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Five Benefits of Five Berries

Berries aren’t just bursting with flavor, but body-boosting benefits too. Learn more about five of the best berries:

Raspberries fight free radicals

They are high in ellagic acid, an antioxidant that helps neutralize harmful “free radicals” that can lead to cancer. A study published in the Journal of BioFactors reported that raspberries contain almost 50 percent more antioxidant activity than strawberries. Raspberries have also been linked to a positive promotion in cardiovascular health. Raspberries are rich in vitamin C, fat-free and packed with fiber.

Blackberries relieve pain

They contain salicylate, a natural pain reliever that may help lower the risk of heart disease. The presence of large amounts of tannins that give blackberry roots and leaves an astringent effect useful for treating diarrhea are also helpful for soothing sore throats. A decoction of the leaves is useful as a gargle in treating thrush and also makes a good general mouthwash. The chewing of the leaves for bleeding gums goes back 2,000 years.

Strawberries promote eye health

The strawberry is a superstar when it comes to antioxidant power. In addition, 1 cup of strawberries gives you a whopping 140 percent of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Strawberries are also packed with flavonoids, two in particular, called quercetin and kaempferol. Research shows that these two flavonoids help keep “bad” (LDL) cholesterol from oxidizing and damaging artery walls. Other health benefits of strawberry include eye care, proper brain function, and relief from high blood pressure, arthritis and gout.

Gooseberries boost your immune system

This tart fruit beats oranges for vitamin C content, helping to boost the immune system and build skin-firming collagen. What makes this even more extraordinary is that unlike many other natural sources, the vitamin C content in gooseberry does not diminish with cooking. Gooseberries are also a good source of vitamin A, calcium, iron, and phosphorus, and are considered to be good for the liver and intestinal tract — they develop an alkaline ash when digested.

Blueberries beat cystitis

This fruit is another superstar when it comes to antioxidant power. In fact, scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Center have found that blueberries rank No. 1 in antioxidant benefits, compared to 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables. The blueberry also has compounds that reduce the risk of urinary tract infections by flushing bacteria from the bladder.

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