Beautiful Berries You Should Be Eating

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Why You Need to Eat More Berries

Bowls of sour cherries, raspberries, red and black currants and blueberries
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Picking or eating berries is a special summertime treat. They're so delicious and beautiful – think about rich red strawberries, juicy blueberries, and tangy cranberries. Mmm... so good.

Berries should also be a part of your diet because they're loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, plus they're rich in antioxidants that can protect your cells from free-radical damage. And best of all, they're low in calories, so they're perfect for weight-watching diets.

Beautiful, delicious, and good for you. Read on to learn more about these perfect nutritional gems.

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Strawberries

Strawberries in metal bowl
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Strawberries are luscious berries that are easy to find in every grocery store year round. They're also inexpensive and loaded with good nutrition.

One cup of strawberries contains over 100 milligrams of vitamin C, almost as much as a cup of orange juice. Strawberries also have calcium, magnesium, folate, and potassium. And they're low in calories – one cup of strawberries has only 53 calories.

Keep them healthy by keeping them simple. Serve sliced berries with a dab of whipped cream and almond slivers. Dip large strawberries in chocolate for a nutritious snack that feels totally decadent.

Nutrition Information for Strawberries

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Raspberries

Raspberries and leaf on wood. Raspberries are good for you.
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Raspberries are beautiful berries that are best during the summer months when they're at their peak and most affordable. They're delicate and don't keep very long, so use them quickly. Most raspberries are red, but you might find gold or black raspberries, too.

Nutritionwise, raspberries are rich in calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C. Plus, they're low in calories – one cup of raspberries has 64 calories.

Nutrition Information for Raspberries

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Blueberries

Cup of blueberries. Blueberries are good for you.
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Blueberries seem to make it to the top of almost every superfoods list. Probably because they're chock full of antioxidants. Blueberries are available year-round, but they're at their best during the summer months.

They're also good for plenty of nutrients – one cup of blueberries has lots of potassium and almost 4 grams of fiber. You'll also get a good dose of vitamin C and only 83 calories.

Nutrition Information for Blueberries

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Currants

A bowl with red currants. Currants are good for you.
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Fresh red or black currants may not be easy to find fresh, but you can find dried currants year-round. Probably the best way to get a hold of fresh currants is to visit farmers markets in late spring.

Currants are high in potassium, calcium, and vitamin C, and they're rich in fiber. One cup of fresh raw currants has around 60 calories.

If you find fresh currants, buy plenty and freeze them.

Nutrition Information for Currants

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Blackberries

Wickerbasket. blackberries and a leaf. Blackberries are good for you.
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Blackberries look like large black raspberries, and they have a tangier flavor. They're quite good for you because they're high in calcium, vitamin C, and potassium, plus one cup of blackberries has over 7 grams of fiber about 60 calories. And like all berries, they're loaded with antioxidants.

Blackberries are delicious in smoothies or served with a bit of creme fraiche.

Nutrition Information for Blackberries

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Lingonberries

Lingonberries are good for you.
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Tart but tasty lingonberries are best known in Scandinavian recipes and are often used to make preserves and juices. Lingonberry jam isn't too hard to find but look for frozen lingonberries online.

Lingonberries are low in calories (although they usually need some sugar to overcome the tartness). They're also high in vitamin C, magnesium, and fiber.

Try some lingonberry jam and brunost (brown cheese) on a slice of pumpernickel bread.

Nutrition Information for Lingonberries

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Bilberries

Person holding bilberries. Bilberries are good for you.
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Bilberries look a lot like blueberries, but they're not. Bilberries are wild berries that come from the British Isles, so they're most common in British recipes. Bilberries are also prized for their health benefits due to their antioxidant content.

Fresh bilberries may be difficult to find, but you can find dried bilberries online that make a tasty and healthy snack.

Health Benefits of Bilberry

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Cranberries

Wholesome cranberries in a bowl
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Cranberries are native to North America and they're most commonly served during the holidays. It's fairly easy to find fresh or frozen cranberries in most grocery stores, plus there are lots of brands of cranberry juice.

As far as nutrition and health, cranberries are high in vitamin C and they have lots of antioxidants. They also contain compounds that may help prevent bladder infections.

Cranberries are very tart so most recipes call for some sugar but there are some savory recipes available.

Nutrition Information for Cranberries

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Elderberries

Elderberries are good for you.
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Elderberries are small deep purple berries and quite tasty. They're probably most associated with elderberry wine and elderberry syrup that's used in cough syrups and cold tonics. It's not easy to find elderberries in stores, but they may show up at local farmers markets. Or you might grow your own elderberries.

Elderberries are high in vitamin C, calcium, and potassium, and very high in vitamin A and fiber. 

Nutrition Information for Elderberries

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What About Cherries?

Cherries are good for your diet.
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Technically, cherries aren't berries because they have inedible pits, but these little red fruits are used in a similar fashion.

Cherries contain several nutrients and antioxidants, and dark cherries are an excellent source of melatonin – similar to the hormone that increases in your body as you get sleepy. In fact, nibbling on a small bowlful of cherries before bedtime just might help you sleep better.

Serve pitted cherries with plain Greek yogurt or a tart frozen yogurt. Or add cherries to a smoothie with bananas, strawberries, or other fruits.

Sources

Nile SH, Park SW. “Edible berries: Bioactive components and their effect on human health.” http://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007(13)00220-7/abstract.

United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search4.

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