To consume food high in antioxidants are important. Antioxidants contain compounds that fight diseases. It is believed by scientists that they help prevent and repair the stress that occurs from oxidation in a normal cell. Some small percentages of cells get damaged during oxidation and turns into free radicals.
This can start a chain reaction to harm more cells and possibly disease. Unchecked free radical activity has been linked to diseases like cancer, heart disease & blood vessel disease (atherosclerosis). Berries contain rich healthy antioxidants that help fight these kinds of diseases. The Method for measuring antioxidant power is the ORAC scale used by the USDA. Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity is the expansion for ORAC.
It is the ability of any food to absorb free radicals. It is believed by experts that a minimum of 3,000 ORAC units per day is needed by a person. Some of the antioxidant counts that are present in berries for every 100gms are, Elderberries (14,697), Wild blueberries (9,621), Cranberries (8,983),Raspberries (6,058), strawberries (5,938), black plums (4,873) & sweet cherries (4,873).
Apart from berries, fruits & vegetables and grains too have antioxidants, but not to the extent of berries. Although some of the foods have a high antioxidant levels, not all that is absorbed by the body. This process is called Bio-availability. The actual amount of antioxidants absorbed by the body cannot be measured. Meaning, each food has a different level of bio-availability.
Antioxidants are popularly known to improve skin and reduce signs of aging. Some of the lesser known benefits are that they fight inflammation, keep the heart healthy, improve vision, improve cognitive health, help in arthritis treatment, help prevent cancer, promote liver health, increase immunity, improve fertility, can also treat urinary tract infection, good for kidney health too.
Before including in the diet, consult your nutritionist for correct individual counseling for correct quantities. Surgery patients must consult your Bariatric Surgeon / Metabolic Surgeon for including berries in the diet.