Find out “Can eating berries reduce stress-related disease risk in adults?” Based on a recent study published in the Journal of Nutrients, there is promising evidence that suggests eating berries may be associated with a reduced risk of stress-related diseases in adults.
Here are some key takeaways from the study:
- Researchers analyzed data from a large survey of US adults, looking at their berry intake and measuring a score called “allostatic load” (AL). This score reflects the wear and tear on the body from chronic stress across different systems like the heart, immune system, and metabolism.
- People who ate berries, including strawberries and blueberries, had lower overall AL scores compared to those who didn’t. This suggests a potential link between berry consumption and reduced physiological stress response. Additionally, the more berries someone ate, the lower their AL score, suggesting a dose-dependent effect.
- Berries are rich in beneficial compounds like flavonoids, polyphenols, and fiber, which may help combat inflammation, protect against heart disease, and improve gut health. These factors could contribute to increased resilience to stress and a lower risk of stress-related diseases.
- Berries are rich in bioactive compounds that may scavenge reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, thereby protecting the body from oxidative damage, which is associated with various diseases 1.
- Additionally, berries have been linked to anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, anticarcinogenic, and cardiovascular benefits, which collectively contribute to reducing the risk of stress-related diseases 2.
- Epidemiological studies have also associated regular, moderate intake of blueberries with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and death 3. Therefore, incorporating berries into the diet may be a beneficial strategy for reducing the risk of stress-related diseases in adults.
NOTE: Although the current evidence suggests a promising link, be aware that this study was observational, meaning it cannot prove outrightly that eating berries directly causes a reduction in stress-related disease risk. More research, such as randomized controlled trials, is needed to confirm this link. Other factors besides diet can also influence stress and disease risk. It’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle overall, including managing stress through other means like exercise and relaxation techniques.
Some other health benefits of eating berries
Eating berries offers a wide range of health benefits, including:
- Antioxidant Properties: Berries are high in flavonoids and antioxidants, which can help protect against inflammation and promote healthy cell function, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- Weight Management: The fiber and liquid content in berries can contribute to a sense of fullness, aiding in weight management.
- Heart Health: Berries have been linked to improved blood sugar and insulin response, as well as lowering cholesterol and improving the function of arteries, all of which are beneficial for heart health.
- Cancer Prevention: The antioxidants in berries may help reduce the risk of cancer and prevent cell damage.
- Other Benefits: Berries have also been associated with better cognitive health, lower blood pressure, and potential anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic effects.
In summary, the consumption of berries is linked to a variety of health benefits, making them a valuable addition to a healthy diet.