Thursday, July 17, 2008

Berry Delicious!

If you didn't know already berries are super good for you. Super food for sure. They are loaded with antioxydiants. You've might have heard the buzz about the health benefits of phytonutrients – naturally occurring compounds found in plants. There are hundreds of known phytonutrients, and some have antioxidant properties that can help improve immune function and reduce the risk for chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. Since phytonutrients are most concentrated in the peel or skin of fruits and vegetables, berries – with their edible skin and high skin-to-fruit ratio – are an especially concentrated phytonutrient source. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries all have particularly high ORAC scores (ORAC is a scientific measurement of antioxidant content) and are four of the top 20 food sources of antioxidants. The blueberry has the highest ORAC score of all the berries.

Berry benefits don't stop at chronic disease prevention. A low-calorie, high-fiber choice, berries make a satisfying snack or addition to any meal. You can also find nutrients like folic acid and vitamin C in abundance in berries. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that a serving of strawberries has even more vitamin C than an orange!

I like to put berries in some oatmeal in the morning or a smoothie. Berries can be a little expensive so I like to buy the frozen ones but fresh is always more nutrient dense. So find ways to fit berries into your diet.

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