By Natural Advocate | April 1, 2008 - 2:09 pm - Posted in Foods

If you live in a climate where winters are cold, like I do here in the northeast part of Ohio, then you really look forward to the spring time, when fresher produce happens your way, instead of the grainy, tasteless stuff you’re stuck with in the midst of wintertime where all you can get your hands on is irradiated fruits and veggies that have been sitting in a crate for days on end before they reach your grocers produce section.

One of my favorite fresh produce items that come along starting in the spring and stay well into the summer and fall are berries.  I love to eat some fresh, tasty blueberries with vanilla yogurt and almonds for breakfast.  Or fresh, ripe strawberries are one of the best things too.  Growing up on five acres of land when I was younger, and having access to fresh raspberry bushes really made you realize that berries and fruits in general are so much better when they’re right off the bush or vine.

We also were fortunate enough to have grape vineyards around us, and actually had one vine of concord grapes in our backyard for a while before we decided to yank them out to give more room to the backyard, and have less to take care of.  Getting the grapes right off the vine was almost akin to eating a dessert, because they burst open with flavor in your mouth, and had an uncomparable sweetness to them from the grapes we were used to getting from the grocer’s produce section.

Right now, grapes are just starting to get better in the stores I shop in.  Just the other day, I bought some large red seedless grapes from Chile, and they were phenomenal.  They were full, firm and bursting with sweetness.  And of course, grapes are great antioxidant fruits.  Plus they’re ultra easy to take with you anywhere, kind of like a banana, because all you have to do is rip a part of the vine off and take them in your lunch bag.

Grapes also make a great snack, they’re full of fiber and vitamins, and they taste excellent when paired with a slice of mozzarella cheese.  One of my favorite snacks when I was practicing the Zone Diet, was three large black olives, a bunch of grapes (red, seedless), and a slice of mozzarella cheese.  It filled me up just enough, and provided protein, omega 3 fatty acids, and fiber and sweetness from the grapes.  All in undered one hundred calories too.

Blueberries can make a great snack too, especially when they are firm and ripe, because you can just throw some in a baggie and they are chock full of antioxidants.  In fact, the blueberry is just now being recognized for it’s potential cancer fighting benefits and the naturally therapeutic properties of it’s chemical makeup that contribute to it being a great natural anti inflammatory.  Combine that with its abundance of antioxidants, and you have darn near a perfect food! 

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