Strawberries, blueberries, and other berries are not just delicious; they’re loaded with antioxidant phytochemicals that can strengthen your immune system and help keep you healthy.
Why Berries Are Good for You
In strawberries, anthocyanins are the most highly concentrated antioxidant. Research has shown anthocyanins may help boost short-term memory by nearly double. In blueberries, gallic acid is the key antioxidant. Research shows gallic acid can protect the brain and slow the progress of degenerative brain diseases. It may also improve cognitive function and improve memory. In one study, women who consumed two servings of strawberries, or one serving of blueberries, each week experienced significantly less mental decline than women who didn’t.
Strawberries are packed with vitamin C. Gram for gram, strawberries contain as much of this cold and flu busting vitamin as oranges.
Strawberries and blueberries are both good sources of fiber, which stimulates digestion and helps protect the digestive tract. Blueberries have also been shown to nourish beneficial gut bacteria. They also both contain plenty of water, which can help you feel full and stay hydrated.
Health Benefits of Yogurt
Of course, berries are just one part of this recipe. Yogurt is a powerhouse of health benefits as well. One of the most well-known benefits of yogurt is its helpful effects on your digestion. Yogurt is made with the help of the same bacteria that help you digest and extract nutrients from your food. The active cultures in yogurt have been shown to promote a healthy digestive tract and may be able to help ease the symptoms of such gastrointestinal issues as irritable bowel, constipation, diarrhea, and even lactose intolerance.
The beneficial bacteria in yogurt have also been shown to boost the immune system. In recent years, scientists have discovered that around three-quarters of your immune system function begins in the gut and depends on healthy gut flora. More recent research has found that probiotics in fermented foods help to strengthen the intestinal mucosa and stimulate the production of cytokines, which are substances secreted by the immune cells. A study in Sweden found that participants who were given probiotics had half as many sick days as a control group.
Another recent study found that consuming yogurt was directly linked to a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. By supporting healthy digestion and efficient absorption of nutrients, yogurt helps regulate and stabilize blood sugar levels.
Promoting digestive and metabolic health is one of the cornerstones of a successful adrenal fatigue recovery. When the body’s energy and function are drained, as with adrenal fatigue, two concerns of utmost importance are to reduce stress on the body and to provide comprehensive nutrition. Boosting gut health achieves both of these objectives by smoothing the digestion process as well as improving nutrient uptake.
It seems odd, but your gut actually contains more neurons than your spinal cord, effectively making the gut a second brain. The gut is also responsible for the production of as much as 90 percent of the serotonin and other neurotransmitters in your body. This system of neurons and neurotransmitters is known as the enteric nervous system. Studies show that consuming yogurt and other probiotic-rich foods can help lower anxiety levels and improve mood.
This boost to mental health is especially helpful for those suffering from adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue exerts negative effects on mood and cognition, so using the gut and nutrition as an avenue to alleviate the psychological symptoms is very helpful in contributing to the overall recovery.
This healthy and delicious recipe provides both a boost to gut health and improvement in cognitive function. Taken together, they combine to form a powerful one-two punch to fight back against symptoms of adrenal fatigue and a delicious way to support your daily health.
Yogurt Parfait Recipe
- 1½ cups of sugar-free organic yogurt
- 2 cups granola
- 1 cup fresh organic strawberries, sliced
- 1 cup organic blueberries, raspberries, or diced apples
- In each of 4 parfait glasses, alternate layers of yogurt, granola, strawberries, and other fruit.
- Chill and enjoy as a breakfast, snack, or dessert.
Note: You can use plain yogurt and add your own sweetener, or try vanilla or other flavored yogurt.