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The Paleo Fruit that I Can’t Get Enough Of

Jeremy Hendon | February 27
The Paleo Fruit that I Can't Get Enough Of

Whether they’re red, blue, filled with seeds, or crushed into a smoothie, berries have been hailed as a superfood by scientists and consumers alike.

And what’s not to love?

The whole berry family is packed with antioxidants and rich in nutrients that help to combat the health problems associated with aging, especially mental decline and heart attacks. Quite simply, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another great source of healthy goodness that comes in so many colors, flavors, textures, and sizes—the right berry for you is out there, no matter who you are!

In fact, the quest for berries isn’t a just recent fascination—people have been seeking out these sweet gems for thousands of years.

paleo dietTibetan settlers have used goji berries for close to two thousand years, and the blueberry has been around for much longer than that. However, with the advent of modern sweeteners, humans have let berries fall by the wayside as a delicious dessert. Because berries tend to taste bitter in comparison to the corn-syrup-filled treats we have today, berries have been falling out of favor.

Here are some great reasons to pack an extra serving of these delicious fruits onto your plate!

Dark Berries

1. Berries help to clear toxins from your body. The acai berry is best known for this, but other dark fruits like blueberries and blackberries are good at capturing and flushing out toxins as well.

2. Berries protect your cells from damage. Dark berries, especially blackberries, elderberries, and black currant contain large amounts of flavonoids called anthocyanins, which allow your cells to resist environmental toxins and remain healthy.

3. Dark berries help prevent chronic inflammation. The antioxidants in blackberries in particular help to relax blood vessels and keep the blood flowing well. It’s when these vessels are inflamed that we see chronic inflammatory conditions like cardiovascular disease. Because of their bioflavonoids, berries also help to relieve the inflammatory pain associated with arthritis.

Light Berries

1. Berries seem to reduce the risk of heart attack and dementia. This study followed women who ate three or more servings of berries every week for 18 years and women who did not. The women who ate berries were 32% less likely to suffer a heart attack. These same women also experienced slower mental decline as they got older, another study reports.

2. Light berries, especially strawberries, promote bone health. Bones need potassium, vitamin K, and magnesium, and berries have these nutrients in spades.

3. Interestingly enough, research shows that freeze-dried berries may help prevent cancer! This study of patients with potential esophageal cancer experienced a significantly low rate of cancer when they were treated with strawberry powder. Cherries are also associated with this cancer-fighting benefit because of their queritrin, a flavonoid that is proving to be one of the most powerful known anticancer agents.

4. Berries are great at helping you sleep. Because berries—and cherries especially—contain melatonin, eating just a handful can improve your sleep patterns. Melatonin comes in pill form for people suffering from insomnia, but why not get that goodness right from nature? This nutrient in cherries absorbs into the blood quickly and will help to regulate your circadian rhythms—that internal clock that makes you get sleepy when it’s time for bed.

paleo berries dessert

While all berries are great sources of nutrients and remove toxins from your body, some berries are especially known for their healthy properties. These are:

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Cranberries
  • Goji Berries
  • Acerola Cherries
  • Acai Berries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Maqui Berries
  • Aronia (also known as black chokeberries—don’t eat them raw!)
  • Noni Berries

So dump a nice, big cup of berries into your next batch of Paleo pancakes! Or better yet, skip the pancakes and just have a bowl of berries!

They also taste amazing with dark chocolate poured over them – this was one of my earliest recipes:

paleo chocolate covered berries dessert recipe

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