Summer means sunshine, vacations and—you guessed it—berries. To get the best berries, look for organic ones at your grocer, or go to your local farmer’s market to buy organic produce. And always make sure that the berries are rinsed off thoroughly.
Berry the Unhealthy Eating
Strawberries are no doubt the most popular berries out there. What makes them different from the rest? Well, they contain a ton of vitamin C, which can make skin glow, help heal blemishes and protect against wrinkles and sun spots. Strawberries also contain a high level of antioxidants, like most berries. Antioxidants may lead to increased energy, softer skin, better memory and improved digestion. A June 2011 study shows that strawberries may be the new apple, keeping doctors at bay because the strawberries may offer protection from brain damage and even some cancers.
Horses Have the Right Idea
Aside from the occasional carrot or apple, horses mainly eat oats, which are surprisingly bursting with nutrients. Unfortunately, most oats that people eat are processed to the point where there are no nutrients left, so make sure the oats are either oat-groats or steel-cut. Oats contain over two-thirds of the daily need of manganese, which may help prevent epileptic seizures, alleviate PMS symptoms and regulate metabolism. Manganese may also promote strong bones, a healthy sugar level and prevent inflammations and sprains. Research shows that it may even be more beneficial to the heart thanks to a new breed of oat.
Almond Milk Better Than Cow’s Milk? That’s Nutty!
Almond milk not only helps the lactose intolerant receive their daily calcium intake, but it is also low in calories and full of flavonoids, which increase heart health and lower cholesterol. Almonds also contain vitamin E, which may help slow the skin aging process and help keep skin moisturized. The vitamin may also increase oxygen uptake within tissues and improve circulation, which could lead to hair growth. A July 2008 study shows that almonds may improve digestive health by increasing the amount of good bacteria in the colon.
Even though chia seeds are mostly known through that Chia Pet commercial, the seeds are full of health benefits. Chia seeds are loaded with fiber, which plays a huge role in digestion. They also may make you feel fuller longer because the seeds grow drastically with water. Chia seeds can be made into a gel with water, which can be used as a substitute for half of the amount of butter recipes call for in baking. The seed may also reduce the risk of heart disease.
Blueberry, Strawberry, Raspberry Oatmeal Crisp
This delicious recipe only needs a few bowls, a whisk and some upper body strength to make—no other equipment required. What’s more, is it’s only 170 calories per serving and contains 5 grams of fiber.
Makes 12 Servings – Serving Size: 1 piece
1 tablespoon chia seed
1 orange, zest
4 cups blueberries, rinsed
1 ½ cups raspberries, rinsed
1 cup strawberries, rinsed and quartered
1 tablespoon agave nectar
¼ cup canola oil
3 ounces unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon, 2 teaspoons agave nectar
2 cups quick oats
¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
In a large mixing bowl, combine and mix well the chia seed, zest, berries and the 1 tablespoon agave nectar, and pour into a glass 9”x13” baking pan. In a small bowl, combine and whisk together the canola oil, almond milk and the rest of the agave nectar. In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining five dry ingredients and whisk together to thoroughly mix. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix well to make the crumb topping. Sprinkle on top of the fruit mixture. Bake in a pre-heated 400-degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove, let set for 15 minutes and serve.
Enjoy this sweet treat full of fresh seasonal fruits and protect your skin without feeling guilty!
Nicolette Fisher contributed to this article.
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