Summary

From raspberries to goji berries, every berry is packed full of nutrients that can help reduce cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and boost your overall immune system. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips between meals, here are some ways to mix up your snack options with deliciously fresh berries!

It can be tough to find flavorful snacks or healthy dessert dishes made without artificial sugars. Cue the berries! Berries are both delicious and nutrient-dense - they are truly one of nature’s sweet treats! 

Berries don’t just taste excellent, they're also superfoods that provide your body with numerous health benefits, especially since they contain many key vitamins and minerals with a range of benefits ranging from immune system support to boosting antioxidant levels (thank you, anthocyanins!). Naturally occurring sugars, such as those in fruit, are not added sugars. Eating fructose in the form of whole fruit also includes plentiful fiber, water, and other nutrients. 

It’s also worth noting that while fresh fruit contains high levels of fructose, eating fructose in the form of a whole fruit also includes plenty of fiber, water, and other valuable nutrients! Whole grains and starchy vegetables contain fiber and complex chains of simple carbs that make them slowly release throughout digestion versus just being broken down right away. 

We’ll break down the healthiest berries out there! Buy them at the store or farmer’s market as a snack or to make a delicious smoothie or dessert, or try to seek them out next time you’re ordering a meal out! 

Before we start, here’s a quick breakdown of the benefits you’ll see from the main vitamins you’ll find in these amazing berries:

  • Vitamin K: Improves blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating calcium levels
  • Vitamin C: Fights infection and inflammation, and supports overall immune health
  • Magnesium: Contributes to over 300 enzymatic processes involved everywhere from muscle and nerve function, to regulating blood pressure, to supporting the immune system!

With these awesome benefits in mind, let’s get started!

Blueberries

There’s a ton of health benefits to be found in blueberries, including many major vitamins and minerals. A single cup of blueberries will give you:

  • 84 calories
  • 24% of your daily value for vitamin K 
  • 16% of your DV for vitamin C
  • 22% of your DV for magnesium
  • 3.6 g of fiber

In addition to all of these nutrients, blueberries also offer a ton of antioxidant polyphenols that provide antioxidant benefits like reduced oxidative stress--antioxidants can help lower your risk of heart disease.

The benefits of heart-healthy blueberries don’t end there. Indeed, they can also help lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, lowering your risk for a heart attack and improving how well your arteries function. Lower risk for diabetes, better insulin sensitivity, and even keeping cognitive decline at bay have all been recorded among those who eat a healthy serving of blueberries each day.

All in all, most folks would benefit from adding more blueberries to their daily diets. Fortunately, you can eat blueberries in a variety of ways – consider adding them to a smoothie for a flavorful burst of sugar without having to actually add sugar (your blood sugar levels will thank you later!). You can also mix blueberries with pancakes or throw them in a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Try this recipe for a delicious creamy and crunchy blueberry trifle.

Thistle tops off our Red and White Trifle with delicious blueberries! 

Raspberries

There are so many nutritional benefits of raspberries. A single cup of raspberries gets you:

  • 64 cal
  • 8% of your daily value of vitamin K
  • 36% of your DV of vitamin C
  • 36% of your DV of manganese
  • 8 g of fiber

Like blueberries, raspberries also contain additional antioxidant polyphenols and flavonoids. They also have a good level of antioxidant content, and can improve your overall health!

There are also studies that show that black raspberries have properties that can help with the regulation of blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.

There are multiple types of raspberries you can add to your meals or eat as a snack. Black raspberries are among the best for heart health, while red raspberries are usually sweeter and more commonly used in desserts and smoothies.

Regardless, all raspberries provide excellent health benefits and are great ways to flavor your daily meals without relying on processed or artificial sugars. Check out our recipe for this easy-to-make berry chia jam, which is great on sandwiches or desserts. 

Açaí Berries

The açaí berry, from South America, is very popular, especially in fresh, delicious açaí bowls topped with fruit and nuts. But açaí berries are excellent by themselves as well. They have a relatively high concentration of antioxidants. A single cup of these berries will give you:

  • 70 cal
  • 5 g of fiber
  • 230 mcg, 25% RDI of vitamin A
  • 10 times more antioxidants, compared to blueberries

This means that açaí berries are arguably the best source of natural antioxidants you can get from natural foods on a per cup basis. This, of course, provides tons of health benefits across the board.

