Summer time is berry time – from June onwards there are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries and others in abundance. But even in winter, the delicious immune boosters are available as frozen goods. Many love the local berries and can’t get enough of them.
As a sweet snack for in-between, as a topping for the morning muesli or as an ingredient in a cake or salad. Berries always work! They are also real vitamin bombs that protect your heart, come with few calories and strengthen your immune system.
What berries are there?
There is a large number of different berry varieties, which can be divided into sweet, sour or tart or bitter berries according to their taste.
The popular strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, but also blackberries, gooseberries and acai berries taste deliciously sweet, while cranberries, red currants and the goji berries have a rather sour taste. If you like it bitter, blackcurrants and cranberries are the right choice.
By the way: Did you know that strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are strictly speaking not berries at all? The strawberry is one of the fruits of collection. The actual fruits are the small green grains that sit outside the berry. Raspberries and blackberries actually belong to the stone fruits, which also include cherries and mango.
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How much sugar do berries have?
One of the reasons why vitamin bombs are so popular is that they contain comparatively few calories and little sugar. While a banana contains an impressive 95 calories per 100 grams, the strawberry contains only 32 calories. The other berries also contain no more than 39 calories per 100 grams. Snacking without a guilty conscience is the order of the day.
Since berries have a very low sugar content, you can eat many of them with a clear conscience. © Alena Haurylik / Shutterstock.com
Behind a lot of fruit hide secret sugar traps. Not so with berries. They have a very low sugar content with only about 5.5 grams of sugar per 100 grams. For comparison: a banana has 17 grams and an apple still has 13 grams of sugar per 100 grams. Berries are therefore not only the perfect snack for in-between meals, they are even ideal for a low-carb diet.
Which berries are healthiest?
Berries are basically all healthy because they have different positive effects on your health and well-being. Here are 5 berry-strong reasons to put the good berries more often in your shopping cart or maybe even grow them yourself
1. antioxidants from berries keep young
Berries contain many antioxidants, more precisely polyphenols and flavonoids. These belong to the secondary plant substances – they stimulate the microcirculation, i.e. the blood circulation of the smallest blood vessels and fight aggressive free radicals, which are responsible for premature skin aging. Polyphenols protect the collagen and elastin fibres from degradation, thus tightening the tissue and reducing the loss of the body’s own hyaluronic acid.
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The vitamin E it contains also ensures that the cells remain elastic and folate promotes the formation of new cells. Instead of investing a lot of money in expensive creams, nibble on some delicious berries. They are a real fountain of youth.
The many antioxidants in the berries ensure a strong cell structure and keep you young. © Alena Haurylik / Shutterstock.com
2. dietary fibres support weight loss
To get rid of excess kilos, you have to burn more calories than you take in. In other words, you have a negative calorie balance. Sometimes that’s easier said than done. It is not uncommon for your stomach to growl again a short time after a light meal and chocolate, jelly bears and the like smile at you.
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Instead of reaching for high-calorie and unhealthy snacks, nibble on berries instead. They contain not only few calories, but also a lot of fibre, including indigestible pectin. Pectin swells up in the stomach, the increased volume makes the stomach feel fuller, which makes you feel full faster and longer.
3. berries strengthen your immune system
Berries are real vitamin boosters for the immune system. Besides a lot of vitamin C, they also contain iron, zinc, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. They are all responsible for optimally maintaining metabolic processes in the body, supplying the cells and protecting your body from external attacks by bacteria. Another positive effect of the berries: They lower the fat level in the blood and thus prevent cardiovascular diseases.
These foods contain particularly high levels of magnesium
4. berries accelerate the metabolism
A good metabolism facilitates weight loss. However, sometimes the metabolism is slowed down by some factors, for example if you eat meals at irregular intervals or even starve.
To get the metabolism going again, berries are just the thing. The combination of dietary fibres, vitamin C and manganese heat up your body’s own combustion engine properly and can get it going again.
Use the berries as a natural metabolism booster during the weight loss phase. © Luna Vandoorne / Shutterstock.com
5. berries give the skin summer freshness
A summery complexion makes you look a little fitter and healthier right away. That’s where the berries come in: the cranberry, for example, conjures up summer freshness on your face. The beta carotene it contains gives the fruit its intense colour. The carotene has the same effect on your skin: It’s converted into vitamin A in your body. This vitamin A plays an important role in the structure of the skin.
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If you consume more beta-carotene than the body can convert into vitamin A, the carotene is stored in the fat cells that are located directly under the skin, thus creating a fresh complexion. In addition to the brownish shade, it also provides improved sun protection. However, this is not considered a sufficient sun protection factor, so you should still protect your skin with sunscreen.
How many berries should you eat?
The German Society for Nutrition recommends 30 grams of dietary fibre per day. Cranberries, blueberries and raspberries contain about 5 grams of fibre per 100 grams – blackcurrants even 7 grams! If you include berries in your diet, you are taking in an important portion of fibre.
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Are fresh berries healthier than frozen ones?
In general, the shorter the berry is stored, the more vitamins it contains. After buying the berries you should consume them as soon as possible. According to a British study by Sheffield Hallam University in cooperation with the British manufacturer Chancer Food, after 7 days of cooling the fruit, there is a loss of 80 percent of antioxidants, 19 percent loss of vitamin C.
If the berries are frozen immediately after picking, most of the vitamins are retained. Only the vitamin C can be lost in the cooling process. You should also take a look at the nutrient table for frozen products – some frozen products have an extra portion of sugar in their luggage.
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What you should consider when buying and storing
Summer berries should be stored in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. Blackberries and raspberries can last up to 3 days, blueberries even up to 14 days. You should make sure to put the berries next to each other in a flat bowl or on a plate. It is important not to wash them beforehand so that they do not lose their natural protective cover. To prevent the formation of mould, place a kitchen roll underneath.
Recipe for a strawberry basil salad: With this fresh salad with strawberries, avocado and mozzarella, you will definitely score points at the next garden party.
Recipe for a delicious blueberry tart with cream cheese This dessert not only looks beautiful, it also contains many healthy vitamins and fiber.
Recipe for a refreshing berry ice cream: The perfect cooling for hot temperatures and also for on the road!
Recipe for a fruity summer cake with berries: Combined with the coconut biscuit, this tarte is our summer favourite!
Berries not only taste super delicious, they also strengthen your immune system and help you lose weight. They are also versatile, make a good impression and sweeten your day in a healthy way.