July is National Berry Month!

In July, berries are at their peak! They are widely available at farmers markets and in stores. Since they are in season, they are also bursting with flavor at this time of year!

It is no secret that berries are packed with health benefits. They are full of vitamins and minerals, many of which are classified as antioxidants. Add extra nutrients to your day by incorporating berries – fresh or frozen!  As a review, here are some benefits:

Berries are full of antioxidants

Antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid, and resveratrol (which are all found in berries), are helpful for keeping free radicals under control. Why is this important? Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage our cells when there are too many of them. This results in oxidative stress. Due to fighting off these free radicals, the antioxidants in berries also help to reduce the risk of disease!

Berries are high in fiber

Since they contain fiber, berries are a great fruit option when paying attention to the glycemic load of foods! Their fiber content makes them low in net cards – a great option for individuals working to manage their blood sugar. The fiber helps us to feel full as well!

Berries contain a wide variety of nutrients

Along with antioxidants, they are full other vitamins and minerals. Did you know 1 cup of strawberries has about 90 mg of vitamin C? In comparison, one medium orange contains about 70 mg of vitamin C.

Berries fight inflammation

From a general standpoint, berries fight inflammation. Of course, this could be a different story if an individual has a sensitivity to specific berries.

Inflammation is our body’s response to injury or infection. Modern lifestyle components, such as processed foods, lack of exercise, and stress, all lead to long-term inflammation. This inflammation contributes to the onset of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. We can fight against these diseases by choosing to eat anti-inflammatory foods such as berries!

Berries also support brain health, help to lower cholesterol, support brain health, and help to fight against cancer. The list of the benefits of berries goes on!

Tips for incorporating more berries

  • snack on them with nuts/seeds
  • add them to salads
  • incorporate them into fruit salads
  • use them as a topping for oatmeal or yogurt
  • blend frozen berries into smoothies
  • incorporate them into dessert (such as this mixed berry crumble!)