Hello Joyous readers! I am very honored to be contributing a post to the blog here at Joyous Health. As soon as Joy asked me for a post, one thought popped into my head: berries. Likely because I was eating a plump, juicy, local, organic strawberry at the time! Not only are berries scrumptious but they have impressive nutritional profiles AND are packed with antioxidants. Lots of whole food goodness wrapped in a tasty package.
Here are some of my favorite berries to munch on:
Blueberries: They get their beautiful purple/blue color from anthocyanidins. These compounds exert serious antioxidant activity. In fact, wild blueberries rank as one of the highest fruits in antioxidant levels. This means that blueberries are really effective at eliminating free radicals. Studies have also shown blueberries help protect the brain against oxidative stress. This can help reduce age related conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Strawberries: In addition to being a good source of vitamins C, B6, and folic acid, strawberries possess anti-inflammatory properties as well. Their unique blend of flavonoids help to lessen the activity of cyclooxygenase (COX). COX is the enzyme in our body responsible for promoting the formation of prostaglandins, potent inflammatory fat molecules. The flavonoids in the humble strawberry help to bust this cycle. Pretty impressive!
Blackberries: Most people dive into raspberries but I like blackberries more! Like other dark colored berries, blackberries contain anthocyanidins. Blackberries also contain Ellagic acid which has been shown to reduce esophageal tumors and tumors of the colon. Instead of an aspirin a day, have a handful of blackberries! Blackberries contain a compound similar to the active compound in aspirin. In this way, blackberries may help protect against heart disease in the same way aspirin does. Not too shabby!
You can easily snack on these berries fresh, toss them into a smoothie, or make this great recipe care of Doug McNish (www.dougmcnish.com).
Raw Berry Crumble
- 2 Cups Strawberries Thinly sliced
- 2 Cups Blueberries
- 2 Cups of Strawberries roughly cut
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Raw Honey or 3 Tablespoons Raw Agave (or none! I didn’t add any when I made it)
- pinch of Sea Salt
In a blender, blend the coarsely cut Strawberries and 1 cup of Blueberries with the cinnamon, coconut oil, sea salt, and honey until smooth. In a bowl, combine the mixture with the remaining blueberries and sliced strawberries. Place the mixture into the refrigerator to set while you make the topping.
For the Topping:
- 2 Cups of Walnuts
- 3-4 Medjool Dates
- 2 Tablespoons ground Golden Flax
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (optional)
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- Pinch of Sea Salt
In a food processor, add the walnuts and pulse until crumbly. Add the dates, salt, cinnamon, (and optional oil) and pulse until mixtures comes together and no large pieces of dates remain.
To assemble the dessert, simply remove the fruit filling from the refrigerator and top with the walnut crumble. Scrumptious!
So tell me, what is YOUR fave way to use berries? If you have a recipe online, please share the link below!
Have a joyous day!
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Joy McCarthy, Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Health Coach of Joyous Health, loves to inspire others to eat well, live well and be happy.
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