It’s Berry Season: Good News for your Whole Health Self Care!
By Georgianna Donadio, MSc., PhD.
It is berry-eating and picking season again! The most popular and health-supporting favorites – fresh-picked blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries can once again be found in abundance where ever produce is featured.
While these delightful fruits are some of the more popular fruits found in the grocery produce section, how they are grown and ripened is critically important to their effect or detriment to your health. They are all kinds of delicious and have been shown, as all fruits and vegetables have, to contain phytosterols that provide many Whole Health Self Care benefits and work overtime to prevent disease.
Berries are produce that are among the highest in antioxidant content, and that they are excellent sources of several phytochemicals that appear to help block cancer development. Consuming them on a regular basis is a good way to practice “preventive nutrition.”
Researchers at Clemson University looked into the cancer-fighting potential of various types and berries. In the Journal of Medicinal Food, the scientists note (1): “Plants are proven sources of useful anti-tumor and chemo-preventative compounds. Hence, identification of phytochemicals useful in dietary prevention and intervention of cancer is of paramount importance.”
However, this year blueberries have joined the top 12 fruits and vegetables on the “Dirty Dozen” list. This means purchasing organic berries makes not only better nutrition and disease prevention but is common sense good self-care. The Clemson team concluded that even though these amazing fruits have mutagenesis properties if they are sprayed with pesticides and chemicals, these potential healing and disease-preventing fruits can cause more harm than good and even contribute to a cancer diagnosis (3).
One of the more delicious ways to enjoy them is to blend them together with a protein powder, yogurt, ice cream or other favorite protein source and make a shake with them. Another option is using a bowl of fresh berries to act as a “health tonic” that is not only delicious but easy and convenient to prepare, as well as one of the most intense disease prevention treats you can find.
Another popular and easy way to enjoy berries is in smoothies, either plain with a dollop of ice cream or yogurt; or with crushed ice chips and sliced banana to add thickness and more delicious nutrients. Enjoy these wonderful fruits, become nourished, and prevent disease all at the same time, but be sure they are not sprayed with pesticides or are raised organically to maximize Whole Health Self Care.