The fact that berries are healthy is beyond doubt. But are frozen berries as healthy as fresh ones? Svetlana Zelentsova , Ph.D., doctor of integrative medicine, specialist in functional nutrition, talks about this .
The benefits of berries often exceed those of fruits. Mainly due to the higher polyphenol content and much lower sugar content.
But the berry season is so short! And in order to have this healthy product on the table all year round, frozen ones are quite suitable.
Contrary to the common misconception, they contain no less vitamins, and often even more, than in fresh analogues brought from distant countries. After all, fresh and ripe raw materials are frozen at the height of the season. And berries on supermarket shelves lose up to half of their properties during storage and transportation.
For example, frozen blueberries, blueberries and raspberries contain more anthocyanins than fresh berries.
Such little-known, but promising substances such as fisetin and ellagic acid are not destroyed at low temperatures.
Fisetin is a flavonoid with potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. The record holder for its content is strawberry, which makes this fragrant berry a real “rejuvenating apple”.
The ability of fisetin to slow down aging processes and increase life expectancy, reduce the risks of age-related diseases (cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, etc.) is being studied .
These effects are achieved due to the fact that fisetin helps the body to get rid of old and damaged cells, activating the process of their apoptosis (natural destruction). ⠀
In addition, the flavonoid has antidiabetic properties, increasing the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels.
Reduces the formation of end products of glycation, protects myocardial and brain cells, prevents the development of many types of cancer, enhances the effect of chemotherapy, helps to alleviate depression, improves memory and learning ability, and exhibits many more beneficial properties.
In general, the substance has enormous potential and is now being actively studied.
Of course, further study of nutraceuticals is required. In particular, it is not known exactly what doses of flavonoid we require.
Another promising polyphenol is ellagic acid.
Contained in raspberries, blackberries, wild strawberries, pomegranate, and some nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, edible chestnuts).
The record holders are raspberries and blackberries. Moreover, the most acid is in raspberry seeds.
As already mentioned, the substance is not destroyed when frozen. And also when heated. Therefore, an excellent solution would be not only smoothies, but also compote from frozen berries.
Ellagic acid is attractive because of its many beneficial properties: antioxidant, antimutagenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, hemostatic.
The compound has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activity.
Improves the health of blood vessels; lowers cholesterol; helps to restore and protect the liver from toxic substances and viruses; stimulates healing, restoration of tissues, mucous membranes, has a neuroprotective effect.
Best of all, ellagic acid is the most effective natural anti-cancer agent.
In studies in patients with various types of cancer, its use significantly facilitated the course of the disease. Ellagic acid prevents cancer cells from multiplying, causes their death (apoptosis), and prevents metastasis. In addition, the acid can increase the sensitivity of the tumor to chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
These properties have not yet been fully studied, but they are very encouraging.
It is believed that this substance is one of the most powerful immunomodulators known to science.
Ellagic acid is able to fight the human papillomavirus and prevent its oncogenic effect.
Despite these promising results, it is currently not entirely certain that supplemental ellagic acid works in the body in the same way it does in experiments. There are also no dosage recommendations. So you can’t go wrong if you just eat more fresh or frozen raspberries.
What else can you find useful in supermarket refrigerators? Frozen blueberries, blackberries, blueberries. And, as you know, dark-colored berries are an excellent source of anthocyanins. These flavonoids have powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial properties, reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases, and improve intestinal barrier functions. Also useful for diabetes and obesity.
And, as already mentioned, they are absolutely resistant to low temperatures.
Frozen sea buckthorn berries contain the valuable carotenoids lutein zeaxanthin. The importance of consuming these nutrients for vision can hardly be overestimated – they help prevent cataracts, reduce the risk of macular degeneration (one of the common causes of blindness). But, these carotenoids also play the role of antioxidants in the body.
Flavonoids and phytosterols of sea buckthorn have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, have antiproliferative (anticancer) activity. The use of sea buckthorn berries has a positive effect on carbohydrate metabolism and blood lipid profile .
In general, the benefits are obvious. But we have not even touched on the topic of vitamins, microelements and fibers in berries. So put your doubts aside and don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of such a valuable product regardless of the season.