Weight Loss & Fitness

Dairy and berry combo steals antioxidants

By Sari Huhtala

If you want to get the most nutritional bang out of your berry-filled smoothie, and the greatest number of antioxidants, you may wish to think twice before adding a scoop of yogurt or milk to your berry blend. Dairy can negate the antioxidant effects of berries.

Aside from being easier to digest when only plant-based ingredients are added to a smoothie, a study in Free Radical Biology and Medicine found the ability to absorb antioxidants from blueberries, strawberries and other berries is reduced when dairy or milk is added to the fold.

In their study, Antioxidant activity of blueberry fruit is impaired by association with milk, researchers found when 200 grams of blueberries was consumed with 200 ml of water, blood plasma concentrations of caffeic and ferulic acid – antioxidants that help fight free radicals – increased by 11 per cent. When 200 grams of blueberries was ingested with 200 ml of whole milk, there was no increase in plasma antioxidant capacity. There was actually a “reduction in peak plasma concentrations” of caffeic acid by 49.7 per cent and ferulic acid by 19.8 per cent.

A 2015 study in the journal Food Chemistry also reported similar findings when they researched the impact of strawberries ingested with yogurt.

The takeaway? For better health-boosting effects, stick to water instead of dairy products in smoothies and berry bowls.

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