July is National Berry Month, so what better way to celebrate than learn all about the benefits of berries and different ways to incorporate them into your daily eating pattern?
Berries, like blueberries, strawberries and raspberries contain a wide variety of antioxidants, which can help in preventing cancer. They are very nutrient dense without being high in calories and contain natural sugars so they are a healthy alternative to sugary treats.
Berries can be very versatile so it’s easy to fit them into your menus! Even though blueberries and strawberries are least expensive now that they are in season, you can buy them frozen and get the same nutrients and antioxidants while saving a few dollars. Look out for them in your supermarkets or local farmers markets.
Make your meal berry-licious. Here’s how:
- Smoothies– blend together frozen berries, Greek yogurt, ice and some spinach for a fresh way to cool off in the summer heat
- Yogurt– Mix berries into plain low-fat Greek yogurt instead of getting flavored yogurts to save yourself some sugar and calories
- Salads– add some berries into a salad with green leafy vegetables, lean protein and a low fat dressing for a sweet surprise in each bite
- Jelly– many store bough jellies and jams can be filled with excess sugar, so why not make your own. How? By heating up a cup of berries for a few seconds in the microwave, mash them and stir in a tablespoon of chia seeds. Enjoy immediately on some whole grain toast or let sit in the fridge overnight for a thicker consistency
Try something new
Have you heard of the acai berry (pronounced: ah-SIGH-ee)? Acai is the latest “superfood” that people cannot get enough of. It is packed with antioxidants, protein and healthy fats! They are now found in smoothies, teas and even beauty products!
Acai bowls are basically frozen smoothie bowls topped with granola, coconut and fruit. It can be a great dairy-free alternative to Greek yogurt. Look out for them in your local smoothie shops or make your own by blending frozen acai packets, almond milk and ice, and top it with berries!
Your Turn To Take Action: Try one of these antioxidant-packed meal ideas and let us know how you like it!