Food for Runners: B-E-R-R-I-E-S

>> Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The produce aisle at the grocery store and stands at the local farmers market are teeming with plump fresh berries -- blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc. -- this time of year. And what are berries rich in? Antioxidants!

Who are antioxidants good for? Runners (and everyone else)!

So, we're continuing our Food for Runners series with berries, specifically those that are in season, which I'll get to in a moment. If you're catching up, we've covered bananas, garlic, quinoa, and kale -- and included our favorite recipes from across the web.

Simply put: "Running and other intense exercise is known to increase free radicals." (Source)

Also simply put: "Fruits, especially berries, are full of antioxidants" (which combat free radicals!) (Source)

I was interested to learn that "because we metabolize large amounts of oxygen while running, and antioxidant levels tend to quickly run low in our body, free radical damage is commonplace in runners. Research shows that hard training endurance athletes often have low levels of antioxidants circulating in their bodies." (Source)

And if those snipets of information aren't enough Running Times magazine has some more scientific evidence for your to pour over.

Here are some of our favorite recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner:

Holly, Annie, and Chelsea's Green Raspberry-Mint Lemonade
Alina's Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes
Julie's Cherry Morning Rolls
Meeta's Poached Plums and Blueberry Granola
Christina's Raspberry Plumb Breakfast Bars
Jaimem's Strawberry Salad with Candied Almonds
Angry Asian's Chocolate Cherry Panini
Maria & Josh's Blueberry, Strawberry, and Jicama Salsa
Sala's Mango Blueberry Quinoa Salad
Branny's Strawberry Pizza w/ Goat Cheese (original recipe uses bacon, omit for vegetarian)
Mary's Blackberry, Wild Rice, and Barley Salad
Lisa's Rye Crust Blackberry Tartlets
Our Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
Simply Life's Whole Wheat Cherry Zucchini Bread
Our Vegan Chocolate Cherry Cake

Many of Our Smoothies feature berries -- of all sorts of varieties -- as the main ingredient
. Nothing easier than plopping them into a blender! Ashley has me hooked on using frozen coconut milk cubes.

Be sure to check out this handy chart with information on which berries and in season and when.

What's your favorite way to use berries?

Don't forget to read up on these other healthy ingredients:

Food for Runners: B-A-N-A-N-A-S
Food for Runners: G-A-R-L-I-C
Food for Runners: Q-U-I-N-O-A
Food for Runners: K-A-L-E

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