The blueberry is one powerful fruit, often ranking on the lists of "power foods" and "smart foods." The little berries pack just 80 calories and almost no fat per 1-cup serving, but they contain more important things: 14 mg vitamin C (nearly 25 percent of your daily requirement), along with fiber and manganese (which aids in metabolism and bone development). According to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, blueberries have one of the highest-ranking antioxidant capacities -- 6,552 micromoles TE/100g. That means they can neutralize free radicals linked to development of diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's.
You might think bananas are tops in potassium, but strawberries actually contain more potassium per serving. They also have higher levels of vitamin C, fiber and folate than bananas and even oranges. Studies show that eating one 1-cup, 50-calorie serving of strawberries daily can lower blood pressure, which can reduce the risk of heart disease.
These tart little gems are loaded with ellagic acid, which is believed to slow the growth of some cancers and stop the growth of others. Raspberries are also rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C, quercetin, gallic acid, fiber and manganese. One cup of these berries contains just 64 calories.
One cup of blackberries has only 75 calories, and the benefits you'll reap from eating them on a regular basis are incredible. They pack an astounding 7.6 grams fiber per serving and serve as a good source of folate (49 micrograms) as well. Blackberries also provide 2,036 units per 100 grams of ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity). Like blueberries, blackberries can fight free radicals. Plus, they're packed with polyphenols and anthocyanins, which can help prevent cancer and heart disease.
The acai berry is all over the place right now -- trendy and touted for its reputed ability to promote weight loss and slow down aging. But is this little berry for real? Acai berries contain anthocyanins and flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants that help the body's cell protection system, but the jury's still out as to whether they provide weight-loss and anti-aging benefits beyond any other berries. While a serving of acai berries packs as much protein as an egg, along with 16g fiber and 11 mg iron, it also has nearly 250 calories -- so go easy.
Another recently popular fruit, the goji berry has long been used to help treat diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Like other berries, gojis contain antioxidants, but they also contain amino acids and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E. Goji berries are believed to pump up your body's immune function, protect your vision and prevent heart disease -- not to mention their anti-aging benefits. A quarter cup of goji berries has 90 calories.
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