The Power of Berries
With summer now upon us in the UK, its been both wet and sunny which is ideal growing conditions for soft fruit and the garden in general. Blackberry bushes are bursting through hedges everywhere with small buds of fruit, it should be a good year for the blackberry collectors with their plastic tubs ! Berries come in different colours but they all look very appealing, it really is natures very own sweet shop as they all have a sugary taste to them. Vibrant coloured fruits and vegetables provide some of the highest levels of nutrients, especially anti-oxidants. Strawberries and raspberries are tasty at any time of the day, you can add them to your breakfast cereal, a salad at lunchtime or a desert at dinner time.
Reasons to eat
They are loaded with Antioxidants, which help to keep free radicals under control. Berries contain anthocyanins, ellagic acid and resveratrol which all help to protect your cells.
They may help improve your blood sugar and insulin response – a number of studies have shown that people adopting a diet including berries have a much better insulin response than those that didn’t within 6 weeks.
High in Fibre – they are good for your gut, berries aren’t probiotics but they are rich in prebiotics, which helps to promote regular bowel movements.
Nutrient rich – 100g of any type of berries, roughly has 55 calories – 35% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C, 32% Manganese, 25% Vitamin K1, 8% copper and 6% Folate
Anti-inflammatory properties – berries have strong anti – inflammatory properties, and have been shown to reduce inflammation.
May help lower cholesterol levels – berries, especially blueberries, in a study have been proven to lower LDL cholesterol levels in obese people and help protect oxidisation.
May be good for your skin – Studies are starting to show that ellagic acid contained in the berries helps to breakdown the enzymes that break down collagen in sun damaged skin.
May keep your arteries healthy – studies have shown that Blueberries in particular have shown improved endothelial function, these are the cells that line your blood vessels. They control blood pressure and keep blood from clotting.
Help fight cancer by adding berries to your diet – Flavonoid-packed berries such as blueberries and raspberries are an important part of a cancer prevention diet. Berries contain compounds such as anthocyanins and flavonoid which help reduce inflammation and protect cells from DNA damage.
With so many good reasons, its impossible to avoid adding berries somewhere to your diet. They are relatively expensive off season, however with summer upon us and bushes full of blackberries everywhere, may be we should go out and collect some and freeze for later on in the year.
I too love the berries, especially when they're fresh over summer. Unfortunately, so do the rest of my family. So, if I'm swift enough, I may get to enjoy a berry or 2, otherwise it's back to the apples.
After reading an article on berries, I have been adding blueberries to my cereals for the past 3 months and have recently added a few strawberries and raspberries as well. Must admit it brings a nice sweet taste to a bowl of Weetabix and Muesli. They are delicious as well.