Berries are delicious and nutritious. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, fibre, phytonutrients, and antioxidants, which provide numerous health benefits. Considering their size, berries pack an enormous portion of nutrients, and including them in your diet will help to keep you healthy.

If you are fortunate enough to have some of these delightful treasures in your own back yard you already know how wonderful fresh berries can be and are able to enjoy the health benefits they have to offer right away. For the rest of us, purchasing local berries is the next best thing.

Here are some of the more common berries and what they have to offer:

Blueberries contain antioxidants and score high in their ability to fight free radicals. They heal damaged cells, help to keep brain cells alive, improve memory, promote cardiovascular health and have also been found to reduce belly fat.

Blackberries also contain antioxidants which neutralize free radicals that accelerate aging and age-related diseases and help protect the body from cancer.

Red Raspberries have antimicrobial properties and are helpful for people with irritable bowel syndrome, and the properties in the seed and oil of this fruit are thought to act as a natural sunscreen.

Strawberries are an especially good source of vitamin C, potassium and fibre and the antioxidants in strawberries can help neutralize the destructive effect of free radicals while helping to repair tissue and also provide anti-inflammatory benefits for sufferers of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, gout and asthma.

Black and Red Currants are rich in vitamins, have anti-inflammatory properties and are thought to help maintain electrolyte balance.

Most grocery stores carry a wide variety of fresh berries but choosing local berries is better for the environment. Imported fruits leave a substantial carbon footprint and often don’t contain as many nutrients as local fruits do. When choosing berries look for ripe, firm and colorful berries with no sign of mushy spots or mold and make sure you wash them well before eating.

For the freshest berries, your local farmers’ market will have a nice variety and most of them offer berries that have been harvested the same day. You can also find berry farms that allow you to pick your own. Visit to find a pick-your-own farm near you.

Although berries are usual sweet enough to eat on their own, here are some other ways to enjoy them:

- Add berries to a bowl of whole-grain cereal.
- Toss them in to a salad. Strawberries go nice in a spinach salad.
- Stir your favorite berry into plain yogurt.
- Top a bowl of berries with a little light-whipped topping and a sprinkle of nuts.
- Combine berries with bananas and low-fat milk to make a smoothie.

Scientific research is showing that berries can help prevent cancer and heart disease, slow the aging process, control blood glucose, improve vision and sharpen brain function, and on-going research is discovering more and more health benefits berries have to offer.

Along with all of the other fresh fruits and vegetables the summer season has to offer, make sure to include delicious and nutritious berries.

Author's Bio: 

A Product Consultant and Member of The AIM Companies for over twenty-two years, Joanne Jackson takes pride in sharing her knowledge of nutrition and the AIM products with others. As an advocate of healthy eating and proper nutrition, Joanne understands that the choices we make, and choosing them wisely, is the key to wellness. Joanne holds a certificate in Natural Health Fundamentals and is currently studying for her diploma as a Certified Holistic Nutritionist. Sign up for her informative free newsletter by visiting or