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All Health's Breaking Loose: A berry good idea

June 30, 2010|By Loa Blasucci

Ah, summertime in La Cañada — blue skies, a dip in the pool, barbecuing with the neighbors and —berries! Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries. They are all perfect summertime treats.

Berries are a "high water-content" fruit, perfect for hot weather and keeping your body hydrated. Their high water content also makes them low in calories, so eat them guilt-free. Eaten alone and in the morning, they become a "mini-cleanse" for your system. And since your body's demand for water is at its peak before noon, berries are just the ticket.

They are loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C, carotenoids and folate. But let's not isolate the components of these super foods, because your body doesn't "see" it that way. They are whole foods, and as such, your body uses every part of them — the fiber, the nutrients and the water — every bit of them. They should simply be enjoyed.

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And just as it's difficult to separate and list all the wonderful properties of berries, it's difficult to write a complete list of all the good they do for your body. But be sure to watch for improved digestion (especially when eaten alone), added energy and glowing skin.

But there is one word of caution. Berries are a heavily sprayed crop and therefore should only be eaten if they are grown organically. If you simply don't like to pay the higher price of organic foods and have to be careful with your shopping dollar, save on your purchase of conventionally grown bananas or oranges. They have peels and are a bit safer. But when it comes to berries, pay the organic price and don't look back. Your body will reap the rewards.

For a delicious, decadent summer treat, here's one of my own discoveries:

Loa's Strawberry Magic

(It's magic because it transforms simple whole-food ingredients into an amazingly tasty treat):

Purchase organic berries from our local farmers market. You'll need about two baskets, maybe more.

Wash, remove stems and chop berries into small pieces. Set aside.

Whip one cup of organic cream. When whipped, fold in 1 tsp. of real vanilla and add agave nectar to taste. If you don't have agave, try real maple syrup or even brown rice syrup. Mix well and add berries. Use lots of berries so it is colorful and flavorful. Pour into a glass dish and put mixture into the freezer for about a half hour. Serve in a pretty glass dish.

Ahh, tastes like summer. For more whole food recipe ideas visit my web site, gotoloa.com

I'll see you in two weeks.

Love & health,

Loa

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