While here in the Northern Hemisphere summer may have passed, you can still enjoy one of the great–and healthier– joys of the season; eating berries.
Berries of all kind -blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry- are available frozen if you can't find them fresh, and, as if you needed a reason for enjoying them, here are 13 reasons to make berries a part of your diet all year long:
- They're low-sugar fruits: Unlike grapes-another popular fruit-berries tend to be lower in sugar and thus healthier for your blood sugar levels.
- Blackberries are high in folate: That's good news for you pregnant ladies or those trying to conceive.
- Fiber: Berries are an excellent source of fiber, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, improve digestion and keep you feeling fuller longer.
- High water content: Juicy berries are loaded with water, which keeps you hydrated and is good for your blood sugar levels as well as keeping you feeling fuller longer.
- Antioxidant boost: The rich, gorgeous colors of berries means they're loaded with good-for-you antioxidants that boost immune function and reduce oxidative stress.
- Cancer protection: Blueberries' robust antioxidant content has been linked with decreased risk of developing certain types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer.
- Reduce inflammation: Quercetin-an antioxidant in berries-can reduce inflammation, which is related to illnesses including heart disease and arthritis.
- Lose troublesome belly fat: Belly fat may be an indicator of higher risk for certain diseases including diabetes and heart disease. Blueberries may be helpful in boosting fat-burning in the abdomen and lowering dangerous triglyceride levels.
- Mineral boost: Not only are berries full of antioxidant rich vitamins, they're also loaded with crucial minerals including magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese.
- Great for the skin: Not just from the antioxidants and high water content in the berries you eat-but putting them on your skin in a face mask can balance, tone and remove impurities. (Mash 2 tablespoons blueberries, mix with 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 1 cup of brown sugar. Gently scrub onto face and rinse with cool water.)
- Boost memory: Anthocyanins-potent chemicals found in berries-have been shown to support healthy memory and cognitive function.
- Versatile: Berries can be used in sweet and savory recipes, or eaten on their own for a nutritious snack.
- How amazing do they taste? Do you really need another reason?