Friday, November 13, 2015

Berries are Excellent for Health. But They're Costly. Here's a Cheap Alternative

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Aside from being high in Vitamin C, fiber, powerful antioxidants and low in their glycemic index, berries are delicious. Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries. And cherries, too, though a distant relative of berries.

You can eat lots of cherries and not worry about your blood sugar count. If late at night you feel like eating dessert, then go for cherries.

Problem is, berries (especially cherries) cost a  lot. Most of us middle income people can't afford to buy and eat them often. We probably eat cherries only during birthdays or Christmas when special cakes we buy are topped with cherries.

But eat them like bananas everyday?

But there may be a good alternative to cherries and costly berries--our very own native berries, like duhat and aratelis (or arateris).

Well, duhat is seasonal, but aratelis isn't. If you have an aratelis tree, it bears fruit the whole year. We once had one in our backyard and it just couldn't stop bearing fruit. And it needed no special attention. In fact, it just grew there like a weed.

There's little to no data about the health benefits of aratelis, but being in the family of berries, it's safe to assume that it's very nutritious like other berries are. I'm pretty sure it has lots of Vitamin C and antioxidants. Why? Because generally fruits with deep red color do. Nutritionists would tell you that.

If you can source ripe deep red aratilis, try to refrigerate them. Once chilled, they taste super tasty and sweet! You can top them on ice cream or mix with fruit salads. Or eat them as they are.

Problem is, though aratelis trees quickly grow anywhere (and you'd see the trees almost everywhere) you can't buy it just anywhere. In fact, I don't know of a place where aratelis is sold. You really have to seek hard for a place where aratelis is sold in Metro Manila, or probably any place for that matter. Ironic, isn't it?--can be found anywhere but you can't buy it anywhere as well.

This is because most people think it's a dirty fruit. They associate it with cadavers in cemeteries where the tree quickly grows beside tombs. Moreover, most people cut down these trees when they see them because they think aratelis trees are useless.

But there are aratelis trees that grow in safe places and the fruit they bear is nutritious. We need to re-think our thoughts about aratelis. It can be very helpful with our aim to get cheap health and fitness with middle income budget.

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