Nutrition Fact of the Week
It is so important for us to eat foods that contain antioxidants in our diet since they can help prevent/fight illness and disease. Berries are an amazing source of antioxidants, such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Eating these delicious berries everyday can give your body the antioxidants it needs to fight free radicals.
What are antioxidants and free radicals?
Antioxidants are important because they help protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. A free radical is a molecule that has one or more unpaired electrons, which causes it to be unstable and very reactive. Antioxidants can help to neutralize the free radical by donating one or two electrons, which helps protect other substances from being damaged by them.
Free radicals are naturally produced in our bodies from normal cell metabolism and from other sources such as radiation, medication, and pollution. When our body has an overload of free radicals it can create oxidative stress, which can lead to illness and diseases. This is why it is so important to consume antioxidants in our diet every day.
How to buy berries in an affordable way?
Many people find berries to be more expensive than other fruit produce, especially when they are encouraged to only buy organic berries. But there are lots of ways that you can purchase berries (even organic) and stay on your budget!
To help stay on budget, buy fresh berries when they are in season (summer months) since they will go on sale more often to make them affordable. During off seasons or when there isn’t a sale going on purchase frozen berries to put in smoothies with yogurt or protein powder and/or spinach. You can even eat frozen berries right out of the freezer for a snack with a handful of nuts. Buying frozen berries in bulk at Costco or BJ’s make them even more affordable, especially when trying to buy organic!
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By: Amanda Shrake
Dietetics and Nutrition Student
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