Berries - the little all-rounders
Berries are typical summer fruits that are harvested in Germany from June. The many different berry varieties offer a wide selection.Botanically, berries include elderberries, blueberries, redcurrants and cranberries, as well as citrus fruits such as lemons, dates, kiwis and avocados. Strictly speaking, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are not berries, but are categorised as soft fruit due to their fruit properties.Berries not only taste delicious, but are also very healthy thanks to their numerous beneficial ingredients. This is because they contain various vitamins, minerals, secondary plant substancesfibre. Fibre also stimulates intestinal activity and thus promotes digestion.Many of the nutrients mentioned above have an antioxidant effect. Above all, the antioxidant vitamin C is particularly important for the body's own immune defence. Berries are also rich in iron, zinc and magnesium:
- Magnesium is important for good muscle activity,
- Iron is responsible for oxygen transport in the body,
- Zinc is involved in a variety of metabolic reactions in the body
Berries only contain few calories compared to other fruits; 100 g only contain around 40 kcal. This is mainly due to the low fructose content.Because of their sweet taste, berries are ideal for desserts such as ice cream and yoghurts, but they are also very popular in cakes, tarts and smoothies.
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Damage to the body caused by free radicals
As a result of increasing external environmental pollution and increased stress levels, more and more free radicals are being produced in the body. However, our organism is of course not completely defenceless against these radicals. It has developed its own defence systems to render them harmless. However, the body's defences are not always sufficient to eliminate all harmful substances. This is why antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E and phytochemicals taken in with food are particularly important for capturing all free radicals.
Free radicals can cause oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress favours a number of diseases such as cancer, coronary heart disease or chronic diseases such as diabetes and rheumatism. It also leads to faster skin ageing..
Antioxidant effects of berries
As already mentioned, the secondary plant substances contained in berries have an antioxidant effect. The secondary plant substances include, for example, flavonoids, which contain anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are primarily responsible for the antioxidant effect in berries. They are water-soluble colour pigments in plants that give berries their blue and red colour. Anthocyanins are found in both the skin and the flesh of berries.Multiple studies show that, in addition to their antioxidant properties, anthocyanins also have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. They can therefore protect the human organism against various diseases. In addition, the researchers show in the journal "Molecular Aspects of Medicine" that they reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and cancer. In this study, an intake of just 1 - 2 portions of blueberries led to a significant reduction in the risk of heart disease.
The raspberry originally comes from south-east Europe. Even in early times, people used raspberries not only as a food, but also as a medicinal plant due to their numerous beneficial ingredients. Raspberries are particularly rich in B vitamins, which play an important role in energy metabolism and for the nerves. The raspberry is harvested in Germany in July and August.
The blackberry season is gradually beginning: these berries grow in Germany from August to October. However, the blackberry originally comes from the forests of North America. In ancient times, many people valued this fruit for the nutrients it contained, which is why it was also used as a medicinal plant. Blackberries are rich in β-carotene as well as vitamin A precursors, which play an important role in the visual process and have an antioxidant effect. It also contains a lot of magnesium, which is important for muscle activity.
Currants have a low calorie content compared to all other berries and contain a lot of vitamin C. 100 g of these berries only contain around 33 calories. This means that currants in this quantity cover around a third of the daily vitamin C requirement. As vitamin C has antioxidant properties, it protects the body from oxidative damage. The redcurrant is grown in Germany from June to August.
Blueberries, also known as blueberries, originate from the Nordic zones of Europe and Asia. Blueberries were also used as medicinal plants in the past. They contain large amounts of vitamin E and β-carotene. Both nutrients have antioxidant properties, so they prevent cell damage in the body. Blueberries grow in Germany from July to September.
As it is difficult to meet the human requirement for phytochemicals by eating berries, the Nutri-Plus team has developed vitamins & minerals to ensure optimal cell protection.
- Cassidy A (2017) Berry anthocyanin intake and cardiovascular health. Molecular Aspects of Medicine: 1-7.
- Daotong L et al. (2017) Health benefits of anthocyanins and molecular mechanisms: Update from recent decade. Food Science and Nutrition 57 (8): 1729-1741.
- Ya et al. (2016) Bioactivities and health benefits of wild fruits. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 17 (8): 1258.