Simply looking at them makes me feel playful & alive. I mean, is there any more perfect, gorgeous shades of pink & red? There is just something magic about it.
And really, there is. Aside from my visual love affair, science has something to offer about the possible attraction. Yum. Gotta love the logic. But, who says you have to EAT them to actually feel the love?
the strawberry: (Fragaria ananassa) Bursting with the natural goodness of antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols, vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, dietary fiber, folates and vitamin A * Strawberries are completely cholesterol free & extremely low on calories. Because of the amazing punch they pack with their antioxidant count, their regular consumption has been known to keep your heart & organs extremely vital. Strawberries reduce the free radicals (aka cellular waste, from all the hard work they are doing!) in your system, which in turn lessens the stressful impacts on your body. You feel, and ARE a more youthful, vibrant you. The oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of 100g (about 1 container) of strawberries is 1,540 units A study was conducted on strawberries by Dr. Gene Spiller of the Sphera Foundation with results showing that antioxidant levels in the body increased remarkably 30 to 60 minutes after eating strawberries.
for your SKIN: When used as a face mask, strawberries gently refresh & exfoliate your skin because of the presence of salicylic acid (to help balance oils) & a cornucopia of antioxidants which keep skin full of elasticity, hydrated & remove the effects of environmental stress on the face. Add a dash of cinnamon to your mask to enhance circulation & increase cell renewal. Cinnamon has really helped to keep the oils on my skin in balance. * After all masks, I will typically wash with a gentle cleanser & use shea butter as a moisturizer.
the raspberry: (Rubus idaeus) This beauty runs the scene with anthocyanins, pelargonidins, gallic acid, cyanidins, coumaric, catechins, kaempferols, ellagic acid, ferulic acid and salicylic acid. What?! Not to fear. Those illegible words, they fight for the good guys. Raspberries also are a bountiful source of Vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B complex, folic acid, copper, iron and dietary fiber. If you are looking to balance your weight, raspberries are rich in dietary fiber & play a magical trick to make you feel nice & full. Raspberries have an ORAC of 4,900 units per 100g (about 1 container). The high levels of manganese present in it increase your basal metabolic rate which is the amount of energy you burn while at rest. Nice! So does that mean that you can maintain your health by lounging? Yes indeed. The more the basal metabolic rate the better the weight loss.
for your SKIN: With a similar profile to strawberries, raspberries can be mashed into a face mask to exfoliate & rejuvenate your skin just the same. Suggestion: Mix strawberries, raspberries & cinnamon together :)
the cranberry: (Vaccinium macrocarpa) Being one of the world's healthiest foods isn't easy... and being practically a pure ANTI-OXIDANT... now that's, working overtime. The oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of 100g (1 container) of cranberries is roughly around 9,584 units. Cranberries are a rich source of essential micronutrients such as manganese, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin K. Like other berries, they are also rich in phytochemicals, flavonoids and polyphenols. Cranberries are known to be anticarcinogenic & act as anti-clotting agents (for those on blood thinners, it is suggested not to ingest cranberries). They are also used in preventing recurrent urinary tract infections and are so healthy for your heart!
for your SKIN: Pour 4 tbsp. of cranberry concentrate (no sugar) into your bubble bath & soak up the benefits. Also excellent as a hair rinse or to add to your shampoo. Use with caution if you have chemically bleached hair; blondes tend to soak up the reddish hue.
the blueberry: (Vaccinium angustifolium) With all the goodness of anthocynins, luteins, flavonoids, antioxidants and phytochemicals, blueberries have the amazing ability to greatly reduce inflammation. They are also known to improve vision. Blueberries have an oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of 2,400 units. A cup of blueberries which is roughly around 145g supplies over 30 percent of our daily requirement of vitamin C which helps to fight infections and scavenges harmful free radicals besides being anti-inflammatory in nature. Blueberries have been found increase mind & memory health, and keep our brains functioning optimally. The phytochemical pterostilbene (a methoxylated form of resveratrol) present in blueberries keeps glucose levels healthy.
for your SKIN: Mash together blueberries & honey (antibacterial & full of minerals!) to make a refreshing face mask. Amazing for refreshing areas around your eyes. For a feel-good body scrub, start with a base of sugar & add just enough of the blueberry/honey mix so that it sticks to your skin. This is my favorite way to exfoliate my whole body every once in a while. Exfoliation will keep your skin healthy & vibrant, plus it feels so, so awesome.