It’s still summertime and I’m feeling the love of fruit consume me with the rising temperatures. This really is the perfect time to experiment with fruit, it’s straight from the garden, it’s abundant and it’s mere pennies on the dollar compared to any other time of year and right now the fruit de jour is every type of berry, nutritional hulks, yours for the picking. Berries are my all time favorite fruit to eat in the now
or “put up” these ripe summer delicacies to feast on their buoyant, succulent sweetness in the dead of icy winter.
But sadly I must report that what I have always considered a berry
; strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are only masquerading as berries. Their true fruit identities are not berries, the fleshy fruit with seeds and pulp birthed from a single ovary. No these imposters are aggregates, birthed from different ovaries in a single flower or worse yet an accessory fruit birthed from no ovary at all. Oh, how I have been miss lead!
So what are the true berries? Well, in botanical speak they are the banana, grape, persimmon, avocado (really an avocado?) watermelon, tomatoes and yes I can take some comfort in knowing that the blueberry and cranberry would be joined here. A berry by any other name would taste as sweet. Things are not always what they seem, but the strawberry, raspberry and blackberry will forever be berries to me and I will continue to eat mass quantities of them.
But first buy organic berries. Actually any fruit that doesn’t have a thick outer peel (like the banana that’s really a berry!) should be purchased organic
in this day and age. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recently published that 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides, and 30% of insecticides sprayed on commercially grown produce have the possible potential to cause cancer. Yuck. By buying organic produce
this threat can be eliminated. That was easy.
Also many of these yucky carcinogenic sprays carry toxins that will damage our brain and nerve cells. An example is organophosphates a neurotoxin, developed first as a nerve agent in WWI and is now widely used in pesticides and these sprays are now showing up in at least half of the US population’s drinking water. On a high note, there is consistent research showing that produce grown organically is higher in the nutrient vitamin C, all antioxidants and minerals that healthy bodies need. “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” Gandhi.
OK, back to my lovely berries and why I want them more and more. They all contain phytochemicals and polyphenols as well as their own nutritional character that can work alone or synergistically
with other foods. Blueberries boost our brains toward greater focus and when I combine blueberries with yogurt before a workout I pump up the volume with focus and workout muscle tear repair with protein in the yogurt. If I eat this combo after a workout the glycogen I burned huffing and puffing is replaced and I’m ready to rock my day. More blueberry bonuses are the anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, catechins, and salicylic acid (can you say aspirin) that decrease inflammation in my post workout muscles.
Eight strawberries, just eight, have more vitamin C then an orange and if I eat strawberries after a high fat meal my blood fats won’t spike as high as they would have without the berries. I have now just lowered my risk of heart attack with a little food synergy. Strawberries are high in ellagic acid a compound that is showing great promise in the area of starving cancer (more on this in my Foodie Fest Blog) and due to their high vitamin C volume (antioxidant anti-inflammatory properties) strawberries decrease arthritis pains too! Eating currents, full of gamma-linolenic acid, together with strawberries or any berry will slow down allergic reactions and help assist the elimination of sinus congestion. Here’s to food synergy! Here! Here!
The berries maybe small in package but they are big in content and with summer still in it’s golden glory why not try the tricksters. The simple act of adding one food with another to get gain a nutritional gold medal seems just too easy. But the truth is it is easy as one, two, three!
Blessings to All, In Joy Candace
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