Berries and Blood Sugar
High levels of blood sugar in our bodies can be deadly. That's because having an elevated blood sugar reading it puts us within the risk factors of "Metabolic Syndrome", which include conditions like obesity, type II diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. These conditions eventually lead to hypertension, high cholesterol, strokes and heart attacks, kidney and liver failure. (Yikes!)
This is why as early as possible, we have to take control of our blood sugar levels so that they don't dictate on our health.
Fruit Magic: Berries
One of the best foods to help in managing blood sugar levels are berries. As small fruits with dark colors (red, blue, purple), berries contain high levels of polyphenols (which we'll explain in a moment) and antioxidants (the anti-cancer property).
Studies have shown that berries are good for managing stress, while also improving the metabolism. Since they are low on the glycemic index, this means that after eating a bunch of them, your insulin levels won't spike as rapidly and you'll feel hungry less often. Less hungry means less eating/binging on empty carbs and sugars, which means less weight and fat gains — woohoo!
Because of their polyphenol content, berries are a natural superfood. Polyphenols are part of the micronutrient family. (We know the macronutrients to be our major food groups: Protein, carbohydrates, fiber). Polyphenols are extremely important antioxidants for our bodies! They help prevent and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, all sorts of cancers and cardiovascular diseases. These polyphenols also help increase the amount of good bacteria in our digestive system. This is key in increasing our immune system response and in managing our weight.
The berry-good facts
In the Philippines, the most common berries you'll find on the market are blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and strawberries. Whether you consume them fresh or frozen doesn't make much of a difference in their benefits. Berries are best taken without any other sweetners, and they have the following effects:
- Bluberries, for instance, have been observed to lower blood pressure.
- Cranberries and raspberries in studies resulted in reducing blood cholesterol levels and improving vascular (blood vessel) function.
- Strawberries are known to be high in vitamin C (the "immune booster") and are said to improve blood pressure levels.
- Blackberries (if you can source them) contain the highest antioxidant levels of all the fruits and one of the lowest calorie counts. Because they are rich in bioflavonoids, Vitamin A and Vitamin C, they are said to be excellent in improving skin aging.
It's safe to say that regular berry consumption is and should be part of a well-portioned plate of your daily meals. Taken by themselves, they are good, yes, but their properties perform best when included in a balanced and healthy diet that promotes preventive health.
Raw Bites Recommends: Whitworth Shots
If you must have a sugar fix, we suggest keeping it to once a week, and considering Whitworth's Shots. While dried fruit is semi-processed and includes naturally-occurring sugars, it is so much better for you than anything processed, like cakes and ice cream! Each month, we've got Whitworth Shots in our snack boxes, which are carefully portioned to under 150 calories for every sweet boost. Get your Whitworth Shots in your next Raw Bites Box. Order here today.