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We did a little jig after reading that the latest food craze is one that doesn’t taste like pond water, grass or is eye-wateringly bitter – in fact, it actually tastes pretty sweet. We’ve spent most of the summer gorging on berries (albeit covered in cream) and whilst we’ve always known they’re good for us, we didn’t realise just how good.
It seems we’re not alone either - we did a little bit of homework and found that sales of summer fruits have sky-rocketed in the last 10 years and could reach up to a whopping £1bn this year, compared to the relatively measly £300m they made in 2004. A lot of this has to do with the nation’s current obsession with drinking our vitamins. Market researcher gurus GfK report that sales of the Nutribullet (top of any self-respecting, juice-drinking adult's 2014 Christmas list) are up by 272% in the last year, and forget the KitchenAid, the latest worktop must-have is the Vitamix (with it's £400+ price tag).
So if your daily diet is contributing to these show-stopping sales figures, then the next time you pop a strawberry in your mouth you should feel pretty smug about it - for the humble berry is something of a miracle worker. Here’s why:
1. They actually prevent cancer
Packed with antioxidants, they do everything from keeping the skin bright and healthy, to repairing damage caused by pollution and smoking – notably helping the body ward off cancer.
2. They lower cholesterol
Recent studies have shown the range of polyphenols (that’s a clever form of antioxidant to you or I) in berries help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and even preserve bone density in post-menopausal women.
3. They keep you sharp
The flavonoids (another monster of a word – they basically work in the same way as vitamins), which are usually found in dark-coloured berries, support the learning and memory part of the brain. There’s even some compelling research to suggest that a diet containing flavonoids can help the brain to stay ‘young’ and may even provide protection against Alzheimer’s. Yup, pass us a bowl!
A handful a day will do the trick. Berry good indeed (awful, sorry couldn’t resist!).