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That luscious time of year is almost here when berries explode with color. The reds, the blues, and the blacks attract us, but there’s far more to berries than meets the eye.
They’re loaded with compounds that keep your body and brain working right and staying young. So impressed are researchers at Ohio State University that they recommend everyone eat berries every day.
When it comes to total antioxidant power, four of the top ten fruits and vegetables are blueberries (ranked number one), strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
They are rich sources of quercetin, a potent antioxidant.
Another thing that makes berries so special is a compound called ellagic acid, which is believed to prevent cellular changes that can lead to cancer. All berries have some of it, but strawberries and blackberries have the most.
All berries are also rich in vitamin C, one of the best antioxidants. It is particularly important in preventing cataracts. A half-cup of strawberries has 42 milligrams of C. And berries contain large amounts of insoluble fiber, which keeps bowels moving.
Want to feed your brain? Researchers at Tufts University have discovered that compounds found in blueberries have actually improved the memories of aging lab animals. In The Color Code, A Revolutionary Eating Plan for Optimum Health (Hyperion) Dr. James Joseph recommends eating berries every day. He says this recipe is a good way to get more blueberries into your diet:
Banana-Berry Smoothie Ingredients
In a blender, combine 1 cup fat-free milk or soy milk and 1 cup fresh or frozen berries, 1 large banana, and 1/2 cup orange juice. Process until smooth.
The recipe makes two 1 1/4-cup servings with 146 calories, 1 gram fat, and 3 grams of fiber.