Our little superfood series features several hero ingredients used at Kcal, and are generally good to stock up in your refrigerator and pantry. From the might chia seed, we move on to everyone’s favourite berries. The term ‘berry’ in botany represents a fleshy fruit stemming from a single flower with no pit. In common language, a berry is just a small edible fruit. Before we go on to talk about its many benefits, here’s a few fruits (and vegetables) that are actually berries.
- – Banana
- – Cucumber
- – Kiwi
- – Avocado
- – Tomato
- – Coffee
Surprised that your favourite strawberries and blackberries don’t feature on this list? We were too!
Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and mulberries are actually aggregate berries because they contain multiple fruits within a single fruit, so they’re not true berries. Sounds crazy, right?
Now that we’ve got all the technical stuff out of the way, let’s take a deep dive into why berries (as we know them) are the perfect ingredient to include within your food palate.
VIF: Very Inclusive Fruit
Berries can be enjoyed by everyone across all types of lifestyle plans. Though people on low-carb and ketogenic meal plans tend to avoid fruit, berries in moderation are always a good idea. They make for the perfect low-calorie snack, satisfy all sugar cravings with ease and are loaded in fibre, making them perfect for gut and overall health.
High in antioxidants, berries contain compound nutrients that help reduce your risk of disease. High-strung, modern lifestyles often lead to long-term inflammation, increasing your risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Antioxidants in berries lower your body’s inflammatory markers, helping keep you fit, energised and healthy.
Hello, Glowing Skin
Another great reason to eat berries is that they control the release of free radicals—one of the leading causes of skin damage that cause ageing. Studies indicate that antioxidants in berries protect the skin by keeping collagen levels intact, leaving you with soft, supple and radiant skin all day long.
You’ll Be Berry Smart
Extensive research suggests eating berries can delay cognitive impairment by around 2.5 years. Because they are high in flavonoids, berries can help improve the brain’s learning and memory centres. In short, say hello to a sharper brain!
Goes On EVERYTHING!
Undeniably delicious, berries can be eaten as they are or added to a variety of ingredients to produce tasty treats for everyone to enjoy. Add them to your granola breakfast bowl, serve them atop your favourite salad or blend them into your favourite smoothie—the options to enjoy these delectable fruits are endless. Even when added to baked goods or frozen, berries retain their nutrient levels, making them ideal to snack on whenever you need a little sweet treat. If you’re looking for a way to incorporate them in your daily meals, why not try this Mixed Berry Parfait?
Mixed Berry Parfait (Serves 4)
2 to 3 cups of mixed berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries)
4 cups of plain yoghurt (dairy-free if you’re allergic)
Granola (gluten-free granola works)
Wash, dry and cut the berries into bite-sized pieces, if needed
In a parfait glass or bowl, spoon a layer of yoghurt and top with berries and granola
Repeat layering the bowl or glass and top with a final layer of granola
Chill and enjoy!Written by Rawan Khammash, Nutrition Director