Berries add variety, color and nutrition to any meal and are a healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth. Typically grown in the spring and summer in the US, berries can be found year-round in many stores, both fresh and frozen. But besides all that, these tiny treats are loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals. When you discover the power of the berry, you'll want to eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Here, learn what the berry can do for you.

Berries contain disease-fighting antioxidants.

From lowering blood pressure to staving off dementia, berries can help you maintain health. Strawberries are one of the best ways to get in your recommended daily dose of vitamin C, which strengthens your immune system and wards off diseases such as skin, bladder, lung, and esophageal cancers. These delicious red berries offer potassium, magnesium, fiber, and folate, as well as lesser known phytonutrients such as quercetin, anthocyanins, ellagic acid, and kaempferol, which contribute to the body's fight against cancer and heart disease. Blueberries also are packed with a multitude of antioxidants, including vitamins C and A, as well as fiber. Raspberries and blackberries have a similar nutritional profile and also contain impressive amounts of vitamin C.

Berries may save your memory.

Blueberries and strawberries in particular may keep your brain finely honed as you age. Using data from the decades-long Nurses' Health Study, researchers at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital examined the results of memory tests administered to more than 16,000 women whose average age was 74 and discovered that those who reported a higher intake of blueberries and strawberries were able to stave off memory declines by up to 2.5 years!

Berries are a delicious way to keep your weight down.

Who needs ice cream and cake? Wholesome, naturally-sweet berries are the perfect dessert. One cup of blackberries contains only 60 calories and one gram of fat while providing six grams of fiber and half of your daily requirement of vitamin C. To make your last course special, place berries in a parfait glass and top with a dollop of low-fat whipped cream or a dusting of sweetened cocoa powder.

Need more berry-licious ideas? Make a tasty, quick smoothie by blending blueberries and strawberries with yogurt or a banana and a handful of protein powder; add colorful berries to plain Greek yogurt for a filling afternoon treat; freeze a dish of your favorite berries and suck on them while you watch evening TV (they'll last!).

Alison Massey, MS, RD, LDN reviewed this article.



Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Berries Keep Your Brain Sharp." Accessed 25 Sept 2013.

MD Anderson Cancer Center. "Very Berry Protection Against Skin Cancer. " Accessed 25 September 2013.

The North American Raspberry & Blackberry Association. "Blackberries—Nutrition Facts." Accessed 25 Sept 2013.