In an increasingly complex and demanding world, more and more of us are succumbing to the effects of stress. Work, money and relationships are all potential triggers for this debilitating condition that can result in insomnia, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite, palpitations, sweating and a dry mouth as well as recurrent headaches and other aches and pains. In the UK some 25% of all absenteeism is stress related and up to 5 million of us are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ stressed because of work. Yet, whilst we might not be able to eliminate stress from our lives completely, there are a number of ways to help manage and reduce it, such as learning how to relax, taking regular exercise, adopting sound time-management techniques and eating sensibly. And Mother Nature has provided us with its very own, highly effective stress reliever in the form of a powerful superfood from the Amazon – Incan berries.
What are Incan berries?
Incan berries (also known as golden berries, Aztec berries and Peruvian cherries) grow on the Physalis Peruviana, a perennial plant that belongs to the nightshade family and is native to the Amazon. These small, yellow berries of between 1 and 2 cm in diameter boast a velvety smooth, sweet tasting skin and are packed with crunchy citrus-like seeds – a delicious combination that’s responsible for their hallmark sweet and sour flavour.
Loaded with beneficial nutrients including vitamins (such as vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and P), minerals (e.g. phosphorous), vegetable protein (they consist of up to 16% protein) and melatonin, Incan berries have been treasured for thousands of years by numerous indigenous tribes as both a valuable source of food and a traditional medicine used to treat cancer, leukaemia, diabetes, malaria, asthma, hepatitis, dermatitis and rheumatism.
Antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic Incan berries are also believed to help muscle growth and recovery, optimise nutrient absorption, regulate blood sugar levels, strengthen our immune system and promote general health and wellbeing. Meanwhile Incan berry seeds are prized for their mildly laxative effect that encourages a healthy bowel movement and can help to prevent the build up of damaging toxins in our body.
Incan berries – the number one choice for stress relief
Incan berries have also proven extremely efficient at relieving stress. Just like goji berries, Incan berries are adaptogens, which means that they help to balance our mind and body. As stress is commonly precipitated by periods of mental and physical exhaustion, Incan Berries actively prevent stress by boosting our immune system and keeping our body strong. In addition, there are two influential ingredients in Incan Berries that are key at managing bouts of stress, anxiety and tension:
Incan berries are incredibly rich in B Vitamins, including Vitamin B1, B2, B6 and B12. Scientific research has revealed that B vitamins go a long way towards reducing stress, improving memory, boosting energy, combating fatigue, regulating metabolism and relieving the symptoms of PMS (which can cause or aggravate stress if left unchecked).
Symptoms of stress are often compounded or intensified due to a lack of sleep – Incan berries also contain a small amount of melatonin, an important hormone that helps to regulate our biorhythm and promote a sound night’s sleep.
Enjoying Incan berries
You can begin preventing and combating stress today simply by enjoying a handful of bittersweet organic Incan berries straight from the bag. Alternatively you can try combining them with nuts and other dried fruits for a tasty trail mix that makes an ideal snack between meals. Incan berries are also the perfect ingredient in a your choice of raw cakes, biscuits and chocolate and make a temptingly tangy topping for desserts.