As the summer season comes to a close and the seasonal fruits are shoved off the shelves in the grocery store, I can’t help but shed a small tear when I think about all the summer berries that I might miss out on. I know what you’re thinking, we live in the day and age where we can find nonseasonal fruit year round. Yes, I bet I can find berries year round if I look hard enough but they will have traveled from a far away land, they will have decreased nutritional value, and they will taste a heck of a lot less fresh than they would right now.
See what I’m doing here, I bet you’re thinking about those berries in the grocery store now. I bet the next time you rummage through the store, spinning those buggy wheels, you will find yourself hovering over the berry section, salivating involuntarily. Go ahead, reach down and grab a few packages! Your body will thank you and I’ll give you a wink and thumbs up! Don’t save those berries for a special occasion, don’t tell yourself they are too expensive (I’ll admit, sometimes they truly are) but the truth is, your body is worth every penny and it’s worth the amazing nourishment they provide.
Bountiful Benefits of Berries
Berries have so many benefits to them, they could be considered mini powerhouses. They contain antioxidants that help support your body’s natural defense against free radical build up. Free radicals are molecules that are highly reactive and unstable. When free radicals accumulate, they are known to cause cancer and other diseases by attacking cells and biologically important DNA.
Berries also contain anti-inflammation qualities that help the body reduce unwanted inflammation. This specific inflammation is typically not seen by the naked eye but like free radicals, it can cause damage to the body if built up.
Among other vitamins and nutrients, berries contain lots of fiber, vitamin C, potassium and folate.
Why is Fiber important?
- Fiber is great for a number of things including your metabolism. Not only will your taste buds thank you for the delicious berry snack but your intestines will thank you too! Fiber can also help control your blood sugar, slowing the process of breaking down carbohydrates. It can also help with weight loss, skin health, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
Why is this Vitamin C important?
- Vitamin C is known to promote immunity and wound healing. Vitamin C also helps your body utilize iron. Ascorbic acid (another name for vitamin C) helps with the absorption process of nonheme iron. Eating foods rich in vitamin C, like strawberries, can help prevent or even reverse iron deficiency anemia.
Why is Potassium important?
- Potassium is necessary for your muscles. Whether you run triathlons or watch Netflix marathons, your muscles need potassium to contract smoothly and effortlessly rather than cinching up like a ball.
Why is Folate important?
- Folate is absolutely necessary in prenatal care for the neural tube to develop into the spinal chord and brain. Folate is also important for generalized cell division and the production of red blood cells.
So the next time you are in the grocery store, aimlessly wandering around the produce aisle, remember to grab a few boxes of berries. They may be the best BANG for your BUCK in terms of preventative medicine. Still not convinced?
Think about it in these terms..
Would you rather spend a few extra dollars on berries or a few thousand dollars on medical bills down the road? The choice is all yours.
Happy chewing, friends and remember..
All photos in this article were taken by and for The Healthy Chew- all rights reserved
-4 types of food to boost your memory. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. http://www.eatright.org
-A very berry summer. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. http://www.eatright.org
-Give us the berries. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. http://www.eatright.org
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email me at StephanieRackley@thehealthychew.org