They’re sweet, juicy, and colorful. Berries are naturally likable fruit. Picking berries is also almost as much fun as eating them, which makes that activity a favorite for children, and a nostalgic pastime for most everyone. What’s even better about these lovely gifts from mother nature is that they qualify for the fancy and trendy term of “superfoods” as they are packed with nutrients. You may have heard of the high levels of vitamin C, but did you know that they also contain flavonoids that help treat allergies, hay fever, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and prevent cancer?* Wow! Another little-known health benefit is that berries, like raspberries and strawberries, have been shown to inhibit Salmonella bacteria.** In fact, many berries have been shown to be so effective at killing Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, and other dangerous viral and bacterial pathogens that they “may provide an alternative to synthetic preservatives and antibiotics” for packaged foods.***
Read the companion article, "Easy Things to Make with Berries," here.
* Häkkinen, S., et al. “Screening of selected flavonoids and phenolic acids in 19 berries.” Food Research International 32.5 (1999): 345-353.
** Puupponen‐Pimiä, R., et al. “Antimicrobial properties of phenolic compounds from berries.” Journal of applied microbiology 90.4 (2001): 494-507.
***Lacombe, Alison, and Vivian CH Wu. “The potential of berries to serve as selective inhibitors of pathogens and promoters of beneficial microorganisms.” Food Quality and Safety 1.1 (2017): 3-12.