There are few nutrients, a lot of calories and other myths about berries that it’s time to stop believing

Nutritionist Oksana Matiyuk (@oksana_matiyuk) – about which berries are the champions in antioxidant activity, whether they retain beneficial properties after freezing, and how cherries can help normalize sleep.

Myth number 1: there are few useful substances in berries – solid “chemistry”

I often hear that there is no benefit from berries – all vitamins, micro- and macroelements are “killed” by fertilizers and chemicals at the stage of fruit formation. This is not true. A double placebo-controlled study of common berries from the market showed that garden cherries, for example, can be prescribed to treat gout. Drinking it regularly reduces inflammation and helps lower C-reactive protein levels.

Myth number 2: berries are needed in the diet only as antioxidants

Berries are rich in antioxidants – substances that fight free radicals. But this is not the only advantage. Goji berries and cherries, for example, contain melatonin (a substance that regulates the sleep-wake cycle). They can be used to improve sleep without any negative effects on the body. And in terms of antioxidant activity, the first place is occupied by barberry and dried pomegranate grains.

Myth number 3: “superfoods” (acai, goji) are healthier than fresh seasonal berries

Seasonal berries are a vitamin and such a delicious “cocktail”. Each of them is unique and useful. So, black currant relieves eye fatigue syndrome during prolonged work at the computer. It contains the pigment anthocyanin, which gives a dark blue color (it is also found in blueberries, blueberries, chokeberry, black grapes). This substance is not formed in the body and must be ingested with food. The daily norm is 200 mg. Anthocyanin has a bactericidal effect, strengthens the immune system and helps fight infection, improves the structure of fibers and cells of connective tissue, and has powerful antioxidant properties. Read more about why superfoods are so popular with the stars here.

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Myth 4: frozen berries are useless

Berries are most often harvested during the season when the concentration of vitamins in them is maximum. Freezing has practically no effect on this indicator. Research on frozen strawberries, cherries and raspberries has proven that they retain their value almost 100%. So do not be lazy to make preparations for the winter. For example, I make homemade ice cream from berries. My family loves chocolate. To prepare it, beat ripe cherries, strawberries, a spoonful of cocoa, milk (you can take vegetable), a pinch of vanilla and a few dates in a blender. Fast, tasty and, most importantly, healthy!

Myth 5: acai berries are the healthiest

It is these berries that are most often credited with “superpowers” and the championship in the content of antioxidants. To begin with, they are quite difficult to find. More often than not, you buy fakes at an astronomical price (yes, it is possible!). Comparative analysis in vitro showed that the content of polyphenols and antioxidants in acai is very average. They rank 11th after strawberries, grapes, and mangoes. The antioxidant capacity of strawberries is 310 units per cup, cranberries – 330, raspberries – 350, blueberries – 380, blackberries – 650. If you eat a serving of berries every day, the body will say “thank you”. And if it is a blackberry – “thank you very much.”

There are few nutrients, a lot of calories and other myths about berries that it's time to stop believing

Myth number 6: berries get better

If you eat strawberries with a hamburger or fries, you will get better – don’t even doubt it. Many nutritionists even advise to periodically arrange fasting days on berries. But their amount in the diet should be adequate – you don’t need to eat a bucket of raspberries in one sitting. A cup or small bowl is enough.

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Myth 7: seasonal berries should be given to young children.

It is necessary, but only after consulting a pediatrician. If the baby is not allergic to strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and currants, they can be introduced into the diet from 6-7 months.

Myth number 8: berries have no contraindications

With an exacerbation of any diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, fruits and berries cannot be eaten unprocessed – only boiled, baked or homogenized.

Myth number 9: strawberries are high-calorie berries

No! The calorie content of strawberries is 45 kcal per 100 g. It is an excellent source of organic acids, vitamins B and C, cobalt, iron, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Strawberries have good anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. Naturopaths advise to eat 16 glasses of this berry per season – enough for a vitamin “charge” until next season.

Myth 10: you don’t need to wash berries from your garden

A very dangerous myth for health. Regardless of where the berries came from, they need to be washed. There are many bacteria on the surface (including those that provoke intestinal infections). In addition, bacteria can multiply in rotten areas, and if it’s +30 outside, these are ideal conditions for their life.

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