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Berry Power

Berry Power

Berries are a powerful food source packed with nourishment and health benefits. They provide the nutrients to help reduce the risk for metabolic syndrome and chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Compounds in berries boost brain health and support healthy weight maintenance. Popular berries include blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries.

At the top of the power-packed list are blueberries. Rich in anthocyanin flavonoids that give berries red, blue, and purple pigments. Blueberries contain antioxidants to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals and anti-inflammatory properties, which support blood glucose regulation and cognitive and vascular health (Kalt et al., 2020).

Raspberries are high in fiber, a great source of immune-boosting vitamin C, and compounds that help reduce cancer risk. Strawberries contain vitamin C and polyphenols. Blackberries are loaded with beneficial dietary fiber for digestive health (Patel, 2020).

We’re often told to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables to reap health-protective benefits. The power-packed versatility of berries makes that easy to do. Frozen berries are conveniently available year-round for simple incorporation into daily meal routines. Look for fresh and locally sourced berries in warmer weather seasons as a juicy seasonal addition! Dried berries are also an option but be mindful of added sugar.

Here are some simple, creative, delicious ways to add berries to your meal rotation.
Smoothies: Blend fresh or frozen berries with your favorite yogurt and milk and sneak in some greens, such as spinach, for a yummy and nutritious smoothie.

Salads: Fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries) elevate your favorite salad with pops of color and flavor.

Snacks: Fresh berries, nuts, or seeds for a healthy and satisfying snack win!
Breakfast: Berries for breakfast? Yes, please. Add on top of oatmeal, yogurt, or pancakes.

Drinks: Refreshing berry-infused water adds that special touch to help meet your water intake goals.

Sauces: Homemade berry sauces or jams let you add nutrients without the unhealthy additives of store-bought versions.

Need more time? Start with this quick recipe from the American Institute of Cancer Research.
Arugula Salad with Kiwi, Strawberries, and Pecans (20 minutes)

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  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • One fresh lime juice (lemon may be substituted)
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest of one large orange
  • 1 Tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
  • 4 cups baby or regular arugula
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin, including green stems
  • 4 kiwis, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups strawberries, halved
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped, toasted pecans
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Makes 6 servings.

  1. Per serving: 170 calories
  2. 10 g total fat
  3. 22 g carbohydrates
  4. 2 g protein,
  5. 4 g dietary fiber
  6. 10 mg sodium
  7. 15 g sugar

Whisk together orange juice, honey, lime juice, and paprika in a small mixing bowl. When well combined, slowly add oil and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth. Stir in zest and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside and allow the dressing to stand for a minimum of 10 minutes for flavors to mingle. Spread arugula and sprinkle with green onions on a large serving platter or in a large salad bowl. Arrange kiwi and strawberry slices on top. Just before serving, drizzle salad with dressing and garnish with pecans.

#MYJAM Fun Trivia Facts: In botanical terms, some berries aren’t technically berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries). Cranberries and blueberries are actual botanical berries. Some fruit and vegetables are botanical berries such as bananas, tomatoes, and pumpkins (Britannica, 2022).


  • American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR). (n.d.). Arugula Salad with Kiwi, Strawberries, and Pecans. American Institute for Cancer Research. Retrieved April 5, 2023, from
  • Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2022, December 19). berry. Encyclopedia Britannica.
  • Kalt, W., Cassidy, A., Howard, L. R., Krikorian, R., Stull, A. J., Tremblay, F., & Zamora-Ros, R. (2020). Recent Research on the Health Benefits of Blueberries and Their Anthocyanins. Advances in Nutrition, 11(2), 224–236.
  • Patel, S. (2020, July 1). Enjoy the Health Benefits of Berries. American Institute for Cancer Research.
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