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Nature’s Blueprint for Healthy Eating: Smart Birds Choose Smart Berries

According to a recent study about the eating habits of migratory birds, birds take in huge amounts of antioxidants by loading up on certain high-color, high-antioxidant berries before migration – up to triple their body weight in berries per day, or the equivalent to a human swallowing over 300 pounds!

This University of Rhode Island study found that birds seek out dark pigment berries, and tend to favor those with the highest antioxidant count. According to the leader of the study, the berries’ antioxidants may help the birds combat stress and inflammation that they experience during long flights. That birds turn to berries to help them accomplish the trips of their lifetimes provides fascinating evidence into the natural benefits of antioxidant-rich berries, and might tell us a lot about our own eating habits.

Our long flight, of course, occurs closer to the ground, and over the course of 80 or so years. Antioxidants, which occur in the dark purple and blue pigments of berries like blueberries (wild blueberries have highest antioxidant content of twenty other common fruits) help mitigate the effect of free radicals which create a destructive process in our cells. Resulting oxidative damage plays a huge role in many of our modern-day diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and diseases of aging.

Are you attracted to bright blues? Do you eat from the rainbow? When it comes to good health and longevity, we might benefit from thinking like a bird when planning our next meal. This study provides more evidence that color is truly the key to spreading our wings and making that great flight we call our life as healthy as possible!

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