We love berries so much, we named our superfood company after them. (Although technically there’s no such thing as an edible “Luminberry” – we just like to think of our name as a symbol for wellness illumination).
But the truth is, as far back as the beginning of humankind (and even beyond that), berries have been a prized food. Today, as our diet becomes increasingly inundated with options, it’s easy to forget these delicious, healthful tools, which can offer tremendous benefits in a potency level that few other natural foods can compete with. Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, anti-aging properties, and more, the motivating medical research around berries abounds: showing berries can do everything from helping slow the effects of free radicals and inflammation as we age, to aiding in the control of cholesterol and blood pressure, to maintaining healthy brain function. Read on to explore the benefits of some of our favorite berries…
Strawberries Strawberries are a wonderful source of fiber, naturally contain lots of water, and are a low-sugar fruit … which makes them a perfect superfood if you’re trying to lose a few pounds or keep blood sugar in check. In fact, they're a featured superfood in our Low-Sugar Superfood Smoothies cooking course! These berries are also high in vitamin C, which is fantastic for your immune system and skin health. And they're so easy to enjoy as a delicious addition to all sorts of deserts, parfaits, salads, breakfast bowls, and of course, a la carte.
Goji Berries The sweet goji berry holds a lot of nutritional promise: filled with fiber, protein, low-sugar carbohydrates, and over 20 vitamins and minerals. Its high levels of antioxidants have also been linked to its ability to lower insulin, balance cholesterol, improve immune functioning, enhance cognition, prevent fatigue, and more. Goji berries are also rich in zeaxanthin, which helps maintain eye health.
In cooking and baking, dried goji berries can be used similarly to raisins, and can also add a savory sweetness when cooked with grains or proteins. They’re also a great addtion to trail mix, smoothies, and tea.
Raspberries Similar in nutrition to strawberries, raspberries are also very high in fiber, water, and vitamin content. Not only can these two berries be an essential part of your weight management plan, but they can also help lower bad cholesterol and control type-2 diabetes as well. And, if you can resist eating them all straight from the basket, raspberries also make wonderful additions to baked goods, breakfast bowls, smoothies, salads, and dessert recipes.
Goldenberries Phenomenal for promoting healthy skin, goldenberries are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and even protein, as well as anti-inflammatory antioxidants like quercitin. They also contain essential fatty acids, like linoleic and oleic acid, which help your body oxidize fat and control insulin. A 2013 study conducted by Egypt’s National Research Center’s Department of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants found that goldenberries may also have liver and kidney benefits. Whether you enjoy them fresh or dried, these sweet-tart flavored fruits are a wonderful addition to salads, smoothies, and sweets.
Blueberries In addition to blueberries’ high fiber and water content, these powerful little berries contain 20 different types of anthocyanins, the antioxidant family that gives them a bluish color, and is known to help protect your body against all sorts of diseases. For example, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have found connections between eating blueberries a couple times per week and decreased cardiovascular risk, enhanced insulin sensitivity, and improved cognition. It’s easy to add fresh blueberries to your favorite fruit or grain recipes, or just enjoy them fresh!
Mulberries Mulberries are well-known for controlling blood sugar, but they’re also rich in a rare antioxidant called resveratrol, which is why mulberries are considered such an ideal anti-aging berry! Mulberries also have several nutritional properties to support memory, and thanks to a great supply of vitamin C, promote a healthy immune system, too. Fresh mulberries are rather mild in flavor, but dried mulberries are chewy and sweet, and delicious in granola, pancakes, and baked goods.
Blackberries One thing that sets blackberries apart from many other berries is their unique cancer-fighting properties, which are especially powerful for GI-related diseases like colon cancer. Eating these soft, delicate fruits can contribute to a healthy heart, better athletic performance, and reduced risk of disease. Just be sure to skip the sugar-laden blackberry pie, and instead toss a few of these healthy berries into salads, mixed-fruit medleys, or your daily breakfast plate.
There’s no berry – or any natural edible for that matter – that’s quite like camu berries, which have the distinct honor of being the most potent source of vitamin C of any food in the world! (Even just a pinch of camu berry powder will get you well above the RDA for vitamin C). Camu is also extremely low in sugar (which is why it tastes bitter), but it’s easy to incorporate into just about any kind of unheated recipe, from smoothies to salad dressings to dips and spreads.
Remember: All edible berries are great choices to give your day a superfood boost. And yes, there are many, many additional wonderful varieties to enjoy (sea buckthorn, acai, cranberries, elderberries ... the list goes on and on!). The most important takeaway is that if you want to consume some of the most powerful superfood fruits to enhance your vitality, look no further than the world of berries … any and all of them!