Summertime is ripe for finding colorful, fresh berries at Publix to include in your menu. Not only are they delicious snacks and recipe ingredients—berries offer a variety of nutrients, from fiber and phytochemicals to antioxidants, including vitamin C.
We’re bursting with information about berries, such as how to store and use them in your food routine. Check out our wellness-focused recipes spanning breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert! Is your mouth watering yet?
Little Fruits. Big Nutrition.
Berries are sweet, versatile, and filled with beneficial nutrients. Blueberries1 are good sources of fiber and excellent sources of vitamin C. Raspberries2 and blackberries3 are excellent sources of fiber and vitamin C.
All berries contain both soluble and insoluble fiber and can help you reach the goal of 28 grams per day, as recommended in the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like material that may help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water; it may promote digestion and benefit those who struggle with constipation or irregularity.4
Bottom Line: Be sure to eat berries—and a variety of other high-fiber foods—on a regular basis to get the fiber your body needs.
Bring On the Vitamin C
Berries are excellent sources of vitamin C, another nutrient with many health perks. Here are three reasons to include vitamin C in your diet:
- Your body uses vitamin C to make collagen, a protein that helps wounds heal.5
- Vitamin C may increase the absorption of iron from plant-based foods and help your immune system protect you from disease.5
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant, a chemical compound that can protect cells against the effects of free radicals—molecules produced when the body breaks down food or is exposed to environmental pollutants such as tobacco smoke, air pollution, or radiation. Free radicals can damage cells and may play a role in heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and eye diseases. Research has shown that people who eat more vegetables and fruits have lower risks of several diseases; however, it’s not clear whether these results are related to the amount of antioxidants in these foods, to components in other foods, or to other lifestyle choices.6
Bottom Line: Eat food, such as berries, rather than supplements. Rigorous scientific studies have tested whether antioxidant supplements can help prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, cataracts, and cardiovascular diseases. In most instances, antioxidant supplements did not reduce the risk of developing these diseases, and in some cases they increased the risk.6
Berries also contain naturally occurring compounds known as phytochemicals, which may contribute greatly to the protective health benefits of these plant-based foods. Phytochemicals are responsible for the color, flavor, and odor of plant foods. For example, berries owe their distinct hues to anthocyanin, a member of the flavonoid group of phytochemicals. Research suggests that consuming foods rich in phytochemicals provides health benefits, including reducing the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and cardiovascular disease. However, not enough information exists to make specific recommendations for phytochemical intake.7
Bottom Line: While research on the health benefits of antioxidants and phytochemicals remains inconclusive, it’s a good idea to eat fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet. The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans associates higher intake of fruits and vegetables as a characteristic of healthy eating patterns.8
Celebrate the Season
June is the time to find a variety of sweet, juicy berries—including organic options—in our Produce department. Follow these tips to make the most of your berries:
- Eat soon after purchase, or store unrinsed berries in the refrigerator. Blueberries last five to six days. Strawberries last up to three days. Blackberries and raspberries should be handled gently and refrigerated no more than two days.
- Rinse and drain berries right before serving (not earlier).
- Allow berries to come to room temperature for fullest flavor.
If you choose to freeze berries, here are some pointers:
- Do not wash berries before freezing them. Dry-pack them into containers, leaving headspace.
- Or you may freeze berries first on a tray and then pack them into containers to go back in the freezer.
- Be sure to wash your frozen berries before eating them.
Frozen berries are great to have on hand for smoothies and recipes. If you don’t want to freeze your own, pick up some frozen organic GreenWise whole mixed berries or Publix tripleberry.
Mealtime with Berries
There are so many appetizing ways to include berries in breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and even dessert. Check out our berry good meal ideas.
Berry up your breakfast:
Add sweetness to lunch or dinner:
Better your desserts or snacks:
For the Love of You
Choosing how you eat is uniquely personal. It’s about your needs, your preferences, and your goals. As your wellness ally, Publix is in your corner with fresh ideas, recipes, and wellness icons that make it easier to shift toward wiser food choices. It’s all about you, at your very best.
1 "Blueberries, Raw.” USDA Food Composition Databases. April 2018.
2 "Raspberries, Raw.” USDA Food Composition Databases. April 2018.
3 “Blackberries, Raw.” USDA Food Composition Databases. April 2018.
4 “Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet.” Mayo Clinic. November 16, 2018.
5 National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. "Vitamin C Fact Sheet for Consumers." U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). June 24, 2011.
6 National Institutes of Health: National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health. “Antioxidants: In Depth.” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). November 2013.
7 Webb, Densie, PhD, RD. “Phytochemicals’ Role in Good Health.” Today's Dietitian 15, no. 9 (September 2013): 70.
8 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). “Associations Between Eating Patterns and Health.” 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 8th ed. November 21, 2016.