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July is National Berry Month

Posted by Janice Cox, RDN, LD, Lunds and Byerly’s Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist
Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July is National Berry Month! It’s time to enjoy the bounty of summer with fabulous Driscoll’s strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries.

You probably already know berries are good for you, but did you know that in addition to being delicious, they’re some of the healthiest foods to eat?

Berries contain large amounts of nutrients called antioxidants, which protect our cells from oxidative damage and inflammation. These berries may have the ability to help prevent and, in some cases, reverse the effects of aging, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer. Research shows eating berries has a positive effect on health and disease.

The colorful skins of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are packed with nutrition, making them among the most potent super foods. Berries contain no cholesterol, are low in fat, calories, and sodium and are great sources of vitamin C, fiber and folic acid.

One cup of… 

  • blueberries each day has been shown to enhance memory
  • raspberries have 10 times the antioxidants as one tomato
  • blackberries have a third of your daily recommended intake of fiber
  • strawberries have twice as much vitamin C as an orange

A few fun facts:

  • Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are members of the rose family. Most berries have their seeds on the inside, but strawberry seeds are on the outside. Guess how many seeds a strawberry averages? 200!
  • The bumps on a raspberry are called “drupelets.” Each tiny drupelet is a complete berry! Each raspberry has 80-100 drupelets!
  • Berries are picked at the peak of ripeness and stop ripening right then.

We all have our favorite way of eating berries – plain, piled on shortcake, mixed with cereal or yogurt... Here are a few ways to change it up and pair berries with ingredients that bring out their unique flavors:

  • Strawberries with balsamic vinegar and black pepper
  • Raspberries with goat cheese and tarragon
  • Blueberries with lemon and mint
  • Blackberries with ricotta and ginger

When you add berries to your meals, they bring all the elements of flavor, color and simplicity to delight your family every day or your guests on special occasions. Enjoy!

Tags: berriessuper food

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