Harvard Health Letter

Berry good for health

Berries are healthful and delicious, even if some of the health claims may be a little bit exaggerated.

Summer is berry season. The prime time for strawberries is winding down here in the Northeast, but July is the month for raspberries and blueberries, and blackberries will be ready for picking in August.

Berries are perhaps the easiest way to fulfill the fruit part of the "eat more fruit and vegetables" mandate. Research has shown that people are more inclined to eat food in bite-sized portions, and berries come that way (packaged foods are okay as long as nature does the packaging). They're sweet but have a nice, low calorie count, partly because the water content is high. Yes, they contain vitamins (C and a little bit of E, because of the seeds) and some lesser-known nutrients, but also, somewhat surprisingly, a fair amount of fiber. A cup of raspberries contains 8 grams, which is more fiber than you'll find in a serving of oatmeal or all those other whole-grain products.

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