner linings of blood vessels produce nitric oxide that regulates blood pressure. The flavonoids boost up the activity of the enzymes in the endothelial cells, which in turn enhances nitric oxide production. Hypertensive and pre-hypertensive individuals can reap amazing benefits by consuming berries on a daily basis. Therefore, berries must be included in the high blood pressure diet chart.
Preventing Heart Diseases
The high concentration of dietary fiber, folate, potassium and vitamin C in berries along with phytonutrients helps in improving cardiovascular health. The fiber present in berries lowers the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decreases the chance of developing heart diseases. Folate helps in preventing the build-up of homocysteine – a compound that damages the blood vessels. Regular intake of at least three servings of berries – blueberries or strawberries can reduce the risk of heart attack significantly. It can be considered one of the effective home remedies for heart health.
Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Blueberries and cranberries can help in keeping the urinary tract healthy by preventing the multiplication of bacteria on the bladder walls. The presence of proanthocyanidin (PAC) in cranberries makes it an effective remedy for treating and preventing urinary tract infections (UTI). Certain types of infection causing bacteria such as strains of E.coli can latch on to the linings of the urinary tract and cause infections. But the proanthocyanidin makes it difficult for the bacteria to survive and expand in the urinary tract thereby, treating urinary tract infections from the root.
Prevent Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common forms of dementia – a form of progressive degenerative disorder that affects the brain and leads to memory loss. Although, the exact reason for Alzheimer’s is not known, but research shows that people who have beta-amyloid plaques in their brain cells are at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. But the potent bioactive components anthocyanosides present in berries prevent the formation of beta-amyloid plaques and prevent memory impairment as well as age-related cognitive decline.
How to Select and Store Berries?
Following a few tips and techniques while buying berries at a store can help you in selecting the fresh ones.
- Choose berries that have firm skin and flesh with a bright and uniform colour.
- Shake the container to see whether the berries move freely, If they do then they are fresh and if they stick to each other then they may be damaged and moldy.
- Don’t buy berries that have soft skin and water texture along with dull skin colour.
- The berries you select should be free of moisture, because it can speed up decay.
- Once you bring the berries back home, sort them and remove any moldy and damaged berries.
- Don’t wash the berries till you decide to consume them.
- Keep ripe berries in a refrigerator in a covered container.
- You can also buy frozen berries, but they texture and flavor of the berries with be slightly altered.
Now that you have got so many reasons to enjoy berries, include these delicious fruits in your balanced diet chart for weight loss and relish its other health benefits as well.