There are many benefits to incorporating berries into your diet this summer, and all year round! Berries have a great reputation as being some of the most nutritious fruits out there. Here are a few reasons why!
Low in Calories: Naturally low in calories, berries average between 50 – 80 calories per cup. This makes them a deliciously sweet way to get a lot of flavor, guilt free.
High in Fiber: The current recommendation for daily fiber intake is between 25-35 grams. However, studies show that many Americans do not even meet half of this recommendation. Berries are a great way to add more fiber into your day averaging 4-9 grams per cup!
High Antioxidant Content: Berries are high in the antioxidant group known as anthocyanins, which are responsible for the bright blue, violet, purple and red colors found in berries. Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals (unstable molecules in the body) which have shown to be linked to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
High in Vitamins and Minerals: Did you know that 8 medium strawberries have more vitamin C than a medium orange? Besides being high in vitamin C, berries contain many other nutrients including folate, potassium and manganese.
In season: Right now, berries are in season! That means that there are plenty of them available at the supermarket, farmers markets, etc. This also means that they will have more flavor and cost less than if you were to buy them in the off-season.
|Blueberries: 1 cup = 80 calories and 4 g fiber||Raspberries: 1 cup = 60 calories and 9g fiber|
|Strawberries : 1 cup = 50 calories and 4g fiber||Blackberries: 1 cup = 60calories, 8g fiber|
Tips for including more berries into your day:
Breakfast: Add fresh berries to cold or hot cereal, atop low-fat yogurt or whole grain pancakes.
Lunch/Dinner: Toss berries onto salad for a new flavor or have as a side dish.
Dessert/Snack: Eat them alone, blend with yogurt to make a berry smoothie, or eat them on top of angel food cake or pudding with a little whipped cream
Allison Walker RD,LDN, is the Clinical Nutrition Manager at Noble Hospital