Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries all contain something rather magical called polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that are found in fruit and vegetables.
Studies show that regular consumption of foods containing polyphenols may reduce the risk of several chronic conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases e.g. Alzheimer’s and dementia, heart disease, and certain forms of cancer.
Brand new research published in the British Journal of Nutrition has found that feeding rats berries for 8 weeks improved their brain function, memory and the growth and development of nerves. Although the study was in animals rather than humans, these interesting findings help to support eating berries regularly.
The polyphenol/phytochemical research adds to our growing knowledge of why fruit and vegetables are so beneficial to our health. I advise that people should lots of different fruits and vegetables with different colours and hues because these are indicators of different phytochemical profiles. They all contain different things, and they all contribute to your health.
Here are some easy ways to incorporate berries. Fresh ones can be expensive when not in season, so you can use frozen which are just as nutritious. I buy Sainsbury’s Basics which are £1.50 for a 400g bag. Use them frozen in smoothies or ice-cream, or defrost (can be quickly defrosted in the microwave).