Why Should You Eat Berries Every Day During the Winter?

You’re 70% more likely to fall sick during winter.

A team of scientists from Yale University discovered that lower temperatures weaken your first line of immune defenses.

''We found that the innate immune response to certain pathogens is impaired at lower body temperatures compared to core body temperature. It appears that as temperature decreases, so does the innate immune response to microbial threats.”
Akiko Iwasaki, Yale Professor of Immunobiology

It’s why winter and the flu go hand in hand. It’s also why pre-existing medical conditions tend to get worse in the colder months.

The good news is that superfoods can strengthen your immune system and help fight off disease.

These are foods that are nutritionally dense and good for your health. Superfoods offer a variety of nutrients that can boost your immunity, especially during winter when you’re at a higher risk of falling ill.

At LOOV Food, we’ve discovered some of the best superfoods to exist in Nordic nature—berries.

Here’s why blueberries, lingonberries, raspberries, and Aronia berries should top your list of winter superfoods.

Wild Blueberries

According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), one cup of blueberries provides the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 79.8 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 19.3 grams
  • Fat: less than 1 gram
  • Sugar: 9.85 grams

Blueberries are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin C
  • B-Complex Vitamins
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium

Each of these nutrients is important. Vitamin C is particularly worth noting for the role it plays in combating colds and flu.

Vitamin C supports the immune system by enhancing the activity of white blood cells, which are responsible for defending the body against infection. It can also help to reduce symptoms of allergies.

Blueberries have the highest antioxidant activity of commonly consumed fruits. They contain antioxidant compounds like anthocyanin pigments and quercetin flavonoids that can help fight against free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable molecules that steal electrons from other cells in the body. With the aid of antioxidants, your immune system can neutralise these free radicals before they cause conditions such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • High blood pressure

Antioxidants can also help prevent infections from becoming worse when they do occur.

Blueberries contain many of the B-vitamins like riboflavin, thiamine, and niacin. Not only can these nutrients help protect your cells from free radical damage, but they also help support brain, heart, and eye health.

Virtually every process in the body requires B-complex vitamins. The nervous system, cardiovascular system, digestive, and immune system are among the many functions supported by these essential nutrients.

Because of their widespread role in the body, B-complex vitamins play a crucial part in maintaining health and wellness.

Nordic wild blueberries are richer in nutrients than cultivated berries. For example, the content of anthocyanins is twice as high in the wild berry than in the cultivated variety.

This table summarizes some critical differences between wild and cultivated blueberries:

Differences Between Wild and Cultivated Berries
Nordic wild blueberries Cultivated blueberries
Eight times more manganese Lower levels of manganese
84 calories per cup 100 calories per cup
Higher fibre content Higher water content
Potent blueberry taste and colour Mild blueberry taste and colour

Lingonberries

Freeze-Dried Organic Whole Wild Lingonberries
Organic Lingonberries freeze dried LOOV

According to data from The Food Institute, one cup of lingonberries provides the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 54 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 12.8 grams
  • Fat: Less than 1 gram
  • Sugar: 7.03 grams

Lingonberries are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin C
  • B-Complex Vitamins
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Sodium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium

These berries contain a high amount of vitamin C and antioxidants, which help to strengthen the immune system. This natural immunity booster can help prevent colds and flus while also boosting energy levels.

Lingonberries have strong microorganism-fighting activity as well, meaning that they can fight against infections caused by bacteria, pathogens, and fungi. Studies have proven that the microorganism-fighting properties of lingonberries can even prevent bacteria formation in the mouth.

In addition, these berries have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help relieve symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Consuming this fruit may reduce symptoms such as pain and swelling.

Raspberries

Frozen raspberries LOOV organic
Just Raspberries and Nothing Else

According to the USDA, one cup of raspberries provides the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 64 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 14.6 grams
  • Protein: 1.48 grams
  • Fat: Less than 1 gram
  • Sugar: 5.44 grams

Raspberries are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin C
  • B-Complex Vitamins
  • Vitamin A
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium

One cup of raspberries contains about 30 milligrams of vitamin C, which is roughly 60 percent of your daily needs. It makes them a great option to boost immunity during cold and flu season.

