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Happiness is a Bowl of Berries

Berries are delicious, and they are rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals (these are compounds which can fight disease), fiber, and minerals.  In addition, they are low in fat.  Some studies have suggested that berries strengthen the immune system, thwart inflammation, help to prevent heart disease and some cancers, and potentially slow the aging process.  In short, berries are great!

Naturally, not all berries are created equal.  Typically, the darker the fruit, the better the berry.  Let’s examine a few of these tiny treats.

  • Blueberries. Some people consider blueberries the berry of health.  They pack an amazing amount of phytochemicals and antioxidants in their tiny size (and have also been shown to benefit the brain).
  • Cranberries. Many people eat this particular berry in liquid form (e.g., juice).  Cranberries demonstrate many health benefits, but they are famously known for their believed antibacterial properties (this is why certain individuals prone to urinary tract infections are sometimes told to drink cranberry juice).
  • Strawberries. A redder fruit than the above, strawberries are rich in phytonutrienyts, antioxidants, and vitamin C.  They have also been shown to combat free radicals (elements that alter cells).

Now for a couple of newcomers to the berry “popularity” scene?

  • Goji berries (pronounced go-gee).  The jury might still be out, but some people consider goji berries to be a major superfood.  They are high in antioxidants, rich in vitamin C, thought to boost the immune system, and, are also alleged to stimulate human growth hormone (which may result in a leaner look).  Goji berries appear promising in helping to maintain a more youthful body.
  • Acai berries (pronounced ah-sigh-ee).  Another alleged superfood, acai berries have been touted to lower cholesterol, boost energy, strengthen the immune system, improve circulation, aid sleep patterns, detoxify, encourage weight loss, etc.  If the publicity regarding this fruit is even remotely accurate, then acai berries may be something to explore.

Many edible berries are particularly accessible in the summertime: both in supermarkets and farm stands.  Not only are they nutritionally amazing, but they are also yummy to eat!  Hmm, I guess when we buy them, we are making a “berry” good choice!