The Benefits of Berries

  • Date: 31 August 2017
  • Category: HW Blog
Berries

Fresh raspberries and blackberries are a popular inclusion in the Australian diet, and are known for their sweet, decadent flavour and culinary versatility. However, the lesser-told story is that raspberries and blackberries offer a host of nutritional benefits, while also being naturally low in energy density. We often hear about the latest ‘super foods’ being Amazonian berries or a revival of another ancient grain. However, scientific research demonstrates Australian raspberries and blackberries are super in their own right.

They are an excellent source of fibre, key vitamins and minerals, and are full of antioxidants. A little-known fact is that fresh berries are available almost all year-round; although, key growing seasons span from November to April. With an increasingly robust industry, Australians can find fresh berries at their local supermarket, farmers market or grower during this peak season and throughout the year.

Serves and portions

The Australian Dietary Guidelines define a serve of fruit as around 150g, or one cup, and recommend Australian adults eat two serves of fruit a day1. The recommendation for daily fruit intake for children ranges from half a serve a day for toddlers, increasing to one serve a day for two to three-yearolds, one and a half for four to eightyear- olds and two serves a day for
children aged nine and older. Two serves of fruit a day may be made up of several portions of different types
of fruit, depending on taste preferences, seasons and the type of fruit you are eating.

Australian raspberries and blackberries generally come in 125g punnets, which means a likely portion would be 125g as a snack on its own, or a smaller 60g handful included with yoghurt or breakfast cereal for instance. Whatever the portion size, Australian raspberries and blackberries offer a boost of nutrients and antioxidant activity.

Boost your brekkie with berries

A healthy breakfast can help with brain performance and control cravings later in the day. Aim to eat a breakfast meal
with sufficient dietary fibre and protein to help you feel fuller for longer. A single serve of raspberries or blackberries is an excellent source of dietary fibre, provides over 100 per cent of your Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin C, bumps up your folate and vitamin K intake, and all the while is low in kilojoules. A few simple ways to boost your brekkie with berries
are to:

  • Add blackberries on wholegrain toast with a spread of cream cheese and topped with chopped almonds, fresh torn mint and squeeze of fresh lemon or orange juice.
  • Try mashing your raspberries with a fork to create a zingy sauce, used to swirl on yoghurt or muesli.
  • Put together a healthy breakfast bowl topped with berries, which will make it pop with colour as well as pack a great nutritional punch. You can also add some yoghurt and walnuts for extra protein.

Fresh berries are also recommended as a healthy snack or in recipes to make everyday meals a little more exciting. One tip is to stock up on fresh produce such as raspberries and blackberries while they’re in season, and freeze them to enjoy in later months. Happy eating!

EMMA STIRLING, APD
Emma is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian working with Raspberries and Blackberries Australia, which has more than 150 members across Australia and is the peak body for the rubus/ribes industry. To learn more about Emma Stirling visit www.n4foodandhealth.com or freshberries.com.au

Reference
1. Eat for Health. Australian Dietary Guidelines. Commonwealth of Australia 2013. www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/ how-much-do-we-need-each-day

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