Fierce Friday: Whatchu Talkin’ ‘Bout, Willis?

Takin’ It Back

Fridays on GFT use to be for reader questions. It’s the summer and I admit I’ve taken some “summer Fridays” and haven’t been posting. Not no more, I’m back on, Kids! I’m posting and answering the questions YOU want to be answered each and every Friday. It can be ANYTHING you like, physical, emotion, personal…you let me know what you want me to talk about. I got an email from one of my fave readers/students this morning, so today’s post is for him.

Q: I know that both blueberries and blackberries have something called antioxidants, but I am not sure what that really means. I mean I know antioxidants are supposed to be good for me, but I am not sure why and was wondering if you might be able to explain. Also, which is generally a better choice, blueberries or blackberries?-G.R.

The Antioxidant Story

It is SO confusing to be a consumer these days. Advertising has taken over and shifted our thoughts our opinions and the worst part of that is many times we don’t know what it all really means. In this case the promotion of foods “Rich in Antioxidants” IS a good thing, but why? Ahhh, that’s where I come in…

I’m gonna get a lil’ scientific on yo’ ass for a second (not too much). Antioxidants are molecules in the bod inhibit the oxidation of cells (anti-meaning against, oxidant referring to oxygen). When a cell oxidizes it results in the production of free radicals. Now, while I think that sounds like fun (I kinda think I’m a bit of a “free radical”) it’s not that awesome for our bodies. Free radicals cause cells to mutate and can cause cell death. Free radicals are thought to be a cause for cancer, arthritis, hardening of the arteries and compromised immune systems. By eating foods that are rich in antioxidants we can reduce the amount of cell oxidation and thus the amount of free radicals in our bodies, phew, did you get all that?

There are three major antioxidant vitamins; beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E. To get these antioxidants into your bod you don’t have to run to the drugstore, you can find them right in your produce aisle. If you fruit or veg has a deep purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow color, it most likely contains TONS of antioxidants. Now, before I share the list of antioxidant rich food with you I want to let you know that to get the biggest benefits eat these foods RAW or LIGHTLY STEAMED; don’t overcook or boil (I was a giant offender of the over-steam!)

Beta-carotene and other carotenoids: Apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, green peppers, kale, mangoes, turnip and collard greens, nectarines, peaches, pink grapefruit, pumpkin, squash, spinach, sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, and watermelon

Vitamin C: Berries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower, grapefruit, honeydew, kale, kiwi, mangoes, nectarines, orange, papaya, red, green or yellow peppers, snow peas, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes

Vitamin E: Broccoli, carrots, chard, mustard and turnip greens, mangoes, nuts, papaya, pumpkin, red peppers, spinach, and sunflower seeds

Other foods that are rich in antioxidants include:

  • Prunes
  • Apples
  • Raisins
  • All berries
  • Plums
  • Red grapes
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Onions
  • Eggplant
  • Beans

Blue vs Black

Now to answer G.R.’s question about what’s better the blue or the blackberry. Below are the nutritional facts. They’re both similar in their composition, but I tend to think that the one that tastes better to YOU is the one that’s “better”. You’re going to eat more of it and more importantly enjoy it! Isn’t that what this is all about? Finding healthful foods that make you FEEL good and ENJOYING the whole process. If it’s tastes like crap to you what’s the fun in that (I’ll answer that rhetorical questions….there’s NO FUN)? Choose foods you like best, enjoy ’em and BE FIERCE!

Blackberries: 1 Cup

2 grams of protein, 62 calories and 7.6 grams of dietary fiber.

Potassium – 233 mg, Phosphorus – 32 mg, Magnesium – 29 mg, Calcium – 42 mg, Sodium – 1 mg, Iron – 0.89 mg, Selenium 0.6 mcg, Manganese – 0.93 mg, Copper – 0.238 mg, Zinc – 0.76 mg, Vitamin A – 308 IU, Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – 0.029 mg, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – 0.037 mg, Niacin – 0.93 mg, Folate – 36 mcg, Pantothenic Acid – 0.397 mg, Vitamin B6 – 0.043 mg, Vitamin C – 30.2 mg, Vitamin E – 1.68 mg, Vitamin K – 28.5 mcg

Contains some other vitamins and minerals in small amounts.

Blueberries: 1 Cup

1.1 grams of protein, 84 calories and 3.6 grams of dietary fiber.

Potassium – 114 mg, Phosphorus – 18 mg, Magnesium – 9 mg, Calcium – 9 mg, Sodium – 1 mg, Iron – 0.41 mg, Selenium 0.1 mcg, Manganese – 0.497 mg, Zinc – 0.24 mg, Vitamin A – 217 IU , Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – 0.055 mg, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – 0.061 mg, Niacin – 0.08 mg, Folate – 9 mcg, Pantothenic Acid – 0.184 mg, Vitamin B6 – 0.077 mg, Vitamin C – 14.4 mg, Vitamin E – 2.29 mg, Vitamin K – 28.6 mcg

Contains some other vitamins and minerals in small amounts.

No go and enjoy this BEAUTIFUL weekend!



I can see you GETTIN’ FIERCE!

2 thoughts on “Fierce Friday: Whatchu Talkin’ ‘Bout, Willis?

  1. So what you’re telling me is, eat more mangos!!! Love the fact it’s on all three lists. Love those delicious things!

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