Fruits, in general, are healthy for you. But berries are certainly on the top of the list when it comes to health benefits. Packed with nutrition and super tasty, they are a great snack and should be eaten daily now that their season has arrived.
So do yourself a favor and make your daily summer diet includes these wonders of nature, even if you have diabetes.
Not many know that berries are low in sugar, which also gives them a low glycemic index. What exactly is a low glycemic index you ask?
It is the scale by which we rank foods that contain carbohydrates. It’s no surprise that foods which rank high on this scale are also quick to raise one’s blood sugars.
Naturally, it is preferable to eat those with a low glycemic index which slowly raises your sugar levels (this is especially important for people with diabetes).
But just how much is high and how much is low? Foods that are low-ranking are below 55. The intermediate level here would mean somewhere between 55-70. Foods that have the title high ranking score above 77.
Are you surprised when we tell you that blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries all score below 40?
Furthermore, if you happen to have diabetes, portion control is the key to maintaining your blood glucose.
Because strawberries are so low on carbohydrate density, you can enjoy a 1 ¼ cup without any worries. As for blueberries and blackberries, ideally, it should be ¾ of a cup. And last but not least, one cup of raspberries is perfectly safe.
It’s very vital and worth noting that fruits such as the berries we mentioned have fructose, which is a natural sugar that doesn’t need insulin for the metabolizing process. And since even diabetics tolerate this type of sugar, it’s best to try and consume two cups of fruit each day.
But since everyone is an individual on what works best, some trial and error would probably be needed.
But let us concentrate on each of the berries we discussed above. Starting with…
This type of berries has not only enjoyed popularity in the past centuries but also this modern age. Coming in second only to strawberries, blueberries rank high on the favorite berry list in the United States.
Good choice too, since they are bursting with all sorts of phytonutrients (chemicals derived from plants that offer health benefits). Some of these include hydroxycinnamic acids, anthocyanins, hydroxybenzoic acids, resveratrol, and flavonols.
No need to learn the names of these phytonutrients by heart, what you do need to know is that they are super anti-inflammatory and antioxidant! Something your body will always want more of.
Here is so more information on why these little berries are so beneficial for you:
1. Improve your blood lipids – 1 to 2 cups of blueberries a day lower your triglycerides as well as your bad cholesterol, while raising your good ones!
2. Blood pressure – For a healthy individuals, eating these berries can help them maintain their regular blood pressure. Those who have high blood pressure, lower both their diastolic and systolic blood pressure if they regularly consume blueberries.
3. Cognitive function – since we already mentioned that blueberries are high in antioxidants may offer protection to your nerve cells.
Many lab studies prove that either eating blueberries or drinking blueberry juice may slow the decline of your cognitive functions and even prevent loss of memory!
4. Blood Sugar – We already discussed how blueberries have a super low glycemic index. This alone lowers their chances of causing any blood sugar spikes. But they also happen to be rich in fiber, and this too contributes to controlling one’s glucose levels.
A win-win combination if there ever was one.
Cancer – Yep. Even this too. Blueberries are excellent for helping combat this deadly disease because of their high folate, vitamin C, and vitamin A content.
½ a cup of fresh blueberries has:
- 42 calories,
- 11 g of carbs,
- 2 g of fiber,
- 0 g of fat (that’s right, 0).
Ways of Eating Them:
There are so many options you can try. You can eat them on your own, or add them to your yogurt or morning cereal. You can also combine them with your lunch and dinner salad, depending on what else you’re having. Try to experiment and see which tastes great for you!
They enjoy the #1 place when it comes to favorite berries in the United States, and that place is well deserved indeed. Here’s a little historical fact for you: Up until the middle of the nineteenth century, they were only found on the plates of the rich.
The mid-19th century was the period when railways were built, making them easier to ship farther and even the common folk acquired a taste for them eventually. Good thing too, since no one should be banned from eating berries.
Strawberries are also very high in antioxidants, which make them as beneficial as they are scrumptious. Once again, here are some more benefits:
1. Healthy heart – consuming 1 to 2 cups of strawberries a day can lower your LDL bad cholesterol and even your total cholesterol levels. Even eating as little as three servings per week decreased the risk of getting a heart attack by 32% in women, according to a study done on the subject.
2. Blood pressure – You can lower your blood pressure too because strawberries are high in potassium content.
3. Lowers the danger of stroke – thanks to its high antioxidant content, it can reduce any form of blood clots that lead to stroke.
4. Blood Sugar Levels – eating strawberries, which, as we already discussed, are low on the glycemic index scale, can lower your risk of type II diabetes. For this to happen, even 2-3 servings a week are sufficient!
A study confirmed that eating a cup of strawberries with one tablespoon of sugar reduced the sugar’s effect to spike one’s glucose levels! A further study has proven that consuming 37 strawberries a day helped significantly lower the risk of any diabetes-associated complications, such as neuropathy and kidney disease.
5. Cancer too – just like with blueberries, the antioxidants which strawberries naturally contain hinder the growth of tumors and decrease any inflammations you might have.
One cup of fresh strawberries has:
- 46 calories,
- 11 g of carbs,
- 3 g of fiber,
- 0 g of fat.
Ways of Eating Them:
They are also great for adding to cereals or yogurt. And who can say no to a bit of some delicious strawberry shortcake?
You can even use these berries for salsa! What you do is chop up bell pepper and onion. Add some rice wine vinegar and chopped cilantro. Now just add some diced-up strawberries before serving this delicious dip.
It is best combined with fish, beef, or chicken.
These two berries are indeed on the favorites list, but that shouldn’t stop you from eating other types of berries this summer, like raspberries and blackberries.
We believe we don’t need to repeat the many reasons as to why they are so beneficial to both those who have diabetes and those who don’t. Bon appétit and stay healthy!