Berry Blast

image“Eat your fruits and vegetables” is a mantra ingrained in our brains as a simple way to fuel a healthy lifestyle. Precious berries have long been the darlings of the fruit world. In a dried form they come from as far away as the Himalayas packing antioxidants into every shriveled fruit. Weave them into your diet via trail mix, salad, yogurt or ground up in a smoothie.

1. Goji Berries (wolf berries) are native to China. Research suggests they may help prevent cancer, heart disease and protect against age-related diseases. Taste: Similar to a bitter, dried cranberry. $1.50 per oz;

2. Sea Buckthorn, from the Himalayas, offer a long list of health benefits including treating arthritis, ulcers and lowering cholesterol. Another perk? Anti-aging components keep skin looking youthful and radiant. Taste: Tart and crunchy. $1.18 per oz;

3. Black Chokeberries (aronia berries): These domestic berries can help treat symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome, reduce blood glucose levels in diabetics and aid in maintaining a healthy weight by preventing the storage of too much fat. Taste: Sour and crunchy. $1.18 per oz;

4. White Mulberries: Direct from Turkey, these are an excellent source of plant protein. Some of their antioxidants help with anti-aging, strengthening the immune system and preventing cancer, diabetes and infection. Taste: Like a sweet, chewy fig. $1.50 per oz;

5. Maqui Berries: Studies have found these Patagonians slow down the aging process and most significantly, reduce inflammation. Taste: Tart, crunchy and hollow. $4 per ounce;

6. Golden Berries (gooseberries) from South America are rich in phosphorous, which aids the growth and strength of bones and teeth. Plus, golden berries are a great source of protein that helps build muscle and burn energy. Taste: Like a plump raisin, but with a pleasant sour finish. $1.75 per oz;