Bite for bite, berries offer more antioxidants than most other foods. In a recent study published
in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, blackberries ranked as number one for antioxi-
dant content. Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries all showed up in the top ten. But, this
is only the beginning of their benefits.
Chock Full of Flavanoids
Women should consume lots of berries as they contain a flavonoid called quercetin, which
helps regulate cell growth and protects against estrogen related cancers such as breast and
endometrial cancer. Quercetin also helps prevent plaque from sticking to arteries and clots
Life Extending Abilities
Berries are an excellent source of phytochemicals that help fight cancer. Ellagic acid, one such
phytochemical, is now being touted by world renowned anti-aging doctors as one of the most
important substances we can consume for health and life extension. Blackberries, raspberries,
and strawberries all have high amounts of ellagic acid. Studies show it inhibits lung, skin, and
liver cancer in animals. Ellagic acid also wages war on arteriosclerotic lesions (plaque buildup).
One study showed a 1000 percent decrease. That’s better than any statin could do.
Do you notice the bright colors of berries? Fruits and vegetables that have vibrant hues are
the ones that go on record for remarkable health benefits. Anthocyanins are responsible for the
deep hues of berries. Foods high in these are particularly effective at counteracting the effects
of aging, especially in neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and macular degenera-
tion, a leading cause of blindness in the elderly. Anthocyanins directly protect blood vessels,
reduce blood pressure, and lower harmful type cholesterol. They also help fight diabetes, arthri-
tis, and allergies by reducing inflammation.
The Brainy Berry
Studies have shown that berries help maintain a healthy brain. Only one handful of blueberries
a day significantly decreases inflammation in the brain. They prevent a decline in memory and
motor learning. Blueberries can also improve balance and coordination.
If you are a homeschooling mom, you may like to assign your older children and help your
younger ones to search out the benefits of each berry. Each berry has something different to offer.
The Practical Berry
Berries are hits in our homes because they are sweet, exotic, and won’t cause a sugar spike. You
can buy them fresh, but it is usually cheaper to buy them frozen. This way, you can have them
all year round.
Remember, berries are neutral ground. You can eat them with both E and S meals as their
carb content is not too much higher than most non-starchy veggies, although blueberries are
a little higher.
My youngest daughter, Autumn, loves to eat berries as frozen treats by
the bowlful. I prefer them thawed. I usually buy two frozen packets of berries every week
from Aldi. I put the first packet I am going to use in the refrigerator to thaw. This way,
the berries are delicious, juicy, and always accessible. I love to pour a nice amount of
berries, along with some of the runny juice, into my Greek yogurt. It streaks it red and
the strong colors let me know I am eating God’s goodness. I enjoy them in my muffins,
too. Check out our muffin recipes in Chapter 19. O
Serene chats: I’ve found a berry trick that works for a snack on the run. I put some
frozen berries in an empty peanut butter jar that has a lid. I fill it with my yummy
homemade kefir and whatever flavorings I desire, screw on the lid, pop it in my bag, and
away I go. The frozen berries keep the kefir chilled and the liquid thaws out the berries
to succulent morsels—a perfect marriage.
Our family love berries so much that if we run out it feels like the kitchen is bare. I
throw them in nearly everything. I eat them for a yummy S energy snack straight from
the freezer, mixed with dry roasted almond butter. Delicious!
One of my family’s favorite yearly highlights, looked forward to almost as much
as birthdays, is blueberry picking season in our area. The whole family picks and eats,
and picks and eats as this farmer doesn’t mind eating while picking. My youngest is
usually almost blue by the time picking is done. Look for farms within an hour’s driving
distance from your home. They are usually cheap and delicious, and it is a fun outing.
Check out my Whip of Wonders (Snacks, Chapter 24). It is the ultimate superfood
snack or dessert.
If you want to eat purely organic, you will be pleased to know that blueberries are
raised without spray, even if they are not labeled organic. I found this out from a local
berry grower who sprays everything except his blueberries.