7 Summer Berries with Healing Powers

Blueberries contain pain-relieving aspirin naturally – without the harmful side effects. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Keep a fresh stash of these 7 berries on hand to stay healthier (and happier!) all summer long (via Care2.com):

  • Blackberries are rich in vitamin C, and also contain the phytonutrient ellagic acid, which shields your skin cells from UV rays and prevent the collagen breakdown that occurs as we age and leads to wrinkles.
  • Blueberries are packed with phytonutrients, including anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, catechins, and salicylic acid (otherwise known as aspirin). Yes: blueberries contain aspirin naturally, and with no harmful side effects! Blueberries are also helpful in preventing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Loganberries, which look like long raspberries, strengthen blood vessels to help fight heart disease or varicose veins. The rutin in these berries also strengthens capillaries and improves circulation.
  • Currants can help you avoid the sinus congestion and itchy eyes that come with seasonal allergies thanks to a supply of gamma-linolenic acid, which inhibits the body’s histamine—the allergic response in reaction to pollens. That makes them great to help you avoid or eliminate sinus congestion and itchy eyes linked to seasonal allergies.
  • Raspberries have special pain-relieving properties thanks to their unique compound, which studies show is 10 times more effective at relieving inflammation than aspirin. The phytonutrient ellagic acid found in raspberries can help protect against pollutants from cigarette smoke and processed foods, and may even neutralize some cancer-causing substances before they can damage healthy cells.
  • Gooseberries, which look like green grapes, actually make you feel happier. They contain a flavonoid called kaempferol, which prevents the breakdown of brain hormones serotonin and dopamine, chemicals that help you fight stress and keep your spirits up.
  • Strawberries offer more vitamin C than an orange, and more antioxidants than nearly every other fruit. They’re also proven to prevent and fight heart disease, arthritis, memory loss, wrinkling and cancer. Plus, they taste delicious.

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