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A “Berry” Sweet Treat

An excellent source of nutrients, berries are naturally sweet and can be enjoyed with little effort. Simply rinse and east. Berries contain phytochemicals proven to prevent and even aid in the treatment of some diseases. A substance in cranberries and blueberries for instance helps prevent and treat bladder infections. Some berries also have high levels of antioxidants and flavanoids essential for normal function of the immune system and protection against vascular instability; thereby directly affecting heart disease and in general helping to slow the aging process. The lutein in many berries is important for healthy vision. One cup of strawberries provides over 100 mg of vitamin C, which is critical for optimal immune function, strong connective tissue and healthy skin (less wrinkles). In addition, strawberries offer calcium magnesium, folic acid and potassium with only 53 calories. At only 83 calories, a cup of blueberries possess exceptionally high levels of antioxidants and phytochemicals.

The nutrients in berries are most bioavailable when grown without chemicals or pesticides and consumed raw. However, because they are not always in season, there are other options. Frozen berries are available year-round and can be used frozen in smoothies or protein shakes. They can also be thawed and eaten alone, or added to cereal, oatmeal, or sprinkled with granola or round flax seed. Add to muffins or pancakes for a little extra flavor and texture. Try to incorporate at least one serving (1-2 cups) and you will be “berry” glad you did.


Written by Brooks Juneau

January 1, 2006 at 7:51 pm

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