You’ve probably heard the age-old saying, “the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice.” Well, new research shows that not only do these little, beautiful dark morsels of goodness taste great, but they may very well be healthier too. Purple berries such as elderberry, black currant, and chokeberry, have as much as 50 percent more of the antioxidants known as flavonoids than other berries.
Berries are known to have the highest concentration of antioxidants among all fruits and vegetables, and there have been studies touting the benefits of cranberries and blueberries, but little research has been done on their dark-colored counterparts. So researchers analyzed the antioxidant content of several varieties, including black currants, red currants, gooseberries, chokeberries, and elderberries. They measured two classes of antioxidants found in the purple berries, anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins.
Antioxidants are nutrients and enzymes that help repair and prevent damage to our cells caused by a process called oxidation. They are believed to play a role in preventing the development of some chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Results of the study showed that chokeberries were the richest in antioxidants, with 1,480 mg of anthocyanin concentration per 100 grams of fresh berries. Gooseberries had the lowest.
While these berries may not be as common as blueberries or strawberries, that could change as more find out about the incredible health benefits of the dark-skinned varieties. In the meantime, you may be able to find them in health food stores or at local farmers’ markets.
With that said, here’s three berries you should try to eat every day, if not every day, the make them apart of your weekly routine:
1. Blueberries – The blueberry is an antioxidant powerhouse. That deep blue color is related to high amounts of phytonutrients called anthocyanidins . These phytonutrients aid in the process of neutralizing free radical damage in our cells.
Overtime, the collagen matrix of our tissues and cells begins to deteriorate. Blueberries help to keep this from happening, with a high capacity for free-radical neutralization.
A recent study from Tufts University analyzed over 50 common fruits and vegetables for hard scientific data on their antioxidant capabilities. Blueberries consistently ranked at the top of this list.
2. Blackberries – Blackberries are more than just powerful antioxidants. They are also extremely high in some of the highest forms of chronic disease and cancer-fighting compounds: vitamins C, E, and ellagic acid. They also hold…