When our boys were small, they would each take a small plastic bucket and head out on the fringes of our wooded property to pick wild raspberries, hopefully enough for a pie. They seemed to eat more berries than ended up in their buckets, bringing home only a handful to share. I didn’t mind, because nothing tastes better than just-picked berries warm from the sun.
All types of berries rank at the top of most nutritionists’ list of healthiest foods. Berries are packed with nutrition, including:
- Powerful antioxidants associated with blue, purple and red colors of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries that lower risk of some types of cancer, protect our eyes, and promote healthy aging.
- Fiber to help maintain a healthy digestive tract as well as reduce risk of heart disease. One cup of strawberries contains 15% of your daily fiber needs; one cup of blackberries packs in 40% of your daily fiber.
- Low in calories yet excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, all types of berries are nutrient-dense foods. One cup of berries contains less than 100 calories, making berries a perfect snack or sweet yet healthy dessert.
- Take advantage of the fresh berries available locally, or pack up the kids and spend a morning picking berries together. Add sliced strawberries to yogurt, toss blueberries into a fresh garden salad, or top pancakes with a mixture of raspberries and blackberries, drizzled with maple syrup. Packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and great taste, fresh berries are a summertime nutrition powerhouse.