Health Alert: Berry benefits

NATIONAL (NBC) - Many of know the health benefits of blueberries and strawberries. They are chock full of vitamins and antioxidants. Now, there are some new berries on the block that may also be worth checking out.

Shopping the perimeter of the store used to be a common practice for Dwight Johnson. But lately he's taking a detour towards the juice aisle. "I just felt, as the years went by, felt less energetic, when I was jogging or walking or trying to play with my eight-year-old son at the time."

So Dwight's nutritionist, Patti Milligan, R.D., suggested a juice called mangosteen to help give him a boost. "Fifteen months ago, I started trying mangosteen, about two ounces a day, and I just started feeling better and better. I was sleeping better and I had more energy."

Mangosteen has healthy properties like potassium and magnesium that help the immune system. Milligan says, "There's active plant compounds that are biological in nature and they're called Xanthones."

Mangosteen isn't the only berry people are buzzing about. Acai is also hot because of its anti-aging properties. Milligan says, "One of the aspects of it is the fatty acids in Acai, which you don't think of that as being fat, but it seems to really help the cellular lining."

When it comes to helping your heart, the Goji berry is the way to go. Milligan says it contains beneficial plant compounds. "They seem to have some ones that support the cardiovascular system and actually the way the liver helps clear out our systems."

So how do these exotic juices taste? "Mangosteen is just an overall fruity fruit juice, as crazy as that sounds. Acai to me is a little bit raspberry with a hint of grape, and I'd say Goji is a little bit stronger, maybe cranberry-like, pomegranate-like if you will," says Milligan.

That may make "juicing up" your diet worth the trip to the store. Milligan says she hasn't seen any adverse effect from the juices if they're consumer in their directed amount.

But with any non-regulated product, you should first consult your doctor before trying these juices.

Posted by Chantelle Janelle