superfoods, acai berries, goji berries, blueberries, antioxidants, health benefits

Superfood’ is a term to describe a type of food that is supposed to have exemplary health benefits and these days we seem to be hearing this term more frequently. Goji, acai and blueberries have all been labelled with the term ‘superfood’ and they definitely pack a lot of punch when it comes to beneficial properties.  Here’s why:

Goji berries

Goji berries are native to the Himalayas but can also be found growing wild in Mongolia – a testament to how well they grow in harsh climates.  Most of the commercially produced berries are now grown in China and are sometimes referred to as ‘red diamonds’.  For centuries they have been used for culinary and medicinal purposes because of their impressive makeup with all of the essential amino acids, numerous vitamins and fifteen times the amount of iron found in spinach.  Although there hasn’t yet been extensive testing carried out on these berries it is thought that they have a range of health benefits.

  • The beta-carotene helps to promote healthy skin
  • The high levels of vitamin C can help to boost your immune system
  • The amino acids help to build muscle and produce energy
  • The antioxidants in Goji berries can help to repair cell damage
  • In traditional Chinese medicine, goji berries are thought to help with dizziness and eyesight

Acai berries

Acai berries are most commonly found in the Amazon rainforests and for centuries have been known for their healing and energy-boosting properties.  The berries grow near the top of the acai palm tree in huge clusters and are highly perishable which means that harvesting them can be extremely laborious because they need to ensure that the fruit is not damaged when picked.  Each berry only contains 10% fruit and they have a large seed, but despite this they are packed full of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and fibre.  Here is what Acai berries can do for your health:

  • The fibre can help to aid digestion
  • The antioxidants in acai berries can help to maintain a healthy heart
  • The amino acids in acai berries can help with endurance, strength and energy production
  • The impressive number and high levels of vitamins can help to boost your immune system
  • The antioxidants can help to combat premature aging

Blueberries

Blueberries have been around for centuries and date back to when Native Americans collected them from forests in North America and used them for medicinal purposes.  They can now be found worldwide and they belong to the Ericaceae family of woody shrubs that love acidic soil.  Other members of the family are the bilberry, cranberry and ligonberry.  Blueberries are jam-packed full of antioxidants and are extremely beneficial for our health.  Here’s what they are famous for:

  • The antioxidants can help to improve cognitive function including memory
  • The antioxidants found in blueberries can help to prevent cancer
  • They have anti-inflammatory effects
  • Blueberries can help to prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder, urethra and gut
  • The anthocyanin in blueberries helps to protect the retina in our eyes from sunlight
  • Blueberries can help with the regulation of our blood sugar levels

So why not consider throwing some of these berries into your diet?  For me, the benefits are too good to refuse.

Image via puregoodness.net