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Berries are a superfood for weight loss as they are extremely high in antioxidants, fiber, along with many other nutrients. Not only this, but these nutritious fruits are also low in “energy density,” or concentrated calories, which keep you full and satisfied for long. Check out some of the common types of berries available in the market along with their nutrient details, and the contribution they can make towards your weight loss and overall health goals:
Deep red in color, goji berries are also known as Chinese Wolfberry or Mede Berry are composed of 18 essential amino acids, 21 trace minerals, vitamins B1, B2, B6, and E, linoleic acid, selenium, germanium, and beta carotene. This potent berry has shown a positive impact on sexual vitality, happiness, longevity, and overall physical strength.
Blueberry is an antioxidant powerhouse. The deep blue color of this berry is related to high amounts of phytonutrients called anthocyanidin, which aid in the process of neutralizing free radical damage in our cells. Further, this fruit reduces the risk of heart diseases, cataracts, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, glaucoma, and peptic ulcers.
Acai berry is a relatively new-found health treasure. Due to their strong antioxidant contents, acai berries aim at slowing the process of aging and preventing diseases related to cellular oxidative damage. One acai berry holds ten times the amount of antioxidant vitamins as grapes and two times the number of blueberries.
Bilberries also are known as huckleberry, wineberry, and dewberry are three times smaller than blueberries but they are very much similar in taste, appearance, and benefits. Bilberries are extremely high in antioxidant anthocyanidins. Along with being curative towards diabetes, bilberries also protect your eyes and reduce the occurrence of poor vision, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
These are an excellent source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, iodine, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and copper. Strawberries are high in antioxidant phytonutrients known as phenols, which play an important role in providing protection from diseases and promoting good health.
Blackberries are more than just powerful antioxidants. They are also extremely high in some of the highest forms of chronic disease and cancer-fighting compounds: vitamins C, E, and ellagic acid. They also hold high levels of the soluble fiber known as pectin, a substance that studies link to lowered levels of cholesterol.
Cherries are high in quercetin & ellagic acid, which as an antioxidant flavonoid have been shown to promote cell and tissue health. Further, cherries also contain melatonin, an important natural chemical related to healthy sleep rhythms, and maintaining a youthful appearance. After getting a close look at the list of commonly available berries in the market and their nutritional details, let’s also have a brief look at the benefits of these berries towards weight loss:-
Berries are an extremely rich source of antioxidants, which helps in fighting oxidation – a natural process associated with cancer, heart disease, and aging during which cells can be damaged. Black raspberries, red raspberries, boysenberries, Marionberries, and strawberries are super-antioxidant foods with high oxygen radical absorbance capacity. All dark-colored berries are also high in ellagic acid, which has been proven helpful to kill some cancer cells. Not only this, but these berries are very rich in vitamin C as well.
Can you believe that there is about 4gms fiber in 1/2 cup serving for blackberries and raspberries, and half that for blueberries, cranberries and strawberries? Along with pumping up the volume high fiber foods also help in slowing down the digestion process because of which fiber takes longer to digest, helping you feel fuller longer on relatively few calories. According to the CDC, some studies indicate that eating whole fruits creates greater feelings of fullness than consuming them either as a purée or juice.
To lose weight, it is always good to choose foods, which have lower energy density meaning foods with fewer calories. The goal when dieting is to eat a greater volume of food that’s lower in calories to help you feel fuller for a longer duration. Foods that are high in water and fiber content but low in fat, such as berries are low-energy-dense foods. For example – 1 tsp of butter contains about the same calories as 1/2 cup of blackberries, blueberries, or sliced strawberries, between which is between 30-40 calories.
A long list of berries ranging from blueberries to raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries, have high water content. Most fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of water, which increases weight, volume, and juiciness but actually has no calories at all. Foods high in water can contribute significantly to a sense of fullness after eating, which ultimately contributes to boosting the weight loss process!
Don’t get tensed over what to make for dessert as we have a perfect solution for it. It won’t be time-consuming, & will be quite refreshing and low on calories too (especially for those fitness junkies you’re expecting over). You can even have a fun kitchen time with your children, let them make it in your guidance. The ingredients used in this recipe are very easily available at any supermarket. You can even mix and match the flavors and get your very own version of Healthy Berry Tarts and Strawberry Bruschetta. These are basically a great make-ahead dessert for any occasion like a cocktail buffet, weekend brunch, or a close luncheon. You can prepare the curd and whipped topping mixture in advance; refrigerate separately until you’re ready to serve. Who doesn’t love strawberry bruschetta? And it's even better when they are topped with strawberries. The way the tangy, slightly salty goat cheese works with balsamic-coated strawberries and crispy, charred bread is just delectable.
Fresh bread baguette – 1
Sliced strawberries – 1.5 cups
diced grape tomatoes – 1 cup
Minced shallots – 1
Diced nectarine – 1
Sliced fresh basil – 3 tbsp
Goat cheese – 11 oz
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Balsamic vinegar – 1 tbsp
Sugar – 1/4 tsp
Seasonings – As required
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Mix strawberries, nectarine, tomatoes, basil, shallot, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and seasonings.
3. Split baguette in half; cut each half crosswise into 4 equal pieces.
4. Spread cut sides of bread with goat cheese. Place bread pieces on a baking sheet, and bake until thoroughly heated.
5. Remove from oven, and top with strawberry mixture. Serve!
Calories per piece 68kcal, Carbs 9g, Sugar 1g, Fat 3g, Protein 3g, Fiber 1g
1 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp berry-flavored curd
2 (2.1 Oz) packets mini phyllo shells
Grated lemon rind (optional)
1. Spoon the yogurt onto several layers of heavy-duty paper towels; spread to 1/2-inch thickness.
2. Cover with additional paper towels; let stand for 5 minutes. Scrape yogurt into a bowl using a rubber spatula.
3. Combine yogurt and 1/2 tsp rind in a medium bowl. Gently fold in whipped topping.
4. Spoon 1 teaspoon Berry Curd into each phyllo shell; top each with 2 teaspoons yogurt mixture. Garnish with additional lemon rind& fresh berries, if desired. Serve immediately.
Yields 15 servings
Nutritional value per serve: Calories 65Kcal, Fat 2.5g, Carbs 8.2g, Protein 1g
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