By Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist
Berries are ripe for the picking this time of year in the US. Not only are they absolutely delicious, they offer an amazing array of health promoting phytonutrients. The dark and vibrant colors signify the rich variety of nutrients – I always like to say, “if a fruit or veggie stains your shirt, it’s got to be good for you!”
I took our family’s favorite go-to morning smoothie for a quick and healthy start to the day and added more ripe fruits that are in season. The cacao nibs add a crunch plus more fiber and antioxidants and the protein powder helps get me ready for a morning workout and the kids ready for an active day at camp.
Berries boast many nutrients; here are a few superstars:
Anthocyanin – gives blueberries, blackberries and cherries their blue or dark red/purple hue. These gems not only act to scavenge damaging free-radicals but they also help to potentiate or assist other phytonutrients in their work to keep our immune system strong. Research has shown their benefit in promoting a healthy heart, vision, memory and cognitive function.
Melatonin – this sleep regulating hormone also acts as an antioxidant has been identified in cherries. Cherries also have anti inflammatory compounds that can help to ease joint pain.
Vitamin C – move over oranges! Get your daily dose and then some from this Vitamin C packed smoothie! Just 1 cup of whole strawberries contains 141% of your daily needs!
Serving Size: 24 oz (720 ml)
Fat: 20 g
Trans Fat: 8 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 290 mg
Carbohydrates: 76 g
Fiber: 25 g
Sugars: 44 g
Protein: 18 g