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Berries: The Natural Super Food!

Berries are wonder fruits even if they are small and unassuming. These fruits are full of vitamins and minerals and can be eaten without the need for a lot of preparation. There are several varieties of berries found in Australia; however, some of the chief varieties are listed below:

  • Blackcurrant (available in the month of December)
  • Gooseberry (December to January)
  • Mulberry (October to February)
  • Cranberries (October to December)
  • Blackberries (early summer to the middle of autumn)
  • Blueberries (September to March)
  • Raspberries (November to February and March to April)
  • Strawberries, which peak from September to January (available all year round now)

As we can see the berry season is rather short, fortunately we can avail ourselves of most of the berry varieties in the following forms: dried, tinned & frozen. Many people prefer fresh berries, but these are good enough alternatives. All the nutrients found in these berries are quite beneficial to humans and according to studies they have antioxidant effects which are good for the prevention of heart disease and cancer.

All the berries found in Australia are low in calories, fat and carbohydrates. They are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. In addition, these berries are rich in phytochemicals or phytonutrients including ellagic acid, quercetin, anthocyanins & flavonoids. Raspberries and blueberries contain lutein, which is quite crucial for vision. Blueberries and cranberries are recognised for their action against bladder infections.

All berries have anti-carcinogenic qualities & antibacterial effects. Berries can fight colds and urinary infections, and can help prevent viral infections from invading the body because of their free radical content. Berries also protect the body from invasion by unwanted pathogens and are important elements in the production of antibodies. All these beneficial effects can be gained from a small, compact, and all-natural package.

Strawberries are rich in Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Calcium, Folate, Magnesium, and Potassium. Blueberries, on the other hand, are rich in Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Lutein, and Manganese. Cranberries have Vitamin C, Manganese, and Vitamin K while Raspberries are rich in Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Niacin, Potassium, and Lutein.

Eating berries raw usually leave a tart taste, but rather than adding sugar, the better option is to pair up berries with other natural products such as yoghurt to enhance the natural sweetness.

Here is a berry smoothie recipe that is easy to prepare:

BERRY SMOOTHIE

  • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen berries
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup of all-natural yoghurt
  • ½ cup of crushed ice

Blend together all the ingredients until smooth and enjoy.

You can always add more fruits to your diet by adding berries added to your morning cereal, pancakes or muffins.

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