HEALTH BENEFITS OF ORGANIC BERRIES April 18 2015

DID YOU KNOW?

BERRIES are powerful little packets of vitamins, minerals & fiber. A cup of sliced strawberries contains a whole day's requirement for vitamin C. A cup of raspberries supplies a third of our daily niacin needs. Blueberries & strawberries are even surprisingly good sources of vitamin E & they all contain between 4 & 9 grams of fiber per cup.  

Many of the phytonutrients in beries (such as anthocyanins, quercetin, & ellagic acid) have an antioxidant effect: They counter the natural oxidation in the body that contributes to aging of the tissues & many degenerative illnesses such as cancer, dementia & damage to the arteries. One study of blueberries in the diet even showed improved memory of middle-aged rats. In fact, it's hard to think of a body part that isn't positively affected by these nutrients. Blueberries are especially high in these chemicals, perhaps the highest of all fruits.

Choose carefully It is best to eat local & in season berries as much as possible. But it's also important to eat organic & not to increase certain health risks while reducing others.  Strawberries are well-known to be one of the most heavily-sprayed foods, but berries in general are important to eat organic—as are other thin-skinned fruits & veggies.  Because of their extremely thin & delicate skins, berries are especially prone to having large amounts of pesticides, including fungicides. Further, because of their delicacy, they require more pesticides than other types of fruit. Lastly, we eat the skins of berries, without exception. 

Eat up & get your daily dose of polyphenolics—just be sure not to get an extra dose of pesticides along with them.