Summer means berry season. This time of year, you can typically find a range of berries sitting right front and center in your grocery store, or sold by local producers at farmers markets.
Berries are a wonderful low-calorie, high-fiber, antioxidant-rich treat that you can use as an alternative to sugary foods when you need to satisfy a sweet tooth. They’re also great for pumping up the flavor in summer salads, smoothies, cereals, yogurt bowls, and desserts.
Here’s a brief look at some of the most popular berries, including their nutritional highlights and when they’re in season.
If you want a serious dose of vitamin C, go for strawberries. Vitamin C is necessary to keep your entire bodily functioning at its healthiest, and natural sources are always preferred over supplements. You’ll get about 140 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C in just one cup!
- Calories (per 1 cup serving): 47
- Fiber (per 1 cup serving): 2.9g
- Main nutrients: vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, manganese, potassium
- Best time to get them: Late April through August
Blueberries are a brain-boosting food. They contain something called polyphonic compounds, which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research has shown that blueberry supplementation can improve memory in older adults.
- Calories (per 1 cup serving): 85
- Fiber (per 1 cup serving): 3.6g
- Main nutrients: vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, zinc
- Best time to get them: April to late September
All berries have antioxidant properties that help keep the body young and healthy, but the antioxidants found in raspberries may play a minor role in the destruction of stomach and colon cancer cells. So don’t be afraid to load up on raspberries—they’re one of the lowest in calories and highest in fiber of all berries!
- Calories (per 1 cup serving): 65
- Fiber (per 1 cup serving): 8g
- Main nutrients: vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, folate, manganese
- Best time to get them: July through the fall until the first frost
Like blueberries, blackberries are another great fruit to have on hand to help support great brain health. One particular study found that blackberry supplementation improved motor and cognitive function in older rats, showing greater short-term memory performance when compared to a control group of rats.
- Calories (per 1 cup serving): 62
- Fiber (per 1 cup serving): 8g
- Main nutrients: vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, folate, magnesium potassium, copper
- Best time to get them: July to August
Okay, so cherries are technically not considered to be a type of berry, but they deserve a spot on this list for being a healthy, summertime fruit. There’s some evidence to suggest that cherries may help to reduce cholesterol levels, regulate blood sugar, and present fat storage.
- Calories (per 1 cup serving): 51
- Fiber (per 1 cup serving): 1.6g
- Main nutrients: vitamin C, iron, potassium
- Best time to get them: April to late August
Other berries that aren’t quite as popular as the five mentioned above include currants, elderberries, Saskatoon berries, gooseberries, loganberries, and salmon berries. Depending on your location, you may be able to score a few of these less common, more seemingly exotic berries over the summer!