Some studies show that açaí berries, especially when ground down into a pulp, can regulate your blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Some adults even experience lower cholesterol levels.

Açai berries are also very rich in unsaturated (mostly monosaturated) fats such as Omega 3, Omega 6, and Omega 9, and there are 19 different amino acids present as well!

As mentioned, you can consume plenty of açaí berries when made into a juice or purée. Açaí berry puree can also be mixed with other smoothie ingredients to make a refreshing breakfast or snack.

Consider drinking an açaí berry blend to recover a little more quickly after a workout--you’ll benefit from that reduced oxidative stress and speed up how quickly your muscles heal from an intense workout!

Thistle's Spinach Blueberry Açaí Salad is full of iron, fiber, and vitamin A.

Cranberries

Cranberries are another great choice, and they’re among the healthiest foods. They’re definitely more tart than sweet. Unlike many other berries, most people don’t eat cranberries plain. A cup of cranberries can provide:

  • 46 cal
  • 16% of your daily value of vitamin C
  • 12% of your DV of manganese
  • 3.6 g of fiber

As with practically all the berries on this list, cranberries also offer antioxidant assistance. Most of these antioxidants are located on the cranberry’s skin – this means you won’t get nearly as many antioxidants by just consuming plain cranberry juice.

Therefore, eating cranberries mashed into a sauce or pulp is the best way to get the most bang for your buck. You can drink cranberry juice to treat or reduce the risk of urinary tract infection. Cranberries can stop various bacteria from sticking to the wall of your urinary tract or bladder.

If you do decide to drink cranberry juice, try to avoid juices that have lots of artificial sugars--a lot of juices you find in the aisles of your average grocery store are packed with added sugars.

Cranberries bring a pop of color to almost any meal! 

Blackberries

Blackberries are common berries that ripen during the summer and are rich in beta-carotene to help support your eye health and immune system. A single cup of blackberries can provide you with:

  • 22 cal
  • 8% DV of vitamin E
  • 50% of your daily value of vitamin C
  • 34% of your DV of vitamin K
  • 8 g of fiber

The high concentration of various vitamins and minerals means that blackberries are phenomenal for increasing bodily health. For instance, increased vitamin C will help your body fight off infection and prevent free radical molecular damage. 

The high fiber content in blackberries can reduce your cholesterol and promote a healthy and regular bowel cycle. Plus, eating blackberries fill you up and will make you feel hungry less often.

Blackberries can be eaten in plenty of ways. You can eat them raw, or like lots of berries, they’re also great in salads, baked goods and other desserts. Just be sure to use sugar alternatives instead of artificial stuff if you want to eat some blackberries with your dessert pastries!

Goji Berries

Goji berries aren’t as well-known as many other berries, but they offer their own excellent benefits and are becoming more popular. They’re also called wolfberries. A single cup of goji berries includes:

  • 98 cal
  • 15% of your daily value of vitamin C
  • 42% of your DV of vitamin A
  • 11% of your DV of iron
  • 3.7 g of fiber

Additionally, goji berries provide relatively high levels of both vitamin A and a mineral called zeaxanthin, which is critical for eye health.

The berries also contain antioxidants, which can increase your overall health and reduce your risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, goji berry juice has resulted in increased metabolism in some studies.

Goji berries can often be enjoyed in smoothies, or you can get most of the vitamin and mineral benefits by drinking juice derived from the berries themselves. 

Conclusion

All of these tasty berries are great additions to your recipes, or just as energy-boosting snacks. It’s often tricky to come up with healthy meals by yourself, which is why Thistle makes it particularly easy to enjoy healthy and tasty berries like all the ones above without having to do the hard work of sourcing and preparing them.

With Thistle, you’ll get plant-forward and healthy meals that are perfect for you and your entire family. Check out our menu options to see what we offer and how we incorporate these different types of berries.  

Resources:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12323088/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22535616/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23982695/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20398248/

https://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f6879

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22081616/ 

https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-scoop-on-anthocyanins-89522#:~:text=Anthocyanins%20are%20a%20type%20of,blue%20plants%20their%20rich%20coloring.

Get meals delivered to your door
We believe eating delicious is crucial to a healthy diet. Each week, our team of chefs design a new menu for what's in season, fresh and flavorful.
TRY THISTLE
Posted 
Oct 5, 2020
 in 
Nutrition
 category.
Summary

From raspberries to goji berries, every berry is packed full of nutrients that can help reduce cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and boost your overall immune system. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips between meals, here are some ways to mix up your snack options with deliciously fresh berries!

