The wonderment of summer is finally upon us and the incredible benefit of berries are once again locally in season! They truly are nature’s candy. Sweet, colourful, and loaded with the most amazing array of nutrients, they beat out processed candy hands down.
Of the many nutrients found in berries, two key ones are antioxidants and fiber. These support many areas of the human body by improving function at the cellular level. These nutrients may be involved in reducing inflammation, improving immune function, supporting digestion, and hydrating our cells. Improvement in any one of those areas has a ripple effect of helping other systems to work better as well.
Many folks ask about doing full body detoxes. Eating whole foods daily, like berries, helps your body to easily support your detoxification pathways naturally, every single day. This causes less impact on you and your body and offers plenty more additional benefits. The fiber helps to pull and move toxins out and keep bowel movements moving and on track. Fiber can also help lessen blood sugar spikes and keep us feeling full longer.
If you get a chance, channel your inner farmer and pick berries at a local U-Pick farm. You can do a google search to find U-Pick farms close by. Alternatively, there are lots of places to buy local berries such as farmers markets, roadside huts, or local stores.
Once these beauties are in your kitchen, decide if you will eat them up fresh within a few days or freeze for longer enjoyment. To help berries stay fresh longer, wash just before you eat them, as washing will cause berries to spoil faster. If you are abundant with berries, freezing is a great way to make them last longer. To freeze berries, first rinse, and then freeze on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet to keep them separate. Once frozen, move them to a container to keep in the freezer. Mark what they are and when they were picked.
Freezing fresh berries, fruit, and veggies at their peak keeps the maximum amount of nutrients intact. Some ideas for using up frozen berries include, but are not limited to: muffins, pancakes, oatmeal, smoothies, infused in water to flavor, or just as a frozen treat – the list is endless – just eat ‘em!
Go on our InspireHealth.ca website to find a number of tasty and healthy recipes that include berries in your diet. The team here at InspireHealth is happy to help you incorporate fruits and veggies into your day, as well as many other health supporting lifestyle changes. If you are a member, contact the front desk at any of our centers to book an appointment with one of our staff.
Lisa Aschenbrenner, Nutritionist at InspireHealth