One of the most significant health benefits of berries seem to be their high levels of a group of chemicals called antioxidants.
What are They and How do They Work?
Your body carries out regular cellular maintenance - repairing structures that are worn out or damaged, taking out the cellular garbage, and some basic preventive maintenance. Every one of these activities is involves chemistry, and wherever there are chemical reactions, there are by-products. By-products are the leftovers, like the dust that collects under a saw - you don't need it to do your construction project, but you still have to deal with it.
Some of these by-products of our body's natural functions are called free-radicals. These are structures that can damage our cells. Our bodies do have their own defense system against free radicals - our natural production of antioxidants. If we are relatively healthy, and exposed to few additional sources of free radicals our bodies can normally produce enough.
However, most of us are exposed to many additional sources of free radicals; cigarette smoke, pollution, radiation, toxic chemicals in our homes, and unnecessary chemicals and preservatives in our food. This level our bodies were not designed to deal with. However, by eating antioxidant rich foods, we can provide our bodies with what it cannot make by itself - helping it to get rid of those damaging free radicals.
For more information on how they work visit the wonderful site