Berries and Their Benefits
Fruit is a staple in most households. One group of fruits with great benefits are berries – specifically strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Let’s do a deep dive on these versatile fruits and see why they’re berry good for you.
The benefits of berries are plentiful, including providing vitamins, minerals and fiber while also being low in sodium and fat. It’s common knowledge that berries provide vitamins and minerals, but which berries contain what nutrients? Here’s a breakdown:
- Strawberries: Fiber and vitamin C
- Blueberries: Fiber, vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C and copper
- Blackberries: Fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, copper and zinc
- Raspberries: Fiber, vitamin C, manganese and copper
Berries may also help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.
Fresh, Frozen and Dried
Now let’s discuss varieties: fresh, frozen and dried. This is a great time to think about the week ahead. Are you going to be on the go throughout the week? Is there refrigeration available where you’ll be? Do these berries need to be shelf-stable? If on the go, opt for convenience like prepackaged or dried varieties. If there’s access to a fridge, opt for fresh or frozen berries. Often, fresh is considered best; however, frozen, canned and dried fruits are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts. When choosing canned fruit of any kind, opt for types packed in 100% fruit juice, which ensures the fruit doesn’t contain any added sugar. When choosing dried varieties, try to choose berries with no added sugar.
These berries are typically at peak season from May through July. During those months, fresh berries tend to be most flavorful and on sale. When purchasing, look for fresh berries that are shiny, free of bruises and not leaking. During the berry offseason, opting for frozen, canned or dried varieties can be the next-best choice. These are picked at peak ripeness and typically frozen, canned or dried within a day of being picked, ensuring their tasty flavor.
Berries alone are a delicious snack to enjoy, but pairing them with a protein source will give you even more energy throughout the day. Simple pairings like strawberries and nuts, blueberries and Greek yogurt or raspberries and a cheese stick are always great choices.
If you’re looking for more culinary pairings, let these recipes inspire you to include berries in your next meal or snack.
Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing health care recommendations. Please see a health care provider.