As we head into summer and the amazing array of fruits it brings, I especially look forward to a selection of fresh berries. Berries scream ‘it’s Christmas time” and are on top of my list of favourite fruits as it just so happens. So I thought I should give you reasons to eat them regularly, berries health benefits and ways I store and eat them too.
Not only are berries delicious and a low fructose fruit, they are also highly nutritious. In fact, they are often hailed as a superfood along with many other richly coloured fruits and vegetables.
The humble blueberry, blackberry and mulberry contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients. As these nutrients decline rapidly when exposed to heat or if they are stored for extended periods of time, buying them fresh, whilst in-season is essential to derive maximum benefit.
So why are berries so good for you?
Berries are a rich source of fibre, vitamin C and a range of flavonoids, which are very anti-inflammatory and antioxidant micronutrients and strengthening to blood vessels and cells of the body. This makes them very supportive to the health of the cardiovascular system, eyes, brain, nervous system and protective against cancer.
Have you heard of Resveratrol?
One flavonoid that has gained quite a reputation is Resveratrol. Found in many dark purple coloured fruits and vegetables (and also as an infamous component of red wine), this powerful antioxidant is thought to support healthy ageing, improve memory and assist weight loss. Its effects include decreased lipid (fat) oxidation, improved insulin sensitivity (critical for weight loss and diabetes) and protection of the cells DNA and mitochondria (energy production systems).
Shopping for and storing berries.
Berries are an exceptionally healthy addition to any diet. You’ll see them feature in so many of my recipes and treats. If you find well-priced berries at the market, think about stocking up and freezing them. You can simply freeze them in an airtight container or bag. Tossing them in just a little lemon juice beforehand helps them to retain their colour.
Ways I eat berries…
- I can’t make a smoothie without them.
- Always on top of my toasted muesli or a bircher muesli or a pretty breakfast parfait.
- On top of pancakes or french toast or toasted banana bread or nut loaf.
- Just with nuts and yoghurt, a fast, delicious and nutritious treat.
- Baked in a pie.
- Any breakfast just wouldn’t be the same without them.
- In a chia pudding or a fruit whip.
- Or just straight out of the bag.
Berries just make life better!
What’s your favourite and how do you like to eat them? Post a comment below.