Why are berries healthy?

Berry colours come from antioxidants. Image: Shutterstock

Berries are sometimes regarded as superfoods that slow cancer growth and prevent disease.

 

Berries are packed full of nutrients, vitamins and other natural compounds that are believed to protect our memories, slowing cancer growth and reducing the risk of other diseases. These compounds include phenols, tannins, flavonoids, antioxidants (which give them their bright colours), vitamin C and resveratrol.

Some berries also include potassium, Vitamin K and manganese- there are many different types of berries and they may be associated with different health benefits. Blueberries are particularly high in antioxidants, while cranberries are regarded as a good source of Vitamin C, copper and fibre.

One of the compounds commonly mentioned are antioxidants, which may have a role in reducing some diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. They are also suggested to benefit our brains, as they protect the cells from damage from free radicals.

The flavonoids in blueberries and strawberries may reduce cognitive decline in the elderly by up to 2.5 years, according to new research from Germany and the US. Berries are particularly high in a subclass of flavonoids called anthocyanidins, which can cross the blood”“brain barrier and localise in areas of learning and memory.

Flavonoids are also believed to have anti-allergenic, anti-cancer and anti-microbial properties and have been associated with the reduction of Parkinson’s Disease in men.

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