Berries' benefits are bountiful in every bite. From blueberries to blackberries, they’re sweet and serve one of the greatest natural medicines for nearly every part of the body. The beautiful reds, blues, blacks, and purples provide an array of vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, and flavor despite their size. They're so easy to incorporate into any meal from breakfast to dessert thanks to their natural sweetness that can serve as a treat and daily supplement. Each bite-sized fruit comes in highly concentrated dosages and vary from stem to stem.

We started reaping the benefits of berries in the Paleolithic period, before agriculture and industry were even a blip on the developing human radar. It was a time when humans lived as hunter-gatherers, picking berries right off the bushes, digging up roots, scavenging for meat, and learning how to fish. The variety of our palate grew as people began farming in the New Stone Age, where parsnips, peas, and lentils were common — but berries remained a sweet treasure. Discovering the benefits of berries only solidified their place in the human diet, as they continued to protect our bodies from damage.

1. Blueberry: Energy Booster, Bone Builder, Diabetes And Heart Disease Fighter

They may be small, but blueberries are an antioxidant powerhouse with high levels of anthocyanidines. A study analyzing 94,000 women, published in the journal Circulation, found by eating just three servings a week, the anthocyanidines work to significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Antioxidants have been proven to delay the aging process and reduce the type of cell damage that leads to cancer. Blueberries are at the top of every berry list for their ability to reduce the chances of developing disease in the first place. This includes, heart disease, cataracts, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, glaucoma, and ulcers.

2. Strawberry: Protects The Brain And Improves Eye Health

They’re red and delicious and come in over 600 varieties throughout the world. They’re a reliable source of potassium, fiber, vitamins B, C, K, manganese, iodine, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and copper. Strawberries also contain high amounts of phenols, which have been known to protect against disease. Cornell University researchers found strawberries stopped the rapid growth of liver cancer cells. They’ve also been found to stop esophageal cancer.

3. Cranberry: Increases Good Cholesterol And Prevents UTIs

These holiday berries are full of antioxidants that work to fight cell damage. Drinking cranberry juice to treat urinary tract infections (UTI) is an old wives' tale that’s actually true. It works by binding to the UTI-causing bacteria, so it stops the infection in the urethra. Use it as a mouthwash! It sound strange, but the proanthocyanidines in cranberries prevent plaque from forming on the teeth, and studies have shown it may actually help prevent periodontal disease.

4. Goji Berries: Protect Liver And Improve Cancer Treatment Response

These Tibet and Nepal native berries have been scientifically proven to have the ability to protect the liver from contaminants. Locals have traditionally believed they were edible keys to sexual vitality, happiness, longevity, and physical strength. There may be some truth to it, considering goji berries contain 18 essential amino acids, 21 minerals, vitamins B1, B2, B6, and E, linoleic acid, selenium, and more beta-carotene than a carrot. Research published in the Chinese Journal of Oncology described how cancer patients were responding better to their treatments when goji berries were incorporated into their diets.

5. Açai Berry: Lowers Cholesterol And Strengthens Heart

Unique to the Amazon Rainforest, the acai berry is dense in health-healthy anthocyanins. They’re so beneficially potent that one acai berry has 10 times the amount of antioxidants as grapes and twice the amount as blueberries.

6. Blackberry: Fights Cardiovascular Diseases And Cancer

These dark blue bushel berries are extremely high in vitamins, C, E, and ellagic acid. Aside from the antioxidant benefits, they also carry with them the soluble fiber pectin, which has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Ohio State University researchers found blackberries have the ability to stop tumors from forming in the mouth, and they slow down the growth of colon cancer cells.

7. Raspberry: Reduces Heart Disease Risk And Obesity

They are both high in heart-healthy fiber and polyphenols. The combination works as a protector to promote good heart health. They have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients with huge amounts of vitamin C, manganese, and fiber. Their ketone nutrients are a novel area of research that has been shown to decrease obesity risk and risk of developing a fatty liver. The enzyme is thought to absorb less fat from foods, but more research needs to be done before it can turn into a reliable weight loss treatment.

8. Cherries: Ease Joint And Muscle Pain

These berries are used for more than just tongue tying stems to show off. Cherries are high in quercetin and ellagic acid, which have been shown to stop cancer-causing mutations in DNA. They’re packed with antioxidant flavonoids that have been shown to promote cell and tissue growth. They’re also high in bioflavonoids that are the active ingredient in joint and muscle treatment. Cherries can help regulate healthy sleeping patterns, thanks to the natural sleep aid they contain, melatonin.