Superfood of the week: Berries

It is easy to see why pop sensation Katy Perry has a small strawberry tattooed on the inside of her left ankle. Not only do they taste and look delicious, most forms of berries are also nutrient powerhouses.

Ireland is infamous for its fresh ‘Wexford Strawberries’ so there is no excuse for anyone not to include them in their daily diet. Strawberries are high in anti-inflammatory nutrients giving them cancer risk-lowering properties and cardiovascular benefits.
Recent studies have also revealed that regular consumption of strawberries results in a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. One cup of strawberries contains 21% manganese, which is great for keeping your bones healthy.

The goji berry is the ultimate student fruit and is a rich source of potassium. The signs of ageing  may appear when you cross the threshold into your twenties, but you needn’t panic as goji berries boost the human growth hormone to combat the effects of early-ageing.

The goji berry can be described as a shrivelled red berry, resembling a raisin, which can be eaten as a snack in its natural form, bursting with tangy sweet and sour flavours.

Health benefits of the goji berry include liver protection – perfect for students who fear that their liver is about to go on strike from all-night sessions. They also help eyesight (great for concentrating in lectures) and most importantly they increase sexual drive. Just remember: “Relax, Johnny’s got you covered”.

With only 80 calories per cup and virtually no fat, blueberries provide the best nutrients and taste in the berry family.

Here’s the skinny: blueberries are jam-packed with vitamin C. One serving gives you almost 25% of your daily vitamin C requirements. This helps to maintain healthy gums and defends you from picking up any colds and bugs creeping around college by enhancing the immune system.

Blueberries are also a high-fibre berry. They make a great breakfast when added to porridge and natural yogurt, keeping you full until lunchtime.

So next time you’re reaching for the biscuit tin, remember that berries are packed with fresh flavours, half the calories and are one of the healthiest foods on the planet.

Recipes

Frozen Berry Yogurt
-4 cups of fresh/frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
-1 banana
-½ cup brown sugar
-½ cup frozen orange juice
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-2 cups low-fat plain yogurt
Puree in a blender and freeze

Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie
-2 bananas frozen and chunked
-1/2 cup strawberries
-2 tablespoons low-fat chocolate syrup
-1 cup plain yoghurt

Ciara Moore

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