Hy-Vee Dietitian: Springtime Berries

Tantalizing jewel-like berries are a treat for the senses and the body! Packed with good-for-you vitamins, fiber and antioxidants, berries are linked to a range of health benefits from a glowing complexion to reducing your risk of certain cancers.

Boost brain health –The colorful antioxidant pigments in berries, blueberries in particular, have been shown to increase brain cell receptor sensitivity. Eating more berries may reduce cognitive decline in older adults.

Cancer prevention – Vitamin C, fiber and potent antioxidants, all plentiful in berries, are shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. In addition, the AICR says evidence suggests ellagic acid, found in berries, may slow the reproduction of cancer cells.

Diabetic-friendly fruit – Berries are less concentrated with sugars compared to other fruits, making them a useful food for diabetes management. For instance, one whole cup of unsweetened berries has the same carbohydrate content as ½ cup of pineapple, pears or apple slices. Enjoy berries as a snack or top any dessert with berries to make it look bigger, and more satisfying, while bulking it up with fiber and nutrition. Try Healthy Choice Greek Frozen Yogurt with berries for a delicious springtime dessert.

Strawberry, Goat Cheese and Arugula Sandwiches

Surprise your friends at any springtime occasion with these full-flavored open-faced sandwiches uniting sweet and savory flavors.

All you need:

2 tbsp Grand Selections olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar (white, if available, simply to keep the vinaigrette light in color)
1 tsp whole grain mustard
1 tsp Hy-Vee honey
1/8 tsp Hy-Vee salt
Several dashes freshly ground Hy-Vee black pepper
4 ounces soft honey goat cheese
4 Hy-Vee English muffins, split and toasted
1 cup Earthbound Farms baby arugula leaves
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
4 tsp sliced green onion

All you do:

1. To prepare the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and black pepper. Set aside.
2. Spread 2 tbsp goat cheese on each toasted muffin half.
3. Top each with arugula, strawberries and green onions.
4. Drizzle vinaigrette lightly over sandwiches. Serve.
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