Berries: A Bounty of Benefits

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It’s a natural inclination to over-eat during the winter months, but when it comes to steamy summer days, our appetite can seem to diminish.  Although hunger may fade during the humid August heat, the need for proper nutrition does not. This is especially important for the elderly who are at greater risk of malnutrition. There are a multitude of reasons that may make it challenging for seniors to maintain proper nutrition, such as a decreased sense of taste, lower caloric needs and difficulty chewing or using utensils.

Good news! The summer season is a terrific time to add fresh fruits to the menu and overcome some of those summertime nutrition challenges. Berries are a versatile fruit, sweet to the taste and a refreshing way to provide nutrients during hot and humid temperatures. Here are some of the benefits of incorporating berries into your diet.

  • Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are in season! They’re plentiful in the summer making them less expensive to buy.
  • Berries of all kinds are loaded with fiber which is great for the digestive system, and offers a natural alternative to a fiber supplement.
  • Most berries are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which provide an abundance of health benefits and support the immune system.
  • Berries can be included in many types of diets and prepared in a variety of ways. Blend them into a smoothie, add to a fresh summer salad, or simply eat them as they are!
  • Berries are easy to chew and are a perfect finger food, eliminating the need for utensils.
  • Adding just a small serving of berries to a meal is a great way to boost nutrient density without creating an overwhelming portion size.

The heat and humidity of summer will be with us for several more weeks.  So, don’t forget to take advantage of the abundance of fresh fruit, especially berries, in August.

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