Our ancestors had a trick to stop aging that we aren’t aware of – they ate lots of wild berries! Here are fourteen benefits of berries as you age, and why you should add them to your diet today!
Berries are tasty, nutritious, and one of the healthiest foods on earth. Besides being full of taste, they are rich in antioxidants and are densely packed with essential nutrients, which are important to carry out all your daily activities efficiently. Strawberries and blueberries are the two most commonly consumed berries in the US.
As we age, we suffer from wrinkles, high cholesterol, and many other signs of aging. Older adults can enhance their cognitive and cardiovascular health by adding a portion of berries to their diet. Today, you will learn about the different health benefits of berries for seniors. So let’s get started!
Health Benefits Of Berries For Seniors
#1. Rich in antioxidants
As we age, excessive free radicals can result in more oxidative damage and lead to various degenerative processes. It causes inflammatory and autoimmune disorders and various skin issues like loss of skin elasticity and wrinkling. As the berries are rich in antioxidants, they can help fight the damaging free radicals.
The antioxidants present in the berries can help fight oxidative stress. The different antioxidants present in the berries are ellagic acid, resveratrol, and anthocyanins.
#2. Improves insulin and blood sugar response
Many older adults who have diabetes can consume berries to keep their blood sugar and insulin problems at bay. Consumption of berries can help in maintaining high blood sugar levels. As the berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries have a low glycemic index, they can be consumed by people who have diabetes.
It also helps in improving the insulin sensitivity in a particular person. Obese people who have insulin resistance can consume berries to improve insulin sensitivity.
#3. Rich in fiber
One of the major reasons elders should include berries in the diet is that it is rich in fiber, mainly soluble fiber. Consumption of soluble fiber in the body leads to less hunger as it slows down food movement in the digestive tract. This leads to the feeling of fullness in a person.
As berries have high water content, they can help reduce a person’s appetite. By consuming fiber, you can decrease the calories you absorb from all the meals of your day. Here is the fiber count of different berries in 100 grams.
- Blueberries: 2.4 grams of fiber out of 14.5-gram carbs.
- Blackberries: 5.3 grams of fiber out of 10.2-gram carbs.
- Raspberries: 6.5 grams of fiber out of 11.9-gram carbs.
- Strawberries: 2.0 grams of fiber out of 7.7-gram carbs.
#4. Great source of nutrients
Berries are excellent in nutrients for seniors as they are low in calories and contain several vitamins and minerals. Elders suffer from scurvy, bruising gums, and dental problems if they are vitamin C deficient.
Berries are a rich source of vitamin C, especially strawberries. Other than Vitamin C, all berries have the same mineral and vitamin content. These nutritional values are determined based on RDI. Here is the nutritional content of 100-gram blackberries:
- Manganese: 32%
- Copper: 8%
- Folate: 6%
- Vitamin K1: 25%
- Vitamin C: 35% of the vitamin
#5. Helps ease inflammation
Berries have various anti-inflammatory properties. Increased anxiety and stress all contribute to long-term inflammation. Sedentary and modern lifestyles also lead to inadequate physical activity and unhealthy eating, which results in inflammation.
Chronic inflammation leads to heart diseases, obesity, and diabetes. Berries help reduce inflammatory markers as they are rich in antioxidants. They can reduce the risk of heart disease and other health problems.
#6. Help manage cholesterol levels
Berries are known to be heart-healthy food. Seniors who are obese and suffer from high cholesterol levels can consume strawberries and black raspberries to manage their cholesterol levels. Berries help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This is known to be one of the major reasons for worry, as it increases the risk of heart disease.
#7. Great for the skin
Our skin gets damaged due to free radicals in the body. The collagen present in our body helps maintain the skin structure and helps keep it firm and elastic. Berries are great as they help in the production of collagen.
As we age, we lose the collagen levels in our body, and our skin begins to develop wrinkles and sag. The presence of ellagic acid in berries prevents sagging in our skin.
#8. Protects us from cancer
Different types of antioxidants present in the berries named ellagic acid, resveratrol, and anthocyanins, reduce the risk of cancer in the elders.
They can protect against esophagus, mouth, colon, and breast cancer, as they are loaded with antioxidants. Berries protect against cell damage and reduce the risk of skin cancer.
