Ah Berries… It is Springtime and soon summer will be here and berries will be all over! Not that we can’t get berries at any time of year but it is always better to eat foods that are in season. Did you know that berries are at least 85% water?? Makes sense when you think of how juicy they are huh? They are loaded with water and fiber as well as many antioxidants. The fiber in berries help fill you up and, along with the water in them, help you get into that bikini!
The antioxidants these little guys contain allow your body to fight off and repair DNA damage and inflammation, that over time can lead to major illnesses. Anthocyanins (give berries their rich, vibrant color), quercetin and vitamin C are a few of the powerful antioxidants in berries. Anthocyanins reduce inflammation in the body and may help prevent and relieve pain from arthritis. Berries can also help slow age-related memory loss as the anthocyanins and quercetin found in them work together to make this happen. Quercetin is another powerful anti-inflammatory; it can help people with conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Vitamin C helps promote the health of the collagen in our skin and aids in maintaining cartilage stores and joint flexibility. The vitamin C in berries keeps our skin clear and luminous and our hair full and healthy. The fiber in berries help our bodies release excess weight and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. Folate supports our bodies in producing serotonin, it may also help stabilize our mood and ward off depression.
It is very important to be aware that most commercially produced berries are loaded with pesticides and fungicides (Strawberries are #2 on the latest Dirty Dozen list) and these chemicals really mess with our bodies by disrupting our hormones and often get stored in our fat cells. So, get your berries from organic sources or visit your Farmer’s Markets and talk to the farmers about their methods for growing your berries. Be sure to eat your berries and enjoy the benefits of improved health, a slimmer waistline and great skin and hair!
Strawberry Superfood Smoothie
1 ½ - 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (rice/flax milk are options)
1 ½ cups organic strawberries, frozen/fresh
1 organic banana, fresh
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tbsp hemp, cacao , maca superfood powder (this is the one I have)
1 tbsp organic chia seeds
½ cup ice cubes
**Blend and enjoy!
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