Focus Foods: Berries

These tiny fruits pack a mighty, healthy punch. Today, it’s all about berries: why and how to eat them every day to improve your wellbeing.

Here’s how berries help protect our health and stack up against some major diseases:

 

So how much should you have in a day? Considering the benefits and studies conducted, the  recommended serving is about ½ a cup fresh or frozen, or ¼ cup dried. The more, the merrier.

Fresh or frozen? It doesn’t matter! The antioxidant value—and therefore much of the benefit—is known to be nearly the same.

Tip: Berries are a delicate fruit and therefore tend to be more prone to pesticide use. Buy organic when possible, and always wash them before eating.

Berries are easy to have with some other fruits, nuts and seeds as a snack. But here are two simple recipes that may tempt you into enjoying them several times a day!

Antioxidant Galore Smoothie (serves 1)

  • ½ cup frozen mixed berries

  • 1 handful of kale or baby spinach

  • 1 mango cheek

  • ¼ lemon, zest removed, pith remaining

  • 250ml water (adjust for desired thickness)

Blend in a high-speed blender until smooth. Enjoy the hit of vitamin C and iron from the fresh kale!

Berry Chocolate Chia Pudding (serves 4, from Nutritionfacts.org)

  • ½ ripe avocado

  • ¼ cup strawberries or blueberries

  • 3 tbsp cacao powder

  • 2 tablespoons almond butter

  • ½ cup date syrup (or sub less maple syrup)

  • 1 ½ cups almond milk

  • ¼ chia seeds

  • Berries and nuts for garnish

Blend all ingredients together except chia seeds. After it's smooth, whisk in the chia seeds. Let set in fridge overnight or for 8 hours. Makes a great guilt-free dessert.

Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, mulberries, goji berries, acai berries—they do much more than just sit on top of your dessert. Challenge yourself to get at least one serve of this powerful food a day.