Sweet Summer StrawberryFrom blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries to Oregon’s own Marion and Katata berries, it doesn’t get any more nutritious than this. These sweet and juicy fruits are the perfect water and fiber combination for weight loss. They also are loaded with B vitamins, vitamin C, and antioxidants, such as the flavonoids, resveratrol, and more than 40 different anthocyanins. The potent antioxidants in berries strengthen tissue defenses against oxidation and inflammation, which are underlying factors in most age-related diseases, from heart disease and cancer to memory loss, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimers. The antioxidants in berries might even help reverse memory loss. Best of all, frozen is just as antioxidant-packed as fresh, so enjoy these nutrient gold mines all year around.

Berries are more than just antioxidants. Research from Tufts University shows that these little fruits regulate our genes! They turn on the cells’ production of disease-fighting chemicals that then work 24-7 to protect the brain and all the body’s tissues from damage. No wonder they improve cell communication, stimulate nerve cell growth, and enhance brain cell connections.

To meet your weekly quota of 4 to 5 cups, switch from ice cream to frozen blueberries for an after-dinner snack, blend into smoothies, add to homemade salsa, dip strawberries in fat-free chocolate syrup, layer with yogurt for a parfait, add to tossed salads or muffin and pancake batters or briefly cook blueberries with a little Splenda, lemon juice, and corn starch and use as a topping for pancakes, French toast, waffles, and ice cream.

Photo credit: Creative Commons License D. Sharon Pruitt via Compfight