It can be tough to find flavorful snacks or healthy dessert dishes made without artificial sugars. Cue the berries! Berries are both delicious and nutrient-dense - they are truly one of nature’s sweet treats! 

Berries don’t just taste excellent, they're also superfoods that provide your body with numerous health benefits, especially since they contain many key vitamins and minerals with a range of benefits ranging from immune system support to boosting antioxidant levels (thank you, anthocyanins!). Naturally occurring sugars, such as those in fruit, are not added sugars. Eating fructose in the form of whole fruit also includes plentiful fiber, water, and other nutrients. 

It’s also worth noting that while fresh fruit contains high levels of fructose, eating fructose in the form of a whole fruit also includes plenty of fiber, water, and other valuable nutrients! Whole grains and starchy vegetables contain fiber and complex chains of simple carbs that make them slowly release throughout digestion versus just being broken down right away. 

We’ll break down the healthiest berries out there! Buy them at the store or farmer’s market as a snack or to make a delicious smoothie or dessert, or try to seek them out next time you’re ordering a meal out! 

Before we start, here’s a quick breakdown of the benefits you’ll see from the main vitamins you’ll find in these amazing berries:

  • Vitamin K: Improves blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating calcium levels
  • Vitamin C: Fights infection and inflammation, and supports overall immune health
  • Magnesium: Contributes to over 300 enzymatic processes involved everywhere from muscle and nerve function, to regulating blood pressure, to supporting the immune system!

With these awesome benefits in mind, let’s get started!

Blueberries

There’s a ton of health benefits to be found in blueberries, including many major vitamins and minerals. A single cup of blueberries will give you:

  • 84 calories
  • 24% of your daily value for vitamin K 
  • 16% of your DV for vitamin C
  • 22% of your DV for magnesium
  • 3.6 g of fiber

In addition to all of these nutrients, blueberries also offer a ton of antioxidant polyphenols that provide antioxidant benefits like reduced oxidative stress--antioxidants can help lower your risk of heart disease.

The benefits of heart-healthy blueberries don’t end there. Indeed, they can also help lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, lowering your risk for a heart attack and improving how well your arteries function. Lower risk for diabetes, better insulin sensitivity, and even keeping cognitive decline at bay have all been recorded among those who eat a healthy serving of blueberries each day.

All in all, most folks would benefit from adding more blueberries to their daily diets. Fortunately, you can eat blueberries in a variety of ways – consider adding them to a smoothie for a flavorful burst of sugar without having to actually add sugar (your blood sugar levels will thank you later!). You can also mix blueberries with pancakes or throw them in a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Try this recipe for a delicious creamy and crunchy blueberry trifle.

Thistle tops off our Red and White Trifle with delicious blueberries! 

Raspberries

There are so many nutritional benefits of raspberries. A single cup of raspberries gets you:

  • 64 cal
  • 8% of your daily value of vitamin K
  • 36% of your DV of vitamin C
  • 36% of your DV of manganese
  • 8 g of fiber

Like blueberries, raspberries also contain additional antioxidant polyphenols and flavonoids. They also have a good level of antioxidant content, and can improve your overall health!

There are also studies that show that black raspberries have properties that can help with the regulation of blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.

There are multiple types of raspberries you can add to your meals or eat as a snack. Black raspberries are among the best for heart health, while red raspberries are usually sweeter and more commonly used in desserts and smoothies.

Regardless, all raspberries provide excellent health benefits and are great ways to flavor your daily meals without relying on processed or artificial sugars. Check out our recipe for this easy-to-make berry chia jam, which is great on sandwiches or desserts. 

Açaí Berries

The açaí berry, from South America, is very popular, especially in fresh, delicious açaí bowls topped with fruit and nuts. But açaí berries are excellent by themselves as well. They have a relatively high concentration of antioxidants. A single cup of these berries will give you:

  • 70 cal
  • 5 g of fiber
  • 230 mcg, 25% RDI of vitamin A
  • 10 times more antioxidants, compared to blueberries

This means that açaí berries are arguably the best source of natural antioxidants you can get from natural foods on a per cup basis. This, of course, provides tons of health benefits across the board.

