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You might have seen the fruit section of your grocery store filling up with more varieties of berries lately as the weather warms up. Most berries are in season from May to August but some arrive at markets as early as April.

Berries Benefits & Recipes

Reasons to enjoy:
Berries are known for their antioxidants that help with counteracting and reducing damage to cells. They’re also known for anti-inflammatory properties thanks to compounds that lower health risks like cardiovascular disease. Although each type of berry packs a slightly different nutrition punch, these fruits have similar nutrition characteristics across the board. For example, they all contain:

  • fiber which promotes good digestive health
  • vitamin C which assists in making collagen – an important structural component of skin, tendons, and ligaments
  • manganese which is necessary in the digestion of carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids (the building blocks of protein)

Since these brightly-colored fruits are not dense with carbohydrates, one serving of berries typically equals a generous ¾ to 1 cup depending on the type of berry. This makes them an especially appropriate food for people with pre-diabetes or diabetes who are looking for a sweet treat with a satisfying portion size.

Ways to enjoy:
Washing berries too far in advance can make them soft and moldy prematurely. Try rinsing them (not soak!) right before using for best texture.  Fresh berries are terrific mixed into plain yogurt, served with pancakes or waffles instead of syrup, and can be exciting additions to salads. When fresh ones aren’t available, frozen berries are handy for adding into oatmeal and smoothies. Here are 3 more recipes using berries in nontraditional but very tasty ways!

Blackberry Chia Jam from Craving Something Healthy • http://cravingsomethinghealthy.com/blackberry-chia-jam-recipe-redux/

Frozen Berry Yogurt from Love and Zest • http://www.loveandzest.com/2011/08/frozen-berry-yogurt.html

Frozen Berries and Pink Cashew Cream from Nutrition Stripped • http://nutritionstripped.com/frozen-berries-pink-cashew-creamm/

What do you like?
What’s your favorite berry and your favorite way to enjoy it?