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Berries, with their bright colors and exquisite flavor, are a great treasure for health. Its antioxidant power helps prevent multiple disorders.
The fruits of the forest or berries are those small foods of our juicy fields, with a sweet, acid or astringent flavor, and striking colors. In these reside a good part of its healthy properties.
Pigments are phenolic compounds (flavonoids, anthocyanins, tannins) and other antioxidant substances. However, before harvesting them, you must be sure that the berry is edible before tasting it, as some are toxic.
Good friends of our health
If some berries can kill, others are capable of saving lives. Dr. Richard Beliveau, a professor at the University of Montreal (Canada), found that raspberry extract slowed the growth of tumors in guinea pigs. The effect was attributed to ellagic acid, which is also found in strawberries and other berries. In addition, this compound neutralizes toxic substances and favors their elimination, which prevents mutations in cells and that cancer begins to develop. Other studies have shown similar effects in blueberries and blackberries. These, according to a study by Ohio State University (United States), inhibit the development of cancer of the mouth, esophagus and colon in laboratory animals. Others have shown preventive effects in people.
Dr. Gary Stoner, who led the Ohio trial, does not hesitate to eat a smoothie made with yogurt, milk, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries for breakfast every day, and recommends taking them at least three days a week. On the other hand, the doctor in Nutrition Iris Erlund, a researcher at the Finnish National Institute of Public Health, advises eating them twice a day, especially in case of risk or cardiovascular disease, as it regulates cholesterol levels.
The antibacterial action of cranberry on the urinary tract and its preventive action in gum diseases and cavities is also recognized.
The virtues of each berry
Blueberries They provide vitamins A and C. They are antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, laxatives and reduce blood sugar levels. They are beneficial for the circulatory system, eyesight, and urinary infections.
Raspberry. It is a good source of flavonoids and vitamins C and E. In addition, it provides fiber and minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium in significant doses. It is diuretic, laxative and useful in rheumatism.
Gooseberries Rich in fiber, vitamin C, iron, potassium and magnesium. They are laxatives, cleansers and antibiotics, useful in case of gastrointestinal or skin infection. Its juice lowers blood pressure.
Blackberries. They provide vitamins A and C, calcium and iron. Whole are laxatives; the juice, astringent.
Rose hips They contain twenty times more vitamin C than orange. The pulp, without the seeds or white fluff, can be consumed with yogurt or soft cheese.
Junipers. Spicy and bitter, they are crushed dry and used as a condiment or remedy: they are diuretic, digestive, antiseptic and help you sweat.
Elder. The juice relieves cough and is laxative.
Exquisite on the palate
These fruits have a short life. They should be kept in the refrigerator, without piling up and allowing them to breathe. It is better not to wash them until it is time to consume them. If they are purchased packaged, no mold or liquid should be perceived on the packaging. They can also be purchased frozen or lyophilized, and in jams or concentrated juices.
More daring and tasty recipes
The red fruits are ideal in salads, soups, combined with cheeses such as goat or brie or with salmon, cod or anchovies in vinegar.
With them you can prepare vinaigrettes and sauces, jams, as well as cake fillings.