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  • Writer's pictureJulie

Berry Good!

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Black bears in the wild spend all of their time devouring anything they can get their fangs on before winter even arrives. When the weather becomes cold, bears look for a place to cuddle up and then they sleep the winter away. During the summer, bears eat and eat and eat, striving to get as fat as they possibly can.

Now, it might not seem like a good idea to try to emulate bear behavior. After all, doctors constantly advise us, humans, not to overeat and not to spend all of our time passively lounging around.

However, there is one behavior of the black bear that you should attempt to mimic since it is beneficial to your well-being.

Black bears consume a large number of berries, including blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.

Berries have delicious flavors and natural sugars. Berries taste fantastic, unlike many other foods that are really healthy yet have a poor flavor.

Berries are among the healthiest things you can eat, unlike many delicious but unhealthily processed foods.

Only in the past ten years have experts begun to pay close attention to the health advantages of berries. Additionally, there is a lot of intriguing potential for human diets in what scientists are discovering about the health advantages of berries.

Around 10 years ago, Tufts University hosted one of the first significant studies on the advantages of berries for health.

A bunch of elderly rats were being used by the researchers. To see the results, several food diets were given to the animals. They studied strawberries, blueberries, and spinach, among other items.

The "rat years" of these rats indicated that they were fairly elderly. In actuality, they were about as ancient as a 70-year-old person.

The foods that were evaluated all included significant amounts of healthy antioxidants, thus the researchers wanted to determine which of these diets would improve the physical and mental health of the aging rats.

While several of these foods appeared to provide some antioxidant defense, the researchers discovered that the only rats that genuinely showed improvement were those who had been given blueberries.

In fact, the blueberry-fed rats were able to function like much younger rodents!

This was a really intriguing discovery, and the researchers next set out to determine what exactly it was about blueberries that had such a positive impact.

It was out that the colors in the blueberry's skin contained the compounds that caused the older rats to behave mentally more vibrantly and youthfully.

The very same chemicals that give ripe berries their stunning colors also possess powerful antioxidant properties. Additionally, antioxidants are substances that aid in repairing some of the harm our body cells endure on a daily basis.

Scientists have shown that berries offer more health benefits the darker they are! You can get the same antioxidant protection from eating two thirds of a cup of blueberries as you would from five servings of apples or squash.

These berries' dark pigments appear to offer protection against bladder infections, certain malignancies, and degenerative eye diseases including cataracts. They also appear to offer modest protection against cardiovascular disease.

The substances in these dark berries may help shield brain cells against the degenerative illnesses of aging if the promising results of the rat tests prove to be also true for humans.

No matter if you consume your berries fresh, frozen, or dried, you may benefit from this excellent antioxidant protection.

Berries can be consumed raw, added to cereals, or blended with other fruits, milk, and yogurts eaten a smoothie. Find inventive methods to include berries in your preferred dishes.

Blueberries are always in season in North America and can be purchased frozen or fresh. Dried berries are another option if you can't access fresh berries because they contain extremely high concentrations of beneficial antioxidants.

If blueberries are difficult to find where you live, search for other fruits and berries that are very dark red or dark purple in hue.

These powerful dark pigments are also abundant in foods including pomegranates, bilberries, cherries, black raspberries, saskatoons, and serviceberries. These meals provide advantages akin to those of blueberries.

So, consider adopting at least one bear behavior into your way of life, and include berries frequently in your diet!


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