Berries are one of the best fruits you can incorporate into your daily eating routine. It doesn't matter if they are fresh or frozen.
Why? Just look at the multiple nutrients they supply:
Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese
Raspberries are an excellent source of manganese, vitamin C and dietary fiber
Blueberries are a very good for vitamin C, manganese and dietary fiber
Blackberries are a good source of vitamin C, manganese and vitamin K
Vitamin C is one of the most underrated nutrients for keeping our bodies healthy and illness free. Linus Pauling, one of the greatest scientists in America, studied and wrote a book on the powerful effects of Vitamin C on the body. He determined that Vitamin C can not only combat flu and the common cold, but it could also help prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, infections and declines due to aging. (Source: Linus Pauling Institute).
Since the days of Linus Pauling, we know a lot more about the benefits of berries promoting good health.
High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances in berries (and other foods) that help protect the body against free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable atoms that damage our cells and cause illness. Eating berries everyday can help protect the body against free radical damage.
Help Improve Blood Sugar Response
Ever eat something, have great energy only to crash a few hours later? That is how some foods can spike our blood sugar. Usually the foods are high in carbohydrates and or protein, such as bread, eggs and dairy products. Having a consistently high blood sugar leads to damage of organs, blood vessels and nerves. Berries, when combined with foods that cause blood sugar to spike, can help control the body's response to this spike. (Source: Healthline)
Berries Fight Inflammation
Inflammation can be bad when the body triggers this response repeatedly. It can damage the body over time and cause illness, such as rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease. (Source: NPR) Berries help slow the inflammatory response allowing the body to recover from inflammation response.
Berries Promote Healthy Skin
Berries help our skin produce collagen, the protein that allows our skin to stretch and remain firm. When collagen is damaged, it results in sagging and wrinkles. (Source: Healthline)
Berries Keep The Digestive Tract Healthy
Berries are high in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is needed by the digestive tract to slow the movement of food so nutrients can be extracted. Plus, when food is slowed down it allows the waste from our food to collect water so it can be excreted. This prevents constipation, a condition that affects about 16 out of every 100 adults. (Source: NIH) If you have ever been constipated, you know how awful it is!
Constipation is just one symptom that your digestive health is not optimal. When our digestive tract is working efficiently, a bowel movement happens every day. Also, when the digestive tract is healthy our immune system is strong. Why? Because 70% of our immune system is located in our gut. If the gut is unhealthy, so is the rest of our body.
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I could go on and on about the benefits of berries and why they should be eaten every day. They are so easy to incorporate into your day. Add them to oatmeal, smoothies, non-dairy yogurt and salads. Even if they are frozen, they work great in salads. Simply defrost and add!
Below are healthy berry recipes to try.
Vegan Blueberry Crumble by May I have that Recipe. What I like about this recipe is that it comes together in 10 minutes and the oven does the rest (in 40 minutes). It uses granulated sugar but you can sub organic cane sugar instead. Click here for the recipe.
Arugula Blackberry Salad by Primavera Kitchen. This is a great salad for lunch or dinner. As the post states: Arugula is not only delicious, it is one of the healthiest leaves to consume. This green is a great source of folic acid and vitamins A, C and K. If you’re trying to watch what you eat and would like to get a more vegetable based iron in your diet, arugula is definitely a great option for you. I don't know about you but I love arugula. I incorporate it into my weekly lifestyle. Click here for the recipe.
Vegan Blueberry Gluten Free Muffins by Rhians Recipes. Muffins are sometimes full of fat, eggs and gluten making what can be a healthy breakfast or snack not so healthy. This recipe doesn't add sugar and is still delicious! If you think muffins have to be bad to be good, try this recipe. It will change your mind. Click here for the recipe.
Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream by Salt and Lavender. I love making my own vegan ice cream. It is so easy and economical. This recipe has just two ingredients - the strawberries and coconut milk. While the photo below shows a full pan of ice cream, I like to put it in individual contains since it takes about 20 minutes for the ice cream to soften. When you are ready to eat it, add toppings such as sliced almonds, non-dairy chocolate chips or non-dairy whipped cream. Also, this recipe works with any berry! Click here for the recipe.
Whole Grain Raspberry Breakfast Bars by Jessica Gavin. These bars are a combination of raspberry jam and fresh raspberries. Making your own jam is very easy, which helps control the amount of sugar in this recipe. Try this recipe from Joyful Healthy Eats. Bars are a great breakfast or afternoon snacks. Especially when they are made with healthy ingredients! Click here for the recipe.
I hope you enjoyed learning more about why berries are so powerful in helping us maintain good health. Berries are full of vital nutrients and are easily incorporated into a variety of recipes. Keep a bag of frozen berries on hand at all times to use them daily.
Do you think you will try any of the recipes above? Let me know by leaving a comment below.