Berries the superfood of healthy ageing

Berries- the superfood of healthy ageing

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Could berries be the ‘superfood’ of healthy ageing? Kate Ferguson takes a closer look.

‘Superfoods’ is a term used to describe foods that are particularly high in essential and phytonutrients. Lauded for their health benefits they are a great addition to a healthy well-balanced diet.

Superfoods include salmon, broccoli, raw nuts and berries- and it is this last one that may prove to be of great benefit for healthy ageing.

Berries, including strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are rich in phytonutrients (also called phytochemicals) and may help to support our health and wellbeing.

Of particular importance in berries is their anthocyanin content. Anthocyanins are a type of phytochemical and are responsible for the blue, purple and red colours of the many berries that we eat.

Anthocyanins are also thought to be responsible for many of the health benefits of berries as they are antioxidant agents and also possess anti-inflammatory properties.

As a population we are now living longer, which leaves us facing age-related health risks particularly those affecting the brain and cardiovascular system.

Berries for a healthy mind

Our brain health can be affected by age-related cognitive decline, oxidative stress and inflammation. Berries are thought to help protect against oxidation and helping to decrease inflammation. There is even some evidence to suggest that berries can help to reduce the effects of cognitive decline in older adults.

How berries support a healthy heart

Along with their anthocyanin content, berries are also are great source of essential vitamins and fibre which are important in helping to support heart health.

Inflammation and oxidative stress are thought to be underlying factors in the development of poor cardiovascular health.

Anthocyanins may help to play a role in reducing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, decrease inflammation and support glucose metabolism- all important in the maintenance of cardiovascular health.

Berry slice
For a delicious and healthy treat why not try our recipe for berry slice which can be enjoyed as a dessert or for mornign or tea.

Berries anthocyanin content per 100 g
Blackberry 90.46mg
Blueberry 163.52mg
Strawberry 33.63mg
Raspberry 38.68mg

References available upon request