Table of Contents
The Quick Answer
Yes. Berries are paleo.
Why Are Berries Paleo?
Berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, and other dried berries) are paleo because they are a fruit and all fruit is paleo, mostly because it’s natural, unprocessed, and usually comes with a lot of health benefits.
Berries are often thought of as the healthiest fruits (kind of like kale is sometimes called “the holy grail of vegetables”). This is because berries are a nutrient powerhouse. They offer a range of important antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and phytonutrients, giving them the ability to fight free radicals, help ward off the ageing process, and decrease your chances of developing chronic diseases like cancer, brain disease, and auto-immune diseases.
Berries have been eaten for thousands of years, although the kind that cavemen ate were likely wild varieties of berries that were a bit different to the domesticated kinds that many of us consume today. Wild berries are still available today in many health food stores, although you will usually find them in dried form. Goji berries, mulberries, maqui berries, and goldenberries are some examples of dried berries that are often considered super foods because of the extremely high level of vitamins and antioxidants that they contain.
The benefits of consuming modern berries differs depending on the type of berry in question. For example, blueberries and raspberries are better than strawberries in terms of their antioxidant levels and the fiber they provide. Strawberries are praised for their high levels of vitamin C. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that different berries have to offer.
Blueberries – high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, and manganese
Strawberries – relatively low in sugar, low in calories, high in vitamin C, high in anti-inflammatory plant phenols
Blackberries – same benefits as raspberries, also thought to help digestion and to improve brain health
Cranberries – low in sugar, anti-inflammatory, help to prevent infections (especially in urinary tract), help restore cholesterol levels and heart health
Berries are a great choice if you are including a good amount of fruit in your diet because of all that they have to offer: relatively low amounts of sugar compared to some other fruits (like bananas and pineapples, for example), plus loads of disease-preventing nutrients.
Eating berries (and fruit in general) is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without having to resort to adding cane sugar or even natural sweeteners to your diet. If you’re looking for something sweet after dinner, berries will always be a good choice over something processed and devoid of any nutrients.
How Many Berries Should You Eat?
All fruit, including all berries, contains sugar and carbohydrates, so there is some debate amongst paleo followers as to how much fruit should be consumed. People who are looking to lose some weight and manage their blood sugar levels will want to keep an eye on how much fruit they eat, including how many servings of berries they consume.
Most people with no specific health conditions who are following a paleo diet can afford to eat between one and three servings of fruit a day, while those who exercise a lot can eat even more. Endurance athletes are encouraged to consume more carbs then someone who only works out two to three times per week, so an endurance athlete may allow him- or herself to indulge in three to four pieces of fruit each day.
Berries are usually in season during the summer months, but they can be found frozen all year round, which is really convenient way. Frozen varieties are usually cheaper than the fresh kinds. They’re also great if you’re using them to make smoothies because they can go straight from your freezer to your blender. It’s best to get organic berries whenever you can, since berries are one of the most sprayed crops around.
Is There Any Confusion When It Comes To Berries Being Paleo?
No. Everyone agrees that berries are paleo and that they are very healthy foods to eat. Eat them but be weary of how much you eat at once, so that you don’t mess with your blood sugar levels.
So, Are Berries Paleo?
Yes. Berries are paleo because they offer a wide range of important nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants, plus they are natural, unprocessed plant foods that have been eaten since Paleolithic times. They are the perfect way to treat yourself to some sweetness and healthy sugar, without adding processed junk to your diet.
How To Know What Is And Isn’t Paleo
Check out Paleo.io, the mobile app that answers the question, “is __ paleo?” Paleo.io comes with the most comprehensive paleo diet food list out there, so no matter which food you’re confused about, you’ll always be able to find out whether or not it’s paleo.
Photo credit: liz west
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