Berry smoothiesThey may be tiny, but cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are BIG on antioxidants, which can help your body combat stress caused by free radicals that can make you ill. A diet rich in antioxidants improves your overall health, helps protect you against certain diseases, and beautifies your hair and skin. Nutrient-rich berries are packed with these antioxidants.

Real fruit berry smoothies give you especially powerful antioxidants that include vitamin C, quercetin and anthocyanins, all of which give berries their vibrant colours. Quercetin can reduce the inflammatory effects of conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, and it can help slow down age-related memory loss. Vitamin C helps your body produce collagen, which aids joint flexibility and keep cartilage strong.

In addition to contributing to healthy hair and radiant skin, berry smoothies can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, cataracts and arthritis. Berries are juicy, which means they contain lots of water. Juicy foods can help you lose weight because they make you feel full quickly. The high water content increases volume, while reducing calorie intake.

When you drink berry smoothies, your body is also getting folic acid and fiber. Folic acid helps protect against age-related dementia and cardiovascular disease, and, because it stimulates the production of serotonin (a feel-good chemical), it can enhance your mood and help ward off depression. Fiber helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and aids in weight loss.

Note: Frozen beverages are a good substitute if you can’t find fresh berries in the off-season months, and they are just as nutritious. For example, give the Blender Boyz Berry Blend smoothie mix a try! You won’t be disappointed . . .