#9. Keeps arteries healthy
In addition to having various heart health benefits and lowering cholesterol, berries are great for improving the function of your arteries. The cells that layer the blood vessels are called endothelial cells. These cells prevent blood from clotting, control blood pressure, and are responsible for various other vital functions.
Excessive inflammation can damage the cells, and thus it doesn’t function properly. This is called endothelial dysfunction and is known to be one of the primary causes of heart disease. Berries are known to enhance endothelial function and keep our arteries healthy. Fresh berries are considered to be the healthiest ones.
The fresh berries are the best. However, processed forms of berries can also provide various heart-healthy benefits. Baking blueberries can result in reduced anthocyanin content; however, the total antioxidant concentrations in the blueberries remain the same.
#10. Prevent Parkinson’s disease
Research has shown that people who consume at least two servings of berries are known to have 23% lower chances of developing Parkinson’s disease. Men who consume a larger quantity of flavonoids have a 40% reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
Plenty of flavonoids are present in the berries. Besides consuming them as it is, seniors can add them to smoothies or other high-nutrition foods to reap the health benefits of berries.
#11. Helps in weight management
Being sated is an integral part of weight management. Berries are rich in fiber and fluid and provide a sense of fullness. They are low in calories and are a good choice for seniors. Here is the calorie content of different types of berries.
- Raspberries: 64 calories
- Blackberries: 65 calories
- Strawberries: 48 calories
- Blueberries: 86 calories
Even if you are on a low-calorie diet, you can still consume berries. They are full of nutrients and have plenty of nutrients that are essential for the body’s daily functioning. Thus, berries are excellent in weight management for seniors.
#12. Help in maintaining a healthy gut
Probiotics are responsible for maintaining the microbiome, which collects microbes in the gut. Prebiotics are also essential for a healthy gut.
Berries are a good source of prebiotic food as it consists of the fiber it fuels the prebiotics present in the gut. A good microbiome is significant for a good immune system that protects us from various infections and pathogens.
#13. Prevent urinary tract infections
Seniors who suffer from urinary tract infections can include berries in their diet to avoid them. Cranberries are one of the healthiest fruits for urinary tract health.
Anthocyanins that are abundantly present in the cranberries have protective properties against the E Coli bacteria, which prevents the urinary tract in sections in seniors.
#14. Enhances cognitive functions
Berries are great for older adults as it boosts brain functions and prevents memory loss in older adults. Berries have specific positive effects on the brain, signaling behavior, and internal communication. The different berries have positive impacts on aging on the brain. Seniors enhance the cognitive functions of the brain.
Answers To More Questions About Berries
What happens when you eat berries every day?
When seniors start consuming a bowl of blueberries every day, it boosts immunity and prevents older adults from any heart disease and diabetes. When seniors begin consuming berries every day, it strengthens the metabolic syndrome and deficiency. It is excellent for boosting the metabolism in older adults.
Do berries improve eyesight?
Berries are a great food to improve your eyesight and vision. They strengthen the blood vessels present at the back of the eyes.
Berries have anthocyanins that help maintain blood pressure and alleviate inflammation which is responsible for preventing blockages in the arteries that are responsible for providing oxygen to the retina.
Which berry has the most antioxidants?
Blueberries picked from the wild are the most antioxidant-rich food. Each cup of blueberries carries within it 13,427 antioxidants. This includes Vitamins A and C and flavonoids. Wild blueberries carry about ten times what the USDA recommends in terms of antioxidant intake. Even cultivated blueberries are extremely antioxidant-rich.
Are frozen berries healthy?
Yes, frozen berries are equally healthy as fresh berries. Freezing does not cause any significant reduction in their nutritional value, but it does make them easier to carry for the large vendors! It also makes it a lot cheaper to buy these nutritional powerhouses for the common consumer.
Senior suffers from a lot of deficiencies and problems. We need to pay attention to the nutritional values of the food we consume as we age to keep all the diseases at bay in our life.
As we age, our metabolism drastically goes down, and it is essential to pay attention to the food we consume.
Berries are an excellent source of antioxidants and various other essential nutrients. Due to these essential nutrients, it is imperative to include berries in our everyday diet to prevent multiple types of disease. In this article, we hope you learned about the benefits of berries in detail.
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