I hope your New Year is Very Berry!
Welcome to my 22 weeks of healthy habits! This week (week 1) is all about including berries in our diet for LOTS of health reasons — including reducing our cancer risks.
For the weeks ahead– I’ll post a healthy habit each week in my private Facebook group– feel free to try it and/or adopt each habit into your life. Not a member of this great group — join here (women only!).
All these tips, which come from the Badass Healthy Women Method, are proven to help us maintain a healthy mind and body. This method takes an evidence-based, mind + body fitness, nutrition and heart-centered approach to cancer prevention and optimal healthy living that creates empowerment, strength and peace.
Who doesn’t want that!?
In case you missed WEEK # 1’s Healthy Habit, here it is: add berries into your diet.
👉Berries contain antioxidants, which help keep free radicals under control. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are beneficial in small amounts but can damage your cells when their numbers get too high, causing oxidative stress.
👉Berries may improve your blood sugar and insulin levels.
Test-tube and human studies suggest that they may protect your cells from high blood sugar levels, help increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce blood sugar and insulin response to high-carb meals. More importantly, these effects appear to occur in both healthy people and those with insulin resistance.
👉Berries are a good source of fiber, including soluble fiber. Studies show that consuming soluble fiber slows down the movement of food through your digestive tract, leading to reduced hunger and increased feelings of fullness. This may decrease your calorie intake and make weight management easier. AND – increased fiber helps us poop better and more often, which is KEY to a healthy mind and body.
👉Berries are low in calories and extremely nutritious. In addition to being high in antioxidants, they also contain several vitamins and minerals.
👉Berries, especially strawberries, are high in vitamin C. In fact, 1 cup (150 grams) of strawberries provides a whopping 150% of the RDI for vitamin C (20). With the exception of vitamin C, all berries are fairly similar in terms of their vitamin and mineral content.
👉Berries have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is your body’s defense against infection or injury. However, modern lifestyles often lead to excessive, long-term inflammation due to increased stress, inadequate physical activity, and unhealthy food choices. This type of chronic inflammation is believed to contribute to conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Studies suggest that the antioxidants in berries may help lower inflammatory markers.
👉Berries are a heart-healthy food. Black raspberries and strawberries have been shown to help lower cholesterol in people who are obese or have metabolic syndrome.
👉 Berries may help reduce skin wrinkling, as their antioxidants help control free radicals, one of the leading causes of skin damage that contributes to aging. Though research is limited, ellagic acid appears responsible for some of the skin-related benefits of berries.
👉Berries help protect against cancer. Several antioxidants in berries, including anthocyanins, ellagic acid, and resveratrol, may reduce cancer risk. Specifically, animal and human studies suggest that berries may protect against cancer of the esophagus, mouth, breast, and colon.
👉Berries can be included in many kinds of diets. While – I don’t suggest we live on one diet for numerous health reasons – berries can be included in most. Though people on low-carb and ketogenic diets often avoid fruit, you can usually enjoy berries in moderation. For example, a half-cup serving of blackberries (70 grams) or raspberries (60 grams) contains less than 4 grams of digestible carbs (18, 19). Liberal amounts of berries can be incorporated into paleo, Mediterranean, vegetarian, and vegan diets.
👉In addition to lowering cholesterol, berries provide other benefits for heart health, including improving the function of your arteries. The cells that line your blood vessels are called endothelial cells. They help control blood pressure, keep blood from clotting, and perform other important functions. Excessive inflammation can damage these cells, inhibiting proper function. This is referred to as endothelial dysfunction, a major risk factor for heart disease.
👉Berries are undeniably delicious. They make a wonderful snack or dessert, whether you use one type or a mix of two or more. Though they’re naturally sweet and require no additional sweetener, adding a bit of vegan or whipped cream can transform them into a more elegant dessert.
I call them nature’s candy!
Now, that’s a Berry New Year! Next week I will reveal a stretch that is a MUST for all of us to do to stay flexible and healthy!
If you want more support and/or you want to join the Badass Healthy Women private Facebook group–click this and let me know. I am here to support, motivate and gently remind us how important our healthy living is and how a community of like-minded women keeps us on track!
Here’s to living badass, healthy and joyful in 2022!
This NEW YEAR and always; May you nourish. May you move. May you be mindful.