Some studies show that açaí berries, especially when ground down into a pulp, can regulate your blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Some adults even experience lower cholesterol levels.

Açai berries are also very rich in unsaturated (mostly monosaturated) fats such as Omega 3, Omega 6, and Omega 9, and there are 19 different amino acids present as well!

As mentioned, you can consume plenty of açaí berries when made into a juice or purée. Açaí berry puree can also be mixed with other smoothie ingredients to make a refreshing breakfast or snack.

Consider drinking an açaí berry blend to recover a little more quickly after a workout--you’ll benefit from that reduced oxidative stress and speed up how quickly your muscles heal from an intense workout!

Thistle's Spinach Blueberry Açaí Salad is full of iron, fiber, and vitamin A.

Cranberries

Cranberries are another great choice, and they’re among the healthiest foods. They’re definitely more tart than sweet. Unlike many other berries, most people don’t eat cranberries plain. A cup of cranberries can provide:

  • 46 cal
  • 16% of your daily value of vitamin C
  • 12% of your DV of manganese
  • 3.6 g of fiber

As with practically all the berries on this list, cranberries also offer antioxidant assistance. Most of these antioxidants are located on the cranberry’s skin – this means you won’t get nearly as many antioxidants by just consuming plain cranberry juice.

Therefore, eating cranberries mashed into a sauce or pulp is the best way to get the most bang for your buck. You can drink cranberry juice to treat or reduce the risk of urinary tract infection. Cranberries can stop various bacteria from sticking to the wall of your urinary tract or bladder.

If you do decide to drink cranberry juice, try to avoid juices that have lots of artificial sugars--a lot of juices you find in the aisles of your average grocery store are packed with added sugars.

Cranberries bring a pop of color to almost any meal! 

Blackberries

Blackberries are common berries that ripen during the summer and are rich in beta-carotene to help support your eye health and immune system. A single cup of blackberries can provide you with:

  • 22 cal
  • 8% DV of vitamin E
  • 50% of your daily value of vitamin C
  • 34% of your DV of vitamin K
  • 8 g of fiber

The high concentration of various vitamins and minerals means that blackberries are phenomenal for increasing bodily health. For instance, increased vitamin C will help your body fight off infection and prevent free radical molecular damage. 

The high fiber content in blackberries can reduce your cholesterol and promote a healthy and regular bowel cycle. Plus, eating blackberries fill you up and will make you feel hungry less often.

Blackberries can be eaten in plenty of ways. You can eat them raw, or like lots of berries, they’re also great in salads, baked goods and other desserts. Just be sure to use sugar alternatives instead of artificial stuff if you want to eat some blackberries with your dessert pastries!

Goji Berries

Goji berries aren’t as well-known as many other berries, but they offer their own excellent benefits and are becoming more popular. They’re also called wolfberries. A single cup of goji berries includes:

  • 98 cal
  • 15% of your daily value of vitamin C
  • 42% of your DV of vitamin A
  • 11% of your DV of iron
  • 3.7 g of fiber

Additionally, goji berries provide relatively high levels of both vitamin A and a mineral called zeaxanthin, which is critical for eye health.

The berries also contain antioxidants, which can increase your overall health and reduce your risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, goji berry juice has resulted in increased metabolism in some studies.

Goji berries can often be enjoyed in smoothies, or you can get most of the vitamin and mineral benefits by drinking juice derived from the berries themselves. 

Conclusion

All of these tasty berries are great additions to your recipes, or just as energy-boosting snacks. It’s often tricky to come up with healthy meals by yourself, which is why Thistle makes it particularly easy to enjoy healthy and tasty berries like all the ones above without having to do the hard work of sourcing and preparing them.

With Thistle, you’ll get plant-forward and healthy meals that are perfect for you and your entire family. Check out our menu options to see what we offer and how we incorporate these different types of berries.  

Resources:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12323088/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22535616/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23982695/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20398248/

https://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f6879

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22081616/ 

https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-scoop-on-anthocyanins-89522#:~:text=Anthocyanins%20are%20a%20type%20of,blue%20plants%20their%20rich%20coloring.

Get meals delivered to your door
We believe eating delicious is crucial to a healthy diet. Each week, our team of chefs design a new menu for what's in season, fresh and flavorful.
TRY THISTLE
Posted 
Oct 5, 2020
 in 
Nutrition
 category.