Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Insider's Viewpoint: Expert Supermarket Advice: It’s Berry Picking Time! Jennifer Egeland, Hen House Markets. Fruits And Veggies More Matters.org

When I think of summer, I think of berries. My family enjoys going blueberry picking each summer. There are so many yummy berries … strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries … it’s hard to pick just one favorite! But taste is only one reason to get picking! Berries are also packed with nutrition.

Berry Nutrition
One (1) cup of strawberries contains over 100 mg of vitamin C, almost as much as a cup of orange juice. Strawberries also add a bit of calcium, magnesium, folate and potassium and only 53 calories. One (1) cup of blueberries offers a smaller amount of vitamin C, minerals and phytonutrients for only 83 calories. And the same amount of cranberries offers similar nutrition but has only 44 calories. In addition, one (1) cup of raspberries offers vitamin C, potassium and only 64 calories. Other berries (also highly nutritious but not as well known) are loganberries, currants, gooseberries, lingonberries, huckleberries, Goji berries and bilberries.

Choosing Berries
Every grocery store carries a wide variety of fresh, dried and frozen berries. Look for ripe, colorful and firm berries with no sign of mold or mushy spots.

Berries can also be found in the frozen section of the grocery store. Once they thaw, they will not be as firm as freshly picked berries, but they are still delicious and good for you. Also look for dried berries, such as blueberries and cranberries. Fresh, Frozen, Canned, Dried and 100% Juice … It All Matters!

Ideas for Serving Berries
There are so many ways to use berries! Most are naturally sweet and require little effort to prepare. Check out these ideas …

Dessert. For a nutritious snack or dessert, just rinse berries under water and serve.
Salads. Try berries in a spinach salad with pecans and a berry vinaigrette dressing.
Breakfast. For a nutrition-packed breakfast, add extra berries to your muffins, pancakes, cereal or yogurt!
Beverages. Try adding fresh strawberries to your lemonade for a favorite summertime drink!
Fruit Salad. Make a rainbow fruit salad with blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, cantaloupe, green grapes and bananas.
Smoothies. Add berries to your favorite smoothie recipe.
Trail Mix. Dried berries, such as blueberries and cranberries, go great in salads or trail mix.

Jennifer Egeland, RD LD
Registered Dietitian
Hen House Markets

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