Health After 50
Fresh or Frozen: The Good News About Berries
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, goes the old saying. But if you're trying to reduce your risk of chronic diseases, you might also want to consider adding berries to your menu. These boldly colored fruits are ripe with nutritional benefits: high in a variety of vitamins, minerals, and fiber -- and low in calories and fat.
Berries are particularly rich in antioxidants, compounds that fight the action of highly reactive molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are formed during normal body processes, such as metabolism, but they can cause cell damage, which contributes to diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The antioxidants in berries (and other foods) help neutralize these free radicals.
Fresh berries are delicious, but they can be costly -- especially when they're not in season. Good news: Frozen berries, which are available in most grocery stores, are less expensive and offer the same -- if not more -- nutritional advantages than fresh berries.
Berries that are frozen immediately after picking maintain their nutrients while making the long trip from the farm to your kitchen. Because they are frozen at their peak, they are just as nutritious as fresh ones.
Frozen berries, once they thaw, aren't as firm as fresh ones— but they're still tasty. Firmness also doesn't matter if you're tossing them into the blender with some low-fat yogurt to make a fruit smoothie. When local berries are in season, stock up and freeze them for later use. Spread them on a cookie sheet, and place the sheet in the freezer. (That keeps them from sticking together.)
When the berries are frozen, pour them into a plastic bag or storage container, seal well to prevent freezer burn, and return to the freezer where they'll be ready to grab at any time.
Posted in Nutrition and Weight Control on October 27, 2010
Reviewed January 2011
Medical Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information: Health After 50 Disclaimer
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