Raise your hand if you love berry season!

May is just the start of our glorious berry and fruit-growing season here in the Pacific Northwest. Keep an eye out for local berry stands selling strawberries through June, raspberries through July, and blueberries through August. Not to mention the wild blackberries found growing everywhere from along creeks and trails to running rampant in neighborhood allies.

We’re lucky to have such easy access to berries and fruit. Not only does enjoying berries tickle your taste buds, but it arms and protects your body from poor health! Berries are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and more. They can help prevent disease, reduce inflammation, and even ease the aging process just to name a few of the many benefits.

What’s more is the fact that these berries (and some fruits) are local! Traditionally, our ancestors ate fresh produce that was local and in season. Not only did this ensure greater nutritional value (produce slowly loses value after it is harvested!) but it supported the local economy! In today’s world, consuming produce that is out of season and grown out of state or in another country contributes to our growing environmental issues. If these aren’t reasons enough to enjoy a handful of local berries every day this summer, I don’t know what is.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy berries is fresh off the plant, but they’re also wonderful with freshly whipped cream! If you remember from several months ago when we discussed the importance of the macronutrients, fat from the cream will help slow down the digestion of the berries, make you feel fuller, and provide energy for longer! Plus it’s delicious!

If you’d like to learn more about nutrition and how to get yours in order, please visit my website at bit.ly/rebelyum or email me at shelby.ntp@gmail.com.