Berries

Berry fruits such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, cranberries are all high in antioxidants, vitamin c and fiber. Berries offer a great low calorie snack as they have such a high water content (approximately 85%).

Many berries have wild varieties with even higher nutrient content. These can be foraged from the hedgerows and the great news is that studies show the nutrient content is not compromised with freezing! They are great to bring out for smoothies and crumbles in the winter months.


VITAMIN C – IRON CONNECTION

The high vitamin C content of berries can be useful in helping the body’s uptake of iron from vegetable sources and therefore would be a great addition in a green smoothie.

ANTI-OXIDANT RICH

The vibrant red, blue and purple colours come from the high levels of the antioxidant anthocyanin found in a group of polyphenols called flavonoids. Many berries are high in polyphenols. Studies have shown that polyphenols reduce inflammation in the body which is thought to be at the heart of many chronic health conditions.

FIBER

Whole fruit fiber, especially pectin from berries and other fruits, has an active role in helping to reduce LDL- and non-HDL-cholesterol by lowering bile acid reabsorption to attenuate Cardio Vascular Disease risk.1



Individual Berry Summary

Below we've shared the benefits associated with the type of berry.

Blueberries

Flavonoid-rich blueberries have gained significant attention for their ability to promote better cognitive performance and contribute to a delay in cognitive decline as we age.2 Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is thought to play a critical role in the delay of aging by improving the health of the hippocampus (the part of your brain that helps process memory), as well as increasing new brain cell growth and long-term memory formation. BDNF levels are known to decrease throughout the day, however, research has found levels to be maintained following blueberry consumption.

Cranberries

Cranberries contain specific compounds called proanthocyanidins which help prevent the bacteria E. Coli from adhering to the cells lining the urinary tract. Thereby lessening the chance of the bacteria multiplication.3 The bacteria are subsequently flushed from the urinary tract with the urine.

Strawberries

Strawberries are very high in vitamin C with approximately 77mg per 100g portion. Vitamin C plays a role in the functioning of the immune system. Deficiency in vitamin C has been shown to result in impaired immunity and higher susceptibility to infections.4

Blackberries

As well as containing fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins and potassium they are one of the richest plant sources of vitamin E with about 2.4mg per 100g portion. Blackberries contain numerous phytochemicals including polyphenols with antioxidant properties.

Gooseberries

Gooseberries have a green color and are another useful source of vitamin C and fiber when they are available in the summer season. They are high in the flavonoids quercitin and kaempferol, known for their antioxidant properties. A study of Indian Goosberries Amla has shown that Amla fruit has anti hyper-glycaemic and lipid lowering properties.5




References

1. Dreher ML. Whole Fruits and Fruit Fiber Emerging Health Effects. Nutrients. 2018;10(12):1833. Published 2018 Nov 28. doi:10.3390/nu10121833

2. Dodd GF. The Acute Effects of Flavonoid-Rich Blueberries on Cognitive Function in Healthy Younger and Older Adults . University of Reading Reading, UK; 2012.

3. Ofek I, Goldhar J. Zafriri D, Lis H, Adar  R Sharon N. Anti-Escherichia coli adhesin activity of cranberry and blueberry juices. N Engl J Med 1991:324(22):1599

4. Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and immune function. Nutrients. 2017; 9. DOI:10.3390/nu9111211.

5. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 2011.