“All disease starts in the gut.” – Hippocrates
Recent studies continue to prove what the great Greek physician Hippocrates had stated more than 2000 years ago. Ongoing research shows that the right balance of bacteria in human gut has a positive impact on our immune system, helps in maintaining a healthy weight, and reduces inflammation.
We all love berries for their taste, but these small, versatile fruits are also filled with health boosting antioxidants.
Gut experts have shown through their research that certain food in our diet have been instrumental in keeping our guts in optimal health. And berries are one of the “superfoods” that health experts suggest we must include in our diet to ensure healthy gut.
Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum, a gut health expert, has spent many years researching on microbiome and mycobiome to understand the role of gut bacteria in human health and wellbeing. He has suggested the food we should eat to improve gut health. And berries are one of his favorites as they contain polyphenols.
Polyphenols are the secret compounds present in many food items that make it good for us. It gives a dark hue to berries, wine and dark chocolate. Studies show that they play a positive role in our metabolism and help to maintain a healthy weight, leading to better management of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disorders and cancer.
While wine and chocolate are great sources of polyphenols, Dr. Ghannoum prefers berries as they are rich in antioxidants.
Another gut health expert states that all berries contain polyphenols, but some berries are better sources. And the good news is that the common varieties of berries are some of the best sources.
Studies suggest blueberries have plenty of phenolic acids (a type of polyphenol). Blackberries, elderberries, raspberries, strawberries and currants are examples of other berries that contain polyphenols.
Dr. Ghannoum doesn’t specify any specific type of berries, he just emphasized that berries are mycobiome friendly diet, and good for gut health. Additionally, he suggested inclusion of herbs and seafood into our diet.
Grapes are packed with polyphenols, so the glass of red wine we all love is actually manna from heaven. Although wine is favoured for its health benefits, Dr. Ghannoum does not recommend it as a medicinal drink. Additionally, he restricts it to three to four glasses per week, and that too is not the adequate amount of polyphenols needed for human gut health.
All berries have polyphenols, so enjoy the ones you desire. The best things about berries is that they taste amazing on their own as snacks, but you can also add them to meals in smoothies, or in puddings.