Fresh berries are plentiful this time of year, and nutritionists are taking the opportunity to urge consumers to eat them by the handful.
Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are all good source of vitamin C and fiber, according to nutrition specialists with The Ohio State University Extension.
Strawberries have the most vitamin C, with more than 80 grams in a cup of whole berries. Even with the recent increase in vitamin C recommendations, that’s close to 90 percent of the daily vitamin C recommended for adult men (90 grams) and more than 100 percent that’s recommended for adult women (75 grams).
A cup of strawberries also contains about 4 grams of fiber, which helps consumers toward the recommended 20-25 grams of dietary fiber each day. Raspberries have double that amount of fiber: 8 grams in a cup. They also have about 30 grams of vitamin C.
A cup of blueberries has 3 grams of fiber and nearly 20 grams of vitamin C. But that’s not all. Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries all have high concentrations of something called ‘ellagic acid,’ an antioxidant that acts as a scavenger to help make potential cancer-causing chemicals inactive. While not seen as a replacement for cancer treatments, ‘chemopreventive’ compounds such as ellagic acid are being studied at Ohio State and other institutions for their ability to prevent or stop cancer development.
There may be many more as-yet unknown properties in berries and other fruits and vegetables that carry potential health benefits. That could be why people who eat more fruits and vegetables on a daily basis tend to be at less risk for cancer, heart disease, and other health problems.