Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Miracle Food: Berries

"Some berries contain most of the essential antioxidant vitamins while others contain them all. This makes berries particularly important for immune health, as these super-scavenger vitamins neutralize the free radicals that on a cellular level are responsible for many of the things that go wrong with our bodies. These fruits can protect not only against infections, but against more serious degenerative diseases, too, as well as the problems of premature aging.

Their high antioxidant content ensures that berries have a deep cleansing and, ultimately, anti aging effect. Strawberries are also thought to be beneficial for the skin-smoothing out lines and wrinkles - and for soothing arthritic inflammation.

Raspberries are a mild laxative and good, too, for indigestion. They are also beneficial for menstrual problems and, like all berries, have high levels of phytoestrogens and so are helpful for erratic periods, PMS and menopausal problems. Raspberry leaf tea, incidentally, is an age-old herbal remedy recommended for pregnancy, childbirth and new mothers, as it is believed to strengthen the uterus. It is also used to treat a variety of menstrual problems, including painful cramps.

Black currants, red currants and blueberries are excellent blood cleansers, as are blackberries, which are also extremely energizing. Blackberries and cranberries are effective at clearing congestion in the respiratory tract, as well as soothing sore throats.

Cranberries and black currants are beneficial for kidney, bladder and urinary tract infections.

Many berries also contain high levels of minerals, especially calcium, magnesium and potassium. Calcium, essential for strong bones and teeth, is also necessary for the smooth functioning of the nervous system, muscles and heart. Magnesium and potassium are important, too, for a healthy heart and nervous system. These minerals, plus the traces of iron and zinc in many berries, are vital for cellular growth and health."

Taken from "Miracle Foods" by Anna Selby

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