Berries are superstars among fruits not only because of their sweet, delicious taste, versatile use, but also because of their health benefits. Berries contain nutrients that are powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that can reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. The polyphenols, fibre and Vitamin C content in berries are just some of the many factors of berries that improve your heart health.
Strawberries for example, harbour the anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic ellagic acid, a nice amount of vitamin C (about 85 mg per cup) as well as important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. All this comes with only 50 calories per cup! 1 cup of fresh raspberries provides 8 g of dietary fibre but only 64 calories! Nutrients which give raspberries their deep red colour have been shown to support healthy cell structures by providing powerful antioxidant protection from free-radicals. Raspberries also contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C and bone-building vitamin K.
Raspberries, along with strawberries, are often highly contaminated with agricultural chemicals, thus I recommend buying their organic varieties when available. They are great enjoyed as a snack, as a topping on your favourite morning cereal or as an addition in a salad. Berries are also among the favourite ingredients of shakes and smoothies as well as baking recipes.
Try this Chia Pudding recipe:
Berry Chia Pudding
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 can coconut milk or 1 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 2 tsp organic vanilla
- 1/4 cup water (add more if you want it less pudding-like)
Mix the seeds and vanilla into coconut milk. Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. The next morning, remove about 1 cup from the container and top it with raspberries. Enjoy! Leave the rest of the pudding in your fridge and use it later as a snack.
By Marianna Duba M.Sc.
Holistic Nutritionist at Sage Naturopathic Clinic