If you’ve never gotten a chance to taste a berry fresh off the vine still pulsing with life and full of flavor, I’d venture to say you’ve never really tasted one. Even when you can get them fresh from the farmer’s market or flash frozen from the supermarket, the sheer pleasure of plucking a ripe berry and popping it into your mouth like candy should be reason alone to consider growing them. But in case you need a little more encouragement, here’s a few reasons berries should be on your top list of garden produce to grow:
Whenever I’m craving something sweet I walk into the backyard and find the darkest blackberry I can find, because the old adage is true–“The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice.” And while they are sweet, studies show that fruits like blueberries and black berries have a low glycemic index, which is just a fancy way of saying that consuming them won’t spike your blood sugar to an unhealthy levels. Swapping these berries for sweets can also help ween you from processed sugary sweets as your palette will adjust to normal levels of natural sweetness.
From the Scientific American: “Emerging research suggests that compounds in blueberries (and to some degree, all berries) known as flavonoids may improve memory, learning and general cognitive function, including reasoning skills, decision making, verbal comprehension and numerical ability. In addition, studies comparing dietary habits with cognitive function in adults hint that consuming flavonoids may help slow the decline in mental facility that is often seen with aging and might even provide protection against disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.”
Berries are chock full of antioxidants and Vitamin C, which work to prevent damage from environmental attack and increase collagen production and reduces inflammation.
Researchers have discovered that the composition of berries has a similar composition to valproic acid, an ingredient in the anti-depression drug, Depakote. This promising news for those who suffer with bouts of depression.
Again, the high levels of antioxidants work to attack rouge cancer cells. Did you know that the human body produces malformed and potentially cancerous cells all the time? A healthy body full of antioxidants hunts down those cells and annihilates them. There’s even some burgeoning research that berries can reduce some types of breast cancers.
Berry bushes, plants and vines grow extremely well in containers. You can easily grow a variety of berries in a sunny patio. If storage is an issue and you don’t want to deal with empty pots during the winter when they’re not in use, consider Smart Pots I have about six of these in my patio garden and come in a variety of sizes. They’re made of cloth, so you just fill them with dirt and your plants and once the plant is spend and the seasons change, simply empty the contents and fold it up until the next growing season. Nothing could be easier.