Tip: How to Make Berries Last Longer
Although you can always just buy frozen berries to not have to worry about mold growing, there is nothing quite like fresh berries in their prime!
If you agree – below is our trick for helping them last up to three times longer!
Soak them in a solution prior of 1 part apple cider vinegar and 3 parts water for 10-15 minutes. After soaking, rinse and dry the berries thoroughly and store in an airtight container.
When I first did this I was concerned it would taste like vinegar. However, rest assured, if you rinse them well after it gets rid of the vinegar residue.
Why include more berries?
Berries are rich in polyphenols – which are the plant compounds responsible for giving fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors. Polyphenols are natural constituents found in fruits, vegetables, and herbs, possessing diverse antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.
Berries are not only delicious but also packed with various nutrients and compounds that offer numerous health benefits. Here are some of the key health benefits associated with consuming berries
- Rich in Antioxidants: Berries are loaded with antioxidants, such as flavonoids, anthocyanins, and quercetin, which help combat oxidative stress in the body. Antioxidants play a crucial role in protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals.
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Many berries have anti-inflammatory effects, helping to reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is linked to various health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.
- Heart Health: The high levels of antioxidants and fiber in berries contribute to heart health by reducing risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Berries may also improve blood vessel function.
- Improved Cognitive Function: Some studies suggest that the antioxidants in berries may help slow down age-related cognitive decline. Blueberries, in particular, have been linked to improved memory and cognitive performance.
- Cancer Prevention: The antioxidants in berries may help protect cells from DNA damage, potentially reducing the risk of certain types of cancer. However, more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between berry consumption and cancer prevention.
- Improved Digestive Health: Berries are a good source of dietary fiber, which promotes healthy digestion and regular bowel movements. Fiber also supports the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
- Skin Health: The antioxidants in berries may contribute to healthy skin by protecting it from damage caused by free radicals. Some studies suggest that berry consumption may help reduce the signs of aging, such as wrinkles.
- Eye Health: Certain berries, such as bilberries and blueberries, contain compounds that are beneficial for eye health. These compounds may help protect against age-related macular degeneration and other vision problems.
Blueberries & IBD
Published in The FASEB Journal in September 2020, a study unveiled the presence of a polyphenolic compound named pterostilbene (PSB) within blueberries.
Researchers assert that PSB, functioning as an antioxidant, exhibits potent capabilities to dampen the immune system, suggesting its potential as a treatment for inflammation in individuals with Crohn’s disease.
PSB also demonstrated the suppression of inflammatory cytokines such as TNF, which is particularly implicated in the inflammation experienced by those with inflammatory bowel disease.
What about strictures?
If you have stricturing or narrowing of the colon, (depending on the severity) you may do better with blended berries rather than berries in their whole form.
We recommend talking with your healthcare provider and IBD dietitian to figure out what is right for you. Some people with strictures may have low risk of obstruction and no food restrictions, while others might have specific guidelines to follow around reducing risk of obstruction.