Fruit of the month: Berries

Even though you can buy berries year-round in most supermarkets, often these tasty fruits are even better when they’re in season and freshly picked. That means summertime for many places around the country. If you’re lucky, you can buy baskets of strawberries from farm stands and farmer’s markets starting in June. Other berry varieties — raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and others — ripen throughout the summer.

Strawberries and blueberries are rich in beneficial plant compounds known as anthocyanins, which give berries their vibrant red, blue, and purple hues. Several studies have linked diets with anthocyanin-rich foods to better heart health, including the landmark Nurses’ Health study. Researchers found that women who ate more than three servings of blueberries or strawberries per week had a 34% lower risk of heart attack compared with those who ate fewer. Anthocyanins appear to make blood vessels more elastic and help lower blood pressure.

Berries make a delicious snack on their own, but they’re also great in fruit salads, smoothies, yogurt, cereal, or even green salads. Try sliced strawberries with baby spinach, crumbled goat cheese, and toasted almonds with a raspberry vinaigrette.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 | NIV

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10 NIV

Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 1 Chronicles 29:11 NIV

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30 NIV

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6 NIV

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV

For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? Psalm 18:31 NIV

It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them. Psalm 44:3 NIV

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20 NIV

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. Colossians 2:9-10 NIV

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