Every Berry is My Favorite

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Diane Lassen of Women’s Nutrition Matters and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of DiseaseProof or Dr. Fuhrman.

When I think about my favorite fruits and vegetables, I realize that my favorites change with the seasons. I do my best to eat locally, and plan my meals around those things that are ripening as we speak. Right now, I have only one thing on my mind—BERRIES!

Berries—I can’t get enough of them. They are antioxidant powerhouses, brimming with fiber and wonderful flavor. Did I mention versatile? You can literally eat berries in every meal. I eat them in my breakfast cereal. I add them to my smoothies and toss them into salads. I wander the woods seeking raspberries and blackberries, and have been known to return to work from my lunch break with purple-stained fingers after finding a mulberry tree with low-hanging branches. They are nature’s perfect snack food; portable, packable and freezable.

Strawberries are still available for self-picking in the New Jersey area, and blueberries are soon to follow. I have been picking strawberries at the local CSA for almost a month now! Black and red raspberries are making their appearance in a few weeks as well. Plus, there are so many other berries to try, like gooseberries, cloudberries, wine berries and currents. Many recipes calling for one berry can be easily made with whatever berry is on hand. If you are lucky enough to find a surplus of berries, freeze them! Simply spread them out on a baking sheet. Place them in the freezer and then bag them up when they are frozen. So you can eat berries all year long!

I love my berries in the early summer. They are a breath of fresh air after a long winter of apples and pears! Berries are a perfect cleansing food, full of nutrition and fiber, and can help shed the winter pounds in a very tasty way.

Image credit: pcgn7

I Love Raspberries!

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Melanie Thomassian of Dietriffic and Diet-Blog does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of DiseaseProof or Dr. Fuhrman.

I love berry season, and my absolute favorite are raspberries. Besides being delicious, they’re also packed to the brim with nutritional goodness. Honesty, I can’t get enough at this time of year.

The sheer amount of goodness packed into such a small fruit amazes me! So, what’s in there? Well, raspberries are a wonderful source of vitamin C (around 30mg per 1-cup serving), manganese, and dietary fiber (30% daily value), and they also contain some vitamin B2, folate, niacin, magnesium, copper and potassium.

In addition to all of this, if you’re eating them regularly, you’ll get a good dose of anti-cancer phytonutrients such as anthocyanins, quercetin, and ellagic acids - these can help improve immune function, and reduce the risk for other chronic diseases such heart disease.

Phytonutrients are actually most concentrated in the peel or skin of fruits and vegetables, and this is why berries, with their high skin-to-fruit ratio, are such a concentrated phytonutrient source.
Here are a few quick serving ideas:

  • Mix 1/2 cup fresh raspberries with millet porridge for a delicious healthy breakfast.
  • Add raspberries to a green salad, or blend and serve as a dressing.
  • Make real fruit ice-pops - blend raspberries, place into plastic ice-pop containers, freeze and enjoy anytime.
  • For a simple dessert sprinkle fresh raspberries with balsamic vinegar.
  • Add dried raspberries to your nut mix for a healthy snack.

Next time you feel like a snack, instead of reaching for cakes or cookies, why not go for the ninja warrior of the berry world, and satisfy your sweet cravings with raspberries!

Image credit: Caramdir