By Contributing Author Sharon A. See
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, boysenberries, cherries, cranberries and grapes are just some of the wonderful berries that come into season this time of the year. And there are so many ways to enjoy them. Most are delish on their own and make a wonderfully healthy snack or top with a dollop of whip cream for a light summer dessert.
Berries are naturally low in calories, fat and sugar so they complement any eating style. Adding a few servings of berries into your daily diet is great way to get some added nutrition with very few calories.
Not all berries are created equal and each and every berry has their own unique health benefits. But, all berries do share a few common health benefits. They are little power houses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids and fiber. Let’s take a look and see just how good for you they are.
Berries are chock full of powerful cancer fighting antioxidants like anthocyanins, ellagic acid and resveratrol. These antioxidants help to keep cancer causing free radicals under control while reducing oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is believed to be at the root of all disease. So eat those berries!
Regulate Blood Sugar
For those looking to control blood sugar there is no better whole food than berries. Berries are naturally low in sugar unlike many other fruits. They are also packed with blood sugar stabilizing fiber that burns slower and requires less of an insulin response. Studies have also shown that blueberries improve insulin sensitivity in insulin resistant patients.
Fills You Up
Fiber keeps you fuller, longer. Pound for pound, berries are a great source of fiber. Adding fiber rich foods like berries to your diet is very helpful for natural appetite control because you stay satisfied longer. Fiber has also been shown to benefit both heart and digestive health.
Boost Vitamin Intake
Berries are considered to be a nutrient dense food. This means that you get more nutrition contained in fewer calories. This is the exact opposite of the way most of us eat choosing high calorie foods with little or no nutritional value. Berries give you so many choices for good nutrition. For example, one cup of strawberries gives you an entire day’s supply of vitamin C.
Studies have shown that people who consume berries daily can experience significant reductions in LDL (bad cholesterol). And berries help to keep LDL from becoming oxidized which is believed to be a major risk factor of heart disease. And the high fiber content of berries helps to “brush” cholesterol from the digestive track before it can be absorbed.
Be sure to look for a variety of berries at the market during the coming weeks. Many vendors will offer different berries throughout the season.
And, here’s a great gluten free recipe using fresh blueberries.
See you at the market!
About Sharon A. See
I hope you are enjoying my articles. If you’d like some customized strategies and support with healthy eating for you and your family, please reach out to me. I’m happy to help!
If you have farmer’s market or healthy eating questions you’d like answered or topics you’d like to hear more about, please let me know. See below to contact me.
Sharon A. See
Certified Holistic Health Coach
You can contact me and find other interesting articles, resources, and recipes on my website at www.vitalizedwellness.com.
Click here to receive my weekly blog delivered right to your inbox.
Follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vitalizedwellness
The Monroe Farmers' Market is open June–October and offers fresh, locally-grown produce, baked goods, prepared foods and hand-crafted specialty foods to Connecticut locals.