When is National Berry Month?
February is Berry Fresh in the Sunshine State Month.
July Belongs To Berries Month!
July is the month we know as the Berries month because so many berry holidays represent the month of July. Everything from.....
National Blackberry Month - July
National Blueberry Month - July
Raspberry Month - July
Blackberries Day - September 29
Are there other related food holidays? Yes!
What is this Holiday for?
This Holiday is set aside for people to appreciate berries for their good taste and for good health as well. During this month make it a point to add more berries in your diet and familiarize yourself with all the different ways berries can be used in cooking. Make this month fun by planing some of your favorite berries and enjoy eating them off the vine or bush.
For National Berry Month, search out some great dessert recipes that's packed full of berries and enjoy a nice hot or cool berry treat. Berry drinks are popular too, let's not forget about them. You can find some great drink recipes over the Internet along with some great shakes and smoothie recipes, jam and jelly recipes too. All of which include the healthy berry.
Berries and good health
Did you know that berries are bursting with vitamins and minerals, many of which are classified as antioxidants. In fact, blueberries and strawberries are at the top the list of antioxidant-rich foods. In fact the Colorado Athletic Club tells us that "Antioxidants help protect your body from free radicals which can damage your cells." Unfortunately, the bad news is that free radicals are unavoidable toxic sources that occur in our daily lives, e.g. car exhaust, cleaning detergents, ozone. "Our body also does not produce enough antioxidants to protect our cells from free radicals." "Therefore, we must obtain them through dietary sources or dietary supplementation which makes the berry the perfect food! "
Definition of a Berry
The word berry has two meanings: one based on a botanical definition, the other on common identification. True berries are a simple fruit having seeds and edible pulp produced from a single ovary. In common parlance, however, berries are more broadly recognized as small, round or semi-oblong, usually brightly colored, sweet or sour fruit desirable in a healthy diet.
Several types of common "berries", none of which is a berry by botanical definition:The blueberry is a false berry, raspberries and blackberries are aggregate fruit, and strawberries are accessory fruit.
Several types of common "berries", none of which is a berry by botanical definition:
In botany, the berry is the most common type of simple fleshy fruit in which the entire ovary wall ripens into an edible pericarp. The flowers of these plants have a superior ovary and one or more carpels within a thin covering and fleshy interiors. The seeds are embedded in the common flesh of the ovary. Examples of botanical berries include the tomato, grape, lychee, loquat, lucuma, plantain, avocado, persimmon, eggplant, guava, uchuva (ground cherry), and chili pepper.
The fruit of citrus, such as the orange, kumquat and lemon, is a modified berry called a hesperidium.
The fruit of cucumbers and their relatives are modified berries called "pepoes". A plant that bears berries is referred to as bacciferous.
True berries are distinguishable from false berries like blueberries and cranberries for which the fruit is formed from other parts of the flower, not just the ovary. Also not true berries, aggregate fruits like raspberries are collections of small fruits, and accessory fruits like strawberries are formed from parts of the plant other than the flower. As explained below, none of these is a true berry.
In common parlance, berry refers to any small, sweet, juicy and brightly-colored fruit. By contrasting in color with their background, berries are more attractive to animals that eat them, aiding in the dispersal of the plant's seeds. Most berries are edible, but some are poisonous.
Berry colors are due to natural pigments synthesized by the plant. Medical research has uncovered medicinal properties of pigmented polyphenols, such as flavonoids, anthocyanins, and tannins and other phytochemicals localized mainly in berry skins and seeds. Berry pigments are usually antioxidants and thus have oxygen radical absorbance capacity ("ORAC") that is high among plant foods. Together with good nutrient content, ORAC distinguishes several berries within a new category of functional foods called "superfruits", a rapidly-growing multi-billion dollar industry that began in 2005 and is identified by DataMonitor as one of the top 10 food categories for growth in 2008.
A 2007 report combined four criteria — nutrient content, antioxidant qualities, medical research intensity and commercial success — giving an approximate rank of commercial activity for six exotic superfruits, including three berries — wolfberry, sea buckthorn and açaí — as the highest rated.
Not a botanical berry
Many "berries" are not actual berries by the scientific definition, but fall into one of these categories:
- False berries - like blueberry and cranberry, are epigynous, made from a part of the plant other than a single ovary.
- Compound fruit, which includes: -
1) Aggregate fruit are multiple fruits with seeds from different ovaries of a single flower, such as blackberry, raspberry, and boysenberry
2) Multiple fruit, being the fruits of separate flowers, packed closely together. The mulberry, for example, is essentially like a cluster of grapes, but tiny and compressed into one "berry".
- Other accessory fruit, where the edible part is not generated by the ovary, such as the strawberry for which the seed-like achenes are actually the "fruit" derived from the ovary.