Fresh berries are now in season, and I couldn’t be happier. Not only are these babies unbelievably delicious, they’re also brimming with health benefits. Here’s the lowdown on four favorites: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
One cup of strawberries (about 8 berries) has 50 calories, 3 grams of fiber and more vitamin C than a medium orange. They’re also an excellent source of fiber, folate and potassium. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition ranked strawberries third out of more than 1,000 antioxidant-rich foods. Strawberries also contain anthocyanins, which may help protect the nervous system and blood vessels.
Studies have shown that strawberries can help protect against several types of cancer, including breast, colon and leukemia. Research has also found that strawberries help decrease inflammation and control type 2 diabetes. In addition, one study found that eating 8 strawberries a day for 8 weeks helped lower homocysteine levels, a leading risk factor for heart disease.
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While black-raspberry ice cream may be the extent of your black-raspberry knowledge, these sweet and succulent berries (not to be confused with blackberries) do exist in the primitive form – you just won’t find them in most grocery stores.
Scout out your farmers’ market for deep violet raspberries hiding among the typical red varieties. While blackberries (a completely different variety of berry) are easy to come by, I only know of one local farm that grows black raspberries in my area. They’re only available for a short time (usually mid-June to late July). Use them for any raspberry recipe – trifle and salad dressing are just a few favorites. They make an incredibly special and refreshing granita.
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- Here are 30 of our favorite ways to enjoy berries. What are yours?
Whether you prefer strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or blackberries, don’t miss the prime season for these plump, juicy treasures. Here are 30 ways to enjoy these nutritious little delights — one for each day in June.
30 ways to enjoy summer berries »
- Red peppers are one of 9 red fruits and veggies to eat now -- find out the other 8.
Each color contains different nutrients, so a rainbow-colored plate of fruits and veggies is likely a well-rounded, healthy one! In this occasional series, we explain what each color has to offer. We told you all about orange foods, and this month, in honor of Valentine’s Day and Heart Health month, we’ve got the scoop on red-hued eats.
Learn why you should eat more red foods »
Early raspberries are coming into season where I live. I managed to snag the very last half-pint at the farmers’ market this week. As fellow market patrons looked on with envy, I hurried home to make some raz-tastic recipes.
Berries from your local farmers’ market are extra-special. Small farms have the luxury of growing unique varieties that are much more interesting than what’s at the grocery store.
These delicate, ruby red raspberries are just right for tossing on salad, making raspberry vinaigrette, or one of my favorite summer desserts — berry trifle.
Learn more about raspberries and recipes to try »
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »
We’ve already told you why strawberries and blueberries are healthy eats — raspberries are next up in this summer berry medley.
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