10 Super Berry Fruits to Know About
All berries are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (not to mention fiber) that are good for your health.
In fact, fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries could easily be considered superfoods because of how fantastic they are.
However, some of the best super fruits out there are berries that you may never have heard of or don't know much about. They fly under the radar because they don't often show up in the grocery store, but each one has powerful benefits.
So without further ado, here's a look at 10 top super berries and the unique properties of each one.
10 Out-of-the-Ordinary Berry Super Fruits
At this point, elderberry is no longer flying under the radar thanks to its incredible immune-boosting and antiviral properties, but it's still not a berry you see every day (unless you have it in your cupboard).
Not only can elderberries help prevent you from getting a cold or the flu, they can also benefit blood sugar control, heart health, and digestion. Plus, the berries are full of nutrients and antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, anthocyanins, and bioflavonoids. (1)
Elderberries can cause digestive upset when eaten raw, so make sure you heat them to make a syrup or tea. (You can get the dried berries here.)
Currants are more popular in Europe than they are in the U.S., but there are many reasons to become more familiar with this super berry.
All types of currants are nutritious, but black currants are particularly full of nutrients like vitamin C (four times the amount of oranges), vitamin A, vitamin E, and B vitamins. They are also brimming with anthocyanins, which are a type of antioxidant.
Together, these nutrients have benefits for your immune system, skin, eyes, heart, and more.
For fresh fruit, consider adding black currants to your garden. Or enjoy the dried berries in something like this Crimson Berry Tea.
Aronia berries (also known as chokeberries) are super fruits most people haven't heard of. They grow on small shrubs that belong to the rose family of plants and have a sharp, sour flavor.
High in vitamin C and manganese, aronia berries really shine for their antioxidant content, which is higher than most other berries. They are especially rich in polyphenols, including anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins. (2)
Studies even show that aronia has anticancer potential and may benefit your heart and immune system. (3)
Aronia berries are very astringent, which makes it hard to consume them raw, but you can eat them dried, juiced, in jam, or made into an immune-boosting syrup.
You may have heard of goji berries before because they did gain super berry status for a while. Also known as wolfberries, these small red fruits are particularly high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and carotenoids.
Carotenoids are a group of antioxidants that are particularly beneficial for your eyes and skin. A specific carotenoid known as zeaxanthin, which goji berries contain plenty of, is thought to be especially protective against age-related eye diseases. (4)
This is likely why some studies have shown that goji berries may help protect against glaucoma! (5)
You can easily find dried goji berries to add to your diet or try growing them yourself.
Schisandra berries are super fruits that have long been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as a tonic for a wide range of ailments. Interestingly, the berries contain all five flavors identified in TCM: sour, bitter, sweet, acrid, and salty.
One of the most notable benefits of schisandra is that it has adaptogenic properties, meaning it helps your body to cope with physical and mental stress and can ease adrenal fatigue.
Schisandra is also recognized as beneficial for both the liver and digestive system.
Typically, schisandra has been used as a medicinal remedy rather than eaten in large amounts as food. You can try using dried schisandra berries to make an herbal tea or take schisandra extract.
Amla (Indian Gooseberry)
Amla berries (also known as Indian gooseberries) have long been valued in Ayurvedic medicine and are one of three herbs/fruits used in the revered formula known as triphala.
Amla is particularly notable for having an outstanding amount of vitamin C, containing up to 600-700 mg per berry. This supports both immunity and skin health. (6)
The berries are also great for your digestion and able to help with both constipation and diarrhea. Studies even show they may help ease heartburn and other symptoms of GERD. (7)
Amla is mostly taken as a powder or juice unless you live where the berries grow natively.
Hawthorn berries are true super berries when it comes to your heart. Research has shown that they have beneficial effects on blood pressure and cholesterol and can improve blood flow to the heart. (8)
Herbalists have also long used hawthorn for the emotional heart to ease anxiety, heartbreak, and grief. The berries have been used in TCM to support digestion as well.
Like other berries, hawthorn is full of antioxidants, particularly polyphenols.
Fresh hawthorn berries have traditionally been used to make jam, pie, and syrup. You can also use dried hawthorn berries for tea or syrup making if the fresh ones aren't available.
Bilberries are basically like a little known sibling of blueberries. The two look very similar, but bilberries are the smaller of the two and have a darker pulp.
Like blueberries, bilberries can easily be considered super fruits. They contain a good amount of vitamin C and are incredibly rich in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins.
Traditionally, bilberries have been viewed as beneficial for eye health and were believed to enhance night vision when consumed. This hasn't been proven yet, but studies do show that bilberry may slow loss of vision in glaucoma patients. (9)
If you have a green thumb, add some bilberry bushes to your garden to have access to the fresh version of this superfood. You can also find them dried and as an extract.
Acai berries hail from the Amazon region and have dark purple skin with yellowish flesh. The outer skin is tough and needs to be soaked before the berries can be eaten if they are harvested fresh.
Acai is considered a super berry because it's very rich in antioxidants (up to 10 times more than blueberries). It's also particularly high in vitamin A and contains lots of trace minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. (10)
Outside of where it grows natively, acai is usually available as a powder, juice, or puree. You can easily add it to smoothies, oatmeal, etc. for a nutrient and antioxidant boost.
Maqui berries grow wild in South America and have been used medicinally for centuries by indigenous people of Chile. Like other super fruits, the berries are loaded with antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory effects. (11)
Studies have shown that consuming maqui berries can have a range of health benefits and may boost heart health, eye health, digestion, and blood sugar control. (12)
You probably won't be able to find fresh maqui berries unless you live in South America, but they are becoming more widely available as a whole dried fruit or powder.
Try a New Super Berry Fruit
Hopefully, you've discovered new super berries to try from this list and learned more about what makes them so beneficial. Many have been used as both food and medicine throughout the years and are well worth trying for yourself.
Try them out and you might just find a new favorite superfood.
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice and should not be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your health care provider, herbalist, midwife, or naturopathic physician before taking herbs, supplements, etc. Here's the link to our full disclaimer.
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