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Posts Tagged ‘Phytonutrients’

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As we work our way into the warmer summer months, I have one thing on my mind…fresh local berries! Local berries have a completely different flavor profile than the ones often found in the grocery store. They are ripe, juicy, and very sweet. Not only do these berries add some sweetness to your diet, they also pack a punch nutritionally. Some important components of berries include anthocyanins, antioxidants, dietary fiber, phytochemicals, and Vitamin C.

Anthocyanins are power antioxidants from the blue, purple, and red color pigments that are found in berries. They have been associated with:

  • reduced risk of cancer
  • improved urinary tract health
  • improved memory
  • helping with aging

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals in the body to keep our cells healthy.  Dietary fiber 1) helps to keep our GI system healthy 2) lowers our risk for heart disease 3) reduces our blood cholesterol levels and 4) may prevent some cancers. Phytochemicals are naturally occurring antioxidants that have a disease-fighting, cell-protecting antioxidant capacity. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and a water soluble vitamin.

  • One cup of strawberries provides over 150% of your daily value for Vitamin C, contains folate, fiber, and antioxidants.
  • Blueberries contain about 85 calories per cup, and are loaded with antioxidants.berry
  • Blackberries contain less than 50 calories per cup, have a high antioxidant content, and contain anthocyanins.
  • Raspberries contain about 50 calories per cup, are rich in some flavonoids, and also play a role to keep cells healthy.

Did that convince you to add these nutritious little berries to your diet? The price of berries will go down as the season is approaching.

Another way to get your hands on some berries (besides the grocery store) is to pick them yourself! Pick-your-own is a great way to support local farmers and have fresh produce. Make it a family outing to maximize the amount you can pick! Look at http://www.pickyourown.org/OH.htm to find a pick-your-own farm near you. These berries are great eaten plain, added to a yogurt parfait, blended into a smoothie, baked into a fresh fruit pie, added into a refreshing drink, or can even be frozen to enjoy year round! What sounds delicious to you?

Author: Ashley Parsons, BGSU Dietetic Intern with Wood County Extension and Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences

Reviewer:  Cheryl Barber Spires, RD, LD, SNAP-Ed Program Assistant, Ohio State University Extension, spires.53@osu.edu

References:

Strawberry Nutrition.” Driscoll’s. Driscolls, n.d. Web. 03 May 2016.

http://www.driscolls.com/nutrition-health/berry-nutrition-facts/strawberry-nutrition

“Blueberry Nutrition Facts And Health Benefits.” Driscoll’s. Driscolls, n.d. Web. 03 May 2016.

http://www.driscolls.com/nutrition-health/berry-nutrition-facts/blueberry-nutrition

“Blackberry Nutrition.” Driscoll’s. Driscolls, n.d. Web. 03 May 2016.

http://www.driscolls.com/nutrition-health/berry-nutrition-facts/blackberry-nutrition

“Raspberry Nutrition.” Driscoll’s. Driscolls, n.d. Web. 03 May 2016.

http://www.driscolls.com/nutrition-health/berry-nutrition-facts/raspberry-nutrition

“Fact Sheets.” For Blackbe_wp_link_placeholderrries, Blueberries, Raspberries, and Strawberries ~ Connecting Berry Health Benefit Researchers. Oregon Raspberry & Blackberry Commission, n.d. Web. 03 May 2016.

http://berryhealth.fst.oregonstate.edu/health_healing/fact_sheets/

Photo Credit: Ashley Parsons, Photographs taken at Schooner Farms; Weston, Ohio and Red Wagon Farm, Columbia Station, Ohio

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cherriesTart cherries have powerful secret nutrients. Studies have found that the antioxidants in tart cherries continue to increase until they reach peak ripeness.  Consuming them when they are ripe will offer you the most benefits.

 

These properties called anthocyanins could improve our health by:

  • Cutting down on inflammation and decreasing muscle soreness.
  • Producing beneficial metabolic effects such as decreasing fat, sugar, and insulin levels in the blood.
  • Melatonin in rich tart cherries may help sleep disturbances.
  • Phytonutrients in cherries act as antioxidants to help reduce free radicals in the body, possibly reducing the risk of some types of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease

Cherry-Berry Smoothie

Ingredients:

3/4 cup canned, pitted red tart cherries in water, chilled in the refrigerator, undrained

1/2 cup low fat milk or dairy-free milk

1/2 cup frozen berries

8 oz. low fat cherry Greek yogurt

1 small banana

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. More or less milk can be added to achieve desired consistency.

Makes 3 servings

Per Serving:

Calories: 164

Total fat 2 g (1 g saturated fat)

Carbohydrate 33 g

Protein 6 g

Fiber 2.8 g

Sodium 72 mg

Vitamin C 6 mg

Vitamin A 635 IU

As we support good health, everyone should try to eat more fruits and vegetables so by adding tart cherries or the concentrate you can easily add one more serving of fruit to your meal plan each day!

Writer: Marie Diniaco Economos, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Trumbull County, Western Reserve EERA, Economos.2@osu.edu

Reviewers: Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University.

Michelle Treber, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu

For more information on how to maximize nutrients in other fruits and vegetables visit: Farm to Health Series: http://localfoods.osu.edu/maximizenutrients

Sources:

http://www.choosecherries.com

http://www.ncnm.edu/images/Helfgott/Projects/scientific-literature-summary-cherries-2011.pdf

Recipe developed by Robin Ralston and Morgan Orr, The Ohio State University available from: http://localfoods.osu.edu/sites/d6-localfoods.web/files/Cherries_0.pdf

 

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