As a kid, I referred to melons as “filler fruit.” You know, the type of fruit you throw into the fruit salad just to help fill up the bowl. Because if you filled a bowl with my favorite category of fruit – berries – that snack would be quite expensive.
Today, I no longer refer to melons as “filler fruit.” (My taste buds have matured.) However, berries still have their place as number one in my heart. I’ve also learned a simple trick: You can cut the cost of your berry purchase by getting them when they’re in season and at local farmers markets. So that’s what I do.
Nutritional Benefits of Berries
I love berries for their sweet juicy nature, but also for their myriad of health benefits. Below, find some fun ways to incorporate berries into your summer routine. Plus, why you’d actually want to!
To help prevent getting backed up…
On average, women are looking to get 25 grams of fiber per day and men need, 38 grams per day. But most of us, on average, are only getting 15 grams of fiber per day, so it’s time to fiber up! Throw a handful of raspberries or blackberries in your yogurt, smoothie, oats, salad, or inside your peanut butter sandwich! Just one cup of berries boasts eight grams of fiber.
To satisfy pre- or post-workout fuel, have a banana…
Now, you may be thinking, “What? I thought this article was about berries…”
Here’s your fun fact of the day: Bananas are berries. According to botanists, true berries stem from one flower with one ovary and typically have several seeds. This puts bananas technically in the berry category, botanically speaking. Yet, from a culinary standpoint, bananas aren’t considered berries.
All terminology aside, a banana makes a great easily digestible pre-workout snack before a workout and if paired with a protein (ideally within 60 minutes or less) after a workout (think peanut butter, hard boiled eggs, etc.), it also makes a great post-workout snack for a refueling combination of protein and carbs.
To protect your heart and health…
To be truthful, all berries are going to help protect your heart and your health, but blueberries pack one of the strongest antioxidant punches in the body because of a flavonoid called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is responsible for blueberries’ blue color and for helping protect cells against damage from free radicals, which are linked to disease and inflammation inside the body.
Add blueberries to pancakes, banana bread, salads, parfaits, or coat them in Greek yogurt, place them on parchment paper, stick them in the freezer for 60 minutes, and enjoy!
To give your immune system a boost…
Snack on strawberries! Just eight strawberries provide 110 percent of the recommended amount of Vitamin C we need each day. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that protects our bodies’ cells, helping to keep our immune system in good condition. To add some balancing fats and protein to your strawberry snack, dip your berries in almond or peanut butter or yogurt to stay satisfied longer.
To instantly refresh and hydrate…
Throw your berries of choice in a popsicle mold with hint water®, freeze in the freezer, and cheers to a refreshing, tasty, hydrating treat. During the hot summer months – and especially when humidity hits – it’s easy to get dehydrated. This is a fun (tasty) way to get in some extra H20. Remember, to (easily) check your hydration status, just check the color of your pee. Yep, I said pee. Ideally, it’s clear to straw-colored, showing you’re well hydrated.
Now you know the benefits behind berries. Share these facts with friends who crave healthy snacks!