We all want to stay healthy. Trying to keep up with the latest research about what foods we should eat and in what amounts is enough to drive us to pizza. Never fear, though, because some of the most delicious, most versatile foods, berries, top the list in many studies of healthy foods. Though the scientific research into the thousands of compounds that make berries good for us continues, you can rest assured that adding these stars to every meal can make a positive impact on your health. In honor of Heart Month, here are 7 ways berries are good for your heart.
Berries are high in fiber. Fiber helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It also helps people feel fuller longer so they are less likely to overeat. Aronia berries, with over 7 grams of fiber per 100 grams, top the charts for berries. Raspberries and blackberries follow close behind with about 6.5 and 5.28 grams respectively.
Many berries are rich in polyphenols, a type of plant compound naturally found in foods that can act as antioxidants. Scientists have identified over 8,000 types of polyphenols that have many positive effects on the body. They are linked to decreased inflammation, which reduces the risk of chronic disease, lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), and higher HDL cholesterol (the good kind). They might even reduce the risk of blood clots.
3. Vitamin C
Berries are an excellent source of Vitamin C, an essential vitamin that our bodies cannot produce and a powerful antioxidant. We all know that Vitamin C boosts our immune systems, but it also helps manage our blood pressure and lowers our risk of heart disease. One cup of strawberries can provide 150% of our daily required intake of Vitamin C.
4. Folate or Vitamin B-9
Folate or Vitamin B-9, helps produce healthy red blood cells. It also works with Vitamins B-6 and B-12 to lower homocysteine levels in the blood, which reduces our risk of heart and blood vessel disease. Humans require about 400 micrograms of folate per day. A serving of aroniaberries contains 200 micrograms of folate.
Magnesium is an important heart-healthy mineral. Deficits of magnesium have been linked to a variety of disorders that affect the heart such as high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems, and coronary artery spasm. Humans require about 310-420 mg per day. Though bananas are the berry with the highest concentration of magnesium (Yes, bananas are berries!), other berries contain a significant amount of this healthy mineral as well.
Potassium is another mineral our hearts need to function well. It is a type of electrolyte. The job it does for our hearts is essential; it triggers them to beat. Potassium literally helps our hearts keep doing their jobs. Many berries (including bananas!) contain significant amounts of potassium.
Berries provide a significant portion of our daily required manganese. Manganese, a trace mineral, is linked to heart health. It is a vasodilator, which means it enlarges blood vessels to ease blood flow and decreases risks of some damaging conditions such as stroke. Our bodies do not make manganese, but we can store it. Less than one cup of blackberries provides more than 30% of our daily required amount of manganese.
While it might be hard to keep track of all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need, one thing you can trust is that adding berries to your diet daily helps you reach many of your required daily amounts without stress. The versatility of berries guarantees that you’ll never grow tired of them. Aronia berries are some of the best berries for you; they top the charts in antioxidants and contain more anthocyanins and flavonoids than most other popular berries. Superberries Frozen Aronia Berries, Aronia Berry Juice Concentrate, and Aronia berry Gummy Chews provide you with unlimited options for including these superfoods into your daily diet.