"Fresh fruit is my favorite summer snack," Bell tells Well+Good. "I try to go to the farmer's market on the weekends and pick up whatever is in season. Right now, I'm addicted to mulberries. I'll serve those alongside some of the more conventional summer fruits like watermelon or berries. I'll also put out a cooler and fill it with a lot of different Spindrift flavors. People use them as mixers or drink them as is. They are the perfect summer drink because they are so refreshing. It’s the tastiest way to stay hydrated."
Okay, let's backpedal—mulberries? I know nothing about mulberries. I even had to Google that nursery rhyme to get some context of where I’ve heard of them before. (Head’s up, it’s “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush.") But just because mulberries doesn’t have the best schoolyard banger (that’s “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” obviously”) doesn’t mean they can’t be an excellent alternative—or addition—to your usual summer berry.
Here are the benefits of mulberries, Kristen Bell's current food crush
1. They'll tell free radicals to eff off: "Mulberries are great because they are packed with antioxidants," says nutritionist Mascha Davis, MPH, RD. Antioxidants, in case you've ever wondered (raise of hands!), are really important when it comes to repairing damage caused by free radicals, which can impact everything from your natural collagen production to your ability to fight off disease.
As Davis points out, berries usually play host to antioxidants. The antioxidants in blueberries, for example, specifically aid with bolstering heart health. Mulberries, meanwhile are tied to a compound called anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory properties, improve blood circulation, and very much help with heart health.
2. They're low sugar: According to Davis, you can count mulberries among the ranks of incredibly low-sugar fruits. 10 mulberries have just over 1 gram of sugar—pretty impressive, TBH. That's a big-time benefit because it means you can snack sans mid-day crash.
3. They're good for your skin and bones: To circle back to the whole antioxidant thing, mulberries are very high in vitamin C (51 milligrams per cup), meaning they can be very kind to your skin and can help boost immunity against the season-ruining summer cold.
And while strawberries may have more vitamin C per serving than mulberries (a whopping 84 milligrams per cup) mulberries come out on top in the calcium department, Davis says. Each cup of mulberries offers 55 milligrams of calcium (about 5 percent of your recommended daily intake) versus the 23 milligrams per cup of strawberries (only 2 percent of your recommended daily intake. Sounds like a very good excuse to drink berry smoothies from June to September.
Cool, so how do I use mulberries?
Obviously going around the mulberry bush is easier said than done, and not everyone is deeply #blessed enough to be near a farmer's market à la KB. Thankfully, upping your mulberry intake can be as simple as a trip to Whole Foods. "You can get powdered or dried mulberries and add them to smoothies, smoothie bowls, or even enjoy the dried fruit as a snack," Davis says. That is definitely a ritzier change-up than mainlining my sad tin of salted almonds day in and day out. Meanwhile, "fresh mulberries can be enjoyed raw, in fruit salads, smoothies, or on oatmeal," adds Davis. Or if you're like Bell, added into your favorite sparkling water.
So if you're looking to dig into something special this season, consider mulberries to be your summer switch-up! If nothing else, it's way healthier than going back to your class-divided California hometown to investigate the murders of a string of spring breakers.
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