When you think of summer months, you probably think of sunshine, swimming pools and warm weather. But this is also the prime season for some of nature’s most nutritious fruits: berries!
This family of fruits includes strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, which are plentiful during the summer months and provide many health benefits. Here are a few reasons you should grab a pint or two of berries on your next trip to the farmer’s market or the grocery store.
First, berries — in particular, blueberries — are a great source of antioxidants, which protect the body from free radicals that are believed to damage cells and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer. These antioxidants are also shown to help prevent heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol levels.
Next, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries are all high in fiber, which can help people maintain or lose weight by increasing the feeling of fullness in the body and decreasing a person’s overall calorie intake.
Berries also help fight inflammation in the body, which can occur chronically due to stress levels, diabetes and obesity. By reducing inflammation, berries help decrease a person’s risk for heart disease and cancer, among other problems.
Berries are easy to incorporate in any sort of diet, making them an ideal fruit to include in desserts, meals and snacks. They’re so versatile that berries can be featured in anything from pies to salads, or eaten alone.
This summer, make sure to incorporate berries into your diet so you can reap the health benefits of these delicious natural treats.