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Berry Bliss!

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One of they keys to healthy eating is focusing on nutritional density, and berries are the most nutritionally dense fruits out there, loaded with antioxidants such as flavonoids and antioxidant vitamins.  Here’s 5 reasons to load your diet with more berries… Great for your heart: In a 2011 study, consuming just one serving of blueberries a week decreased the risk of hypertension by 10%. And findings in the Nurses’ Health Study published in 2013 suggested that women eating three or more servings of blueberries or strawberries per week was linked to a 34% reduced risk of heart attack compared to a lower intakes of berries. How is this possible? Scientists found that in addition to the ability of berry flavonoids to combat oxidative stress, they also prevent the production of atherosclerotic plaque. Recovery aid: Ever woken up the day or two after an intense workout and been so sore that it became difficult and painful to do just about anything? That’s what physicians and scientists call delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and they think it’s due to inflammation created by tons of micro-tears in our muscles. And one of the best ways to reduce DOMS is by consuming loads of berries. A controlled study done on endurance athletes suggested that daily blueberry consumption significantly reduced oxidative stress and inflammation compared to a control group. Fight disease: berries are some of nature’s best sources of antioxidants, which guard against heart disease, cancer and age-related blindness. Of the berries commonly seen on produce shelves, blueberries contain the most. For even more antioxidant power, seek out elderberries and black currants. Fibre boost: A half-cup of blueberries contains almost two grams of fibre—about the same amount as a slice of whole-wheat bread. Also high in soluble fibres that help lower cholesterol are blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. Potassium power: Black, red and white currants are all excellent sources of potassium, a mineral that helps lower blood pressure. Gooseberries are also a good source.   References: 1. Cassidy A, Mukamal KJ, Liu L, et al. “High anthocyanin intake is associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarcation in young and middle-aged women.” Circulation. 2013, Jan. 2. Smith LL. “Acute inflammation: the underlying mechanism in delayed onset muscle soreness?” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 1991, May. 3. McAnulty LS, Nieman DC, Dumke CL, et al. “Effect of blueberry ingestion on natural killer cell counts, oxidative stress, and inflammation prior to and after 2.5 h of running.” Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 2011, Dec.
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