When you or a family member have a food allergy, holidays can be hard. The upcoming Independence Day holiday can be particularly stressful because you are often eating on the go. Whether you’re at the beach or at a BBQ or even on the road, safe eating can be a challenge. That’s why I rounded up my favorite red, white and blue Gerbs products with a description of the health benefits of each for you. Use this list when it’s time to pack for the holiday weekend so you’re sure you have safe snacks on hand for this busy time of year.

RED: Dried Goji Berries

The goji berry has a history of being used for medicinal purposes in China. Their delicious, sweet taste plus their high fiber content help maintain a healthy weight. They are a good source of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, fiber, iron, vitamin A, zinc, and they contain lots of disease fighting antioxidants.

The goji berry is unlike most fruits in that it contains all eight essential amino acids. A four ounce serving of Gerbs goji berries provides 16 grams of protein! That’s more protein than two hard boiled eggs provides (12 grams). Be sure to talk to your doctor before incorporating goji berries into your diet. They can react with certain medications, like blood thinners, so you want to be sure you’re cleared to eat them.

BLUE: Blueberry Harvest Granola

You love fresh blueberries and I am sure you’ve used frozen ones from time to time. But while super healthy and tasty, fresh/frozen blueberries aren’t ideal for every situation – say when you’re at the beach, hiking, or on the road. Enter dried blueberries. They are nutritious (vitamins C and A plus calcium), easy to pack and do not need to be refrigerated.

The drying process of fruit removes water, which concentrates the natural sugars found in blueberries and increases the calorie content. So if you are watching your weight, be mindful about your portions of dried fruit. However, if you’re packing these snacks for your kids, you’ll most likely want them to have the added energy during your busy summer holiday! Dried blueberries add a powerful nutrient punch to Gerbs Blueberry Harvest Granola. This blend is one of my favorites for the summer.

WHITE: Tried and true pumpkin seeds

You seriously cannot go wrong with pumpkin seeds. Did you know that’s how Gerbs started out? With  just one single line of the most delicious pumpkin seeds you’ve ever tasted. Read more about their story here. Pumpkin seeds may be small, but they offer HUGE nutritional benefits.

Eating a small amount of pumpkin seeds can provide you with a substantial quantity of healthy fats, magnesium, fiber, and zinc. They have been linked to several health benefits such as heart health, prostate health.  Research shows that they are associated with lower levels of stomach, breast, lung, prostate and colon cancers. Some studies show that pumpkin seeds may also help reduce blood sugar levels in people with Type II Diabetes, but more research is needed. Plus, they are incredibly easy to incorporate into your diet because of their versatility.

Happy snacking to you all and I wish you a very safe and healthy Independence Day!

Written by Sennen Conte

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