Aronia Berry

organic gmo free aronia berry aronia berries LOOV
Our organic Aronia berries contain the highest levels of anthocyanins

The USDA provides nutritional information for Aronia berries in microdried and juice form. According to the database, a quarter-cup of these berries contains:

  • Calories: 45 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 10 grams
  • Fat: 3 grams
  • Sugar: 3 grams

Aronia berries are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including:

  • B-Complex vitamins
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Folate
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc

Aronia berries, also known as chokeberries, are a hardy plant commonly found in the northern regions of North America and Europe. Traditional healers have used this berry as a folk remedy for centuries to treat multiple conditions, including lung ailments and arthritis.

Modern science has discovered that these claims have merit as Aronia contains nutrients and phytochemicals with potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties.

Aronia fruit is high in vitamin C (used to produce collagen), which is vital for wound healing. Aronia berries also contain ellagic acid, a compound found in many fruits and vegetables that has been shown to prevent DNA damage.

Aronia fruit has a high amount of L-arginine, an amino acid involved in protein synthesis and energy formation. It also acts as a potent vasodilator that widens blood vessels to improve blood flow.

Chokeberries have been used in folk medicine for centuries to treat arthritis and inflammation of the respiratory tract.

A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that when chokeberries were given to mice with induced colitis symptoms that mimic ulcerative colitis in humans, they experienced reduced inflammation.

These benefits may be due to essential compounds like polyphenols and anthocyanins (antioxidants). In another study, arthritis patients who took 20g/day of polyphenols from chokeberry juice over three months showed reduced pain and improved joint mobility.

Get Fresh Berries Even When They Aren’t in Season

Like most fruits, berries are best eaten fresh when they have the most nutrients and flavour. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to get them in this state. Shipping takes time, and during the process, nutrients may be lost.

LOOV Food uses one of the most effective preservation methods to ensure the berries get to you in their most nutritious and flavourful state.

Freeze-drying preserves about 97% of a food’s original nutritional value.

Here is how it works:

  • We harvest berries at peak ripeness from organically certified Nordic forests.
  • They undergo an in-depth cleaning process to ensure only the highest quality berries make it to the next stage.
  • Flash freezing preserves all the berry nutrients.
  • Freeze drying under a vacuum retains the original nutrition, shape, colour, and taste of the berries.
  • Secondary drying at 48 degrees celsius gives the berries an extra-long shelf life.
  • Sealing in moisture-free packaging keeps powdered berries from clumping and preserves their quality.

There are many benefits of choosing freeze-dried berries. To name a few:

  • The nutritional value of freeze-dried berries is about 97%. Nutrients are not lost in the time it takes to ship them from Nordic countries.
  • Freeze-dried berries retain the fruit’s original colour, taste, appearance, and texture.
  • They have a longer shelf life.
  • When placed in water, they are reconstituted, and resume their original state.
  • They make great “on-the-go” snacks because they’re lightweight.

Freeze-drying is not the only preservation method. Dehydration is a cheaper alternative, and you might wonder why you shouldn’t go for berries preserved this way.

Unlike freeze-drying, dehydration doesn’t remove all the moisture from the food. Therefore, it offers a shorter shelf-life. More importantly, dehydration uses high temperatures that destroy nutrients in the food.

If you’re looking for winter berries that pack a punch, your best bet is LOOV Food’s freeze-dried range.

Here is what customers who’ve tried it have to say:

“As somebody who has had a lot of wild berries from Finland, I can tell you that these are the real deal. The thing that is great about these is that you can taste that they have been harvested at peak ripeness… before they had a chance to spoil…you definitely get your money’s worth.”
Cielo99, Verified Buyer

Kick the Winter Blues With Berry Superfoods

LOOV Organic Wild Blueberry Jam
Organic berry fruit spreads from LOOV Food

Did you know that all our organic freeze-dried berry powders are perfect for your winter comfort food recipes?

Here are just a few ways you can use our powders to give your dishes a berry boost:

  • To top salads or be used in salad dressing
  • As a yoghurt mix or topping
  • Mixed into chia-seed pudding
  • For making tasty truffles
  • Sprinkled in homemade muesli and granola bars
  • In cake or pancake batter
  • For more flavourful desserts
  • As sprinkles on frosting

If you’re looking for an easy way to add nutritious superfoods to your diet, look no further than our organic freeze-dried whole berries and powders. While at it, check out our berry recipe catalogue for delicious dishes that are easy to make.