Don’t Berry Your Head in the Sand About Berries

  • My goal in this series of posts is to break the Raw Foods Master Grocery List into as many specific subgroups as possible…
  • So let’s take a look at several different kinds of berries that may be available in your local produce aisle or farmer’s market so that we will be able to make smarter choices as to which we stick into our carts…and eventually into our mouths…

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Acai

  • Nutritional Benefits…high antioxidant, fiber, and calcium content…One half cup of acai berries contains seventy calories and five grams of fiber…one of the best sources of antioxidant polyphenols
  • Source…grow on acai palm trees native to the Brazilian Amazon region
  • Taste…Bitter, rich and mildly sweet
  • Uses…smoothies, juices, breakfast bowls

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Bilberries

  • Description…dark blue berries, similar to blueberries that are found mainly in Europe
  • Nutritional Benefitseffective at reducing inflammation….can lower your risk of heart disease…increases “good” HDL cholesterol and reduces “bad” LDL cholesterol
  • Usesjamsfoolsjuices, pies, liqueurs, sorbets, crepes, and other desserts

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Blackberry

  • Nutritional Benefits…high content of manganese, vitamin K, fiber, and vitamin C…amazing source of healthy antioxidants and vitamins…compared to berries such as blueberries, cranberries, and red raspberries, blackberries are one of the healthiest berries you can eat.
  • Uses…delicious eaten fresh, but also work well frozen or cooked…popularly used in jams, pies, sauces, and desserts

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Blueberries

 

  • Health Benefits…lowers the risk of heart disease…helps lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels…may lower the risk of diabetes…can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 26%…slows the rate of cognitive decline…reduce blood pressure…protect against aging and cancer…weight loss and anti-aging effects.
  • Nutritional Value…great source of vitamin K…contain good amounts of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants…renowned as a superfood…low in calories yet high in nutrients…powerful combination of vitamins and minerals
  • Uses…jams, muffins, sauces, and desserts…breakfast foods such as cereals, muffins, and pancakes…common in salads and desserts…pieturnovers, shortcake, or cobblers…sorbet or ice cream

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Cranberries

  • Health Benefits…help reduce plaque build-up in your arteries…help with weight loss….help prevent urinary tract infections…support post-menopausal health…improve digestion…have anti-aging properties…drinking cranberry juice can reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, oxidative stress, and “stiffness” of arteries
  • Nutritional Value…rich in vitamin C…packed with fiber and antioxidants
  • Uses…syrups or other preserves….cranberry juice…jams and sauces….traditional accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner

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Goji Berries

  • Nutritional Value..contain high levels of vitamin A and zeaxanthin
  • Health Benefits…reduce the decline in eye health due to aging…can give you a much-needed energy boost
  • Uses…traditionally used as food as well as medicine
  • particularly rich in nutrients that contribute to eye health…also contain important antioxidants.

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Gooseberry

  • Health Benefits…boosts bone strength…often used medicinally for their anti-inflammatory properties
  • Nutritional Value…particularly high in vitamin C and fiber
  • Uses…cobbler, jams, pies, and other highly sweetened dishes…can also be used to make sauces that go well with duck and game

Grapes

  • Uses…juice, wine, raisins, vinegar
  • Nutritional Value….excellent source of antioxidants
  • Health Benefits…can help lower both blood pressure and heart rate…can help reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes…can also help reduce blood cholesterol and oxidative stress…may even benefit brain health and improve your memory

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Huckleberries

  • Huckleberries are teeny tiny deep purple-blue berries that are remarkably sweet. They are
  • Uses…great sprinkled on ice cream…pies, tarts, jams, and sauces…perfect addition to baked goods, drinks, and even barbecue sauce
  • Nutritional Benefits…were harvested by Native Americans, who used them both as food and to treat pain and infections…has antibacterial properties

Note…this post is a work in progress…will be adding more berries to the list in the days ahead before finishing out Raw Foods Master Grocery List…thanks for being patient…

 

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Raspberries

  • Varieties…There are three different types of raspberries—back, red, and purple. Red is typically the first color that comes to mind when you mention raspberries, but actually black raspberries provide the most health benefits.
  • Health Benefits…can reduce risk factors for heart disease, such as blood pressure and blood cholesterol…help ward off inflammation…can help fight wrinkles
  • Nutritional Value…full of fiber and antioxidants…high concentrations of Vitamin C
  • Uses…suitable for fresh eating, sauces, and preserves.

 

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Strawberries

  • Nutritional Value…one of the best sources of vitamin C….top-ranked for antioxidant content
  • Health Benefits…help fights cancer and boosts immunity…lower the risk of heart attack and protect against heart disease…good for lowering inflammation…help blood pressure
  • Uses…delicious on cereal, as a shortcake, in a smoothie, or baked into muffins…match up nicely with other berries, melons, and tropical fruits in a simple fruit salad…jams and jellies…dipped in chocolate
 

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