July is Berry Month, a time to celebrate these seasonal fruits that aren’t just tasty, they’re good for you, too.
Most berries contain potassium, which helps keep your blood pressure under control. They’re also rich in fiber and vitamins, and contain phytochemicals – naturally occurring chemicals in plants that give them their color, odor and flavor. Research suggests that phytochemicals may help lower your risk of cancer by stimulating the immune system, blocking cancer-causing substances in foods, beverages and the air we breathe; repairing or preventing cell damage that could lead to cancer; or even slowing the growth of cancer cells.
Berries also are naturally sweet (needing little or no sugar) and low in calories. A cup of strawberries has just 50 calories, raspberries and blackberries have about 60 calories, and blueberries, about 85 calories.
In the coming weeks, we’ll share healthy recipes using fresh Kansas-grown berries — but I prefer mine plain and simple, in my morning cereal or with stirred into vanilla yogurt.