Oregon cherries and berries are the cream of the crop. Not only are they a staple in the Pacific Northwest during the Summer months, but they are chock full of healthy things to be desired. Full of vitamins, antioxidants and so much more, they maintain their maximum health benefits when eaten fresh and raw. Explore the many benefits that make cherries and berries unique!
Here are a few of the reasons why we can’t get enough of Oregon’s dark cherries:
- They are high in fiber, which makes you feel fuller and therefore reduces the risk that you will eat too many calories (1 cup contains about 3 grams of dietary fiber)
- Giving them a dark red color, anthocyanins also help protect your body from damage against environmental toxins and free radicals, which speed up the aging process
- High in vitamin C, 1 cup of dark cherries contains 9.7 milligrams of vitamin C, which helps maintain healthy skin, tendons, blood vessels, ligaments and cartilage
Sweeter than dark cherries, Rainier cherries are often confused as less-ripe dark cherries. What most people don’t realize is that they are actually just a different variety of cherry! Here are a few key health benefits found from Rainier cherries:
- Although high in natural sugar, Rainier cherries have been shown to have glucose-lowering effects.
- With a glycemic index of 22 (which is much lower than most other fruits) and high dietary fiber content, Rainier cherries are one of the best fruits diabetic individuals can eat
- They are an excellent source of potassium, which can reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke
- Rainier cherries contain bioactive anthocyanins, which have been found to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-obese properties
- High in iron, they are an excellent laxative and blood purifying aide
- They promote healthy sleeping patterns through their melatonin content
Have you ever noticed that the strawberries you buy at the store can be unripened, white inside, and lack the taste you expected? They don’t compare to farm fresh, which are always ripened, a deep red to the core, and practically melt in your mouth! Besides their desired taste, here are a few health benefits that strawberries offer:
- They are low-calorie, fiber-rich fruit abundant in antioxidants
- Strawberries have high levels of heart-healthy antioxidants that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by inhibiting the formation of total and LDL (bad) cholesterol
- A kiss to your skin, strawberries (when applied to the face) reduce hyperpigmentation, prevent acne, and help remove dead skin cells
- Can have an anti-aging effect, as the Vitamin C boosts collagen production and tones the skin
- The antioxidants in strawberries can help avoid eye problems such as dry eyes, vision defects, and degeneration because they protect against free radical scavenging activity
- Can reduce high blood pressure because they are rich in potassium and magnesium
- Aide in boosting the immune system with a single serving having approximately 15% of your daily vitamin C
- Rich in iodine, vitamin C, and phytochemicals that help maintain a properly functioning nervous system
- An excellent snack for pregnant women, strawberries contain folic acid, which an essential nutrient for ensuring optimal health during pregnancy
Some of our favorite memories are of picking blueberries (and sneaking some as snacks while no one was looking!) off the bushes as children. Did you know that blueberries offer these health benefits?
- Very high in vitamin C, blueberries provide 24% of a persons recommended daily allowance
- They are also a good source of iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K
- The iron and zinc content help maintain and strengthen healthy bones
- The fiber, folate, potassium, vitamin B6 and phytonutrient content in blueberries help support a healthy heart
- Studies have shown that blueberries are connected to slower cognitive decline (especially in older women), and can improve a person’s short-term memory and motor coordination.
Although sometimes seen as a pest, blackberry bushes produce the most decadent of berries. Did you know that blackberries aren’t considered berries in the botanical sense of the word? They are actually considered to be an aggregate fruit because of their small drupelets. The things you learn! Here are a few fun health facts about blackberries:
- They are a sweet treat that is low in calories (1 cup has roughly 60 calories!)
- Blackberries are incredibly high in vitamin C (1 cup has 40% of the RDA for men and women)
- Filled with fiber, 1 cup has approximately 8 grams of fiber, which is about 30% of the daily fiber recommendation
- An excellent source of vitamin K, a key vitamin that helps with bone health and healthy blood coagulation
- They have some of the highest levels of antioxidants of any food
- They contain gallic acid, rutin and ellagic acid, which can help kill oral bacteria on your gums
Developed by the USDA-ARS with Oregon State University, marionberries are grown primarily in Oregon and are known as the “Cabernet of Blackberries.” Here are some fun facts about marionberries:
- Named after Marion County, Oregon
- Oregon produces 28-32 million pounds annually
- They are high in ellagic acid, a known chemopreventative
- Contain high levels of antioxidants and anthocyanins
Although not the prettiest of berries, boysenberries pack a punch!
- High in fiber, 1 cup of boysenberries contains 7 grams of dietary fiber, which helps improve digestive health
- An excellent source of the B-vitamin complex like folate, they are known to aid in neural tube formation and blood cell formation in prenatal babies
- With phenomenal potassium to sodium ratio, boysenberries help reduce the risk of hypertension
- Because they are an excellent source of vitamin K, boysenberries help increase bone strength and decrease the risk of osteoporosis
Are you looking to get your hands on some sweet Oregon cherries or berries? Look for your location and place an order for an upcoming sale in your area! Or you can sign up to receive notifications of sales in your area as they happen.