How do I find a way to eat berries? By the handful! I love berries. Next to lemons, berries are my all time favorite fruit. When I was very young, I remember my grandma having strawberry plants in her garden which produced tiny yet incredibly sweet strawberries. Down by the pond, there were blackberry bushes where we would go berry picking and stain our fingers as well as our faces.
My mom canned some of the blackberries for use in blackberry cobbler during the winter. She would also give us blackberry juice for an upset stomach. We would just sip on the juice until the symptoms went away!
Berries not only taste delicious but also help you prevent diseases, lose weight, and keep you feeling satisfied. That is because they have antioxidants which help your body to fight the stress caused by free radicals.
Benefits of berries include
- Preventing and reducing symptoms of arthritis
- Aiding in flexibility
- Reducing delayed onset muscle soreness after a hard workout
- Reducing inflammation
- Contributing to radiant, glowing skin and hair
- Losing weight because they fill you up quickly and are low in calories
- Lowering cholesterol and blood pressure
- Protecting against cardiovascular disease
- Protecting against age-related memory loss
- Preventing depression and improving mood
- Preventing the formation of new blood vessels that allow tumors to turn malignant (source)
Blueberries – phytonutrients give blueberries their deep blue color which is what helps to neutralize free radicals. Blueberries help reduce the risk of heart disease, varicose veins, ulcers and more. Blueberries are also noted to be excellent for memory.
Bilberries – most commonly known for the benefits to diabetics, bilberries protect the lining of blood vessels and have also been said to improve night vision and protect the eyes. That is because bilberries have nutrients that improve blood circulation. We buy bilberry jam from Trader Joe's.
Strawberries – contain fiber, B vitamins, potassium, vitamins C & K, iodine, magnesium, copper, and much more. Strawberries are known to protect the brain because of the antioxidants contained in them. I usually buy my strawberries from Costco, they have great prices on organics. Strawberries make great snacks for school lunchboxes, too.
Blackberries – cancer-fighting compounds such as vitamins C and E as well as ellagic acid are what make blackberries such powerful antioxidants. Blackberries also contain pectin which is said to lower cholesterol.
Elderberries – great for preventing colds and flu, these berries make a wonderful home remedy. Elderberry syrup is not only fun to make, it boosts the immune system. Also known to improve vision and fight infections like tonsillitis.
Cranberries – known for their ability to prevent and treat urinary tract infections thanks to a substance called D-Mannose, cranberries pack a powerful antioxidant punch and are known to be anti-inflammatory and have anti-cancer benefits.
Goji Berries – contain 18 essential amino acids, 21 trace minerals, vitamins B1, B2, B6 and E plus more. They also contain more beta-carotene than a carrot.
Try to find organic fresh berries if possible, but if you can’t get them fresh, frozen is next best. Have you ever been to a pick your own berry farm? It's the most fun! Children especially love to get in on berry picking, so make sure to take the entire family.
Here are a few suggestions for how to eat more berries
- by the handful
- in smoothies
- in salads
- add to wraps
- add to muffins
- add to pancakes
- top yogurt, cottage cheese or ice cream
- add to oatmeal or cereal
- make jam
- make a parfait
- make a berry chutney
- make a berry salsa
- in desserts such as cheesecake, strawberry shortcake or cocoa wonder wraps
- let's not forget berry wine!
Martha Stewarts Four Berry Salad (I use a natural sugar substitute like Gentle Sweet)
Make this Fall Berry Chutney
Check out this blueberry lime salsa
What's your favorite berry and how do you like to eat it? Let me know in the comments! Pin this post before you go!