We all know we’re supposed to eat more fruits and veggies to be healthy. But many people assume that if a fruit is super sweet and yummy it can’t possible be as good for you as something like kale, right? Nope. You can dig into a juicy and delicious serving of summer berries and do your body a big favor at the same time. Here are two great reasons to tuck into some blueberries right now.
Berries fuel brainpower
All fruits, and berries in particular, are jam-packed with anthocyanins, which seem to be linked to keeping your brain sharp, Consumer Reports notes. Experts say anthocyanins reduce oxidative stress and inflammation—both of which are bad for brain function and memory.
A 2012 Harvard study, published in the Annals of Neurology, showed that people who ate one or more servings of blueberries or two or more servings of strawberries per week slowed cognitive aging by 2½ years (compared with those who eschewed berries.) So dig into those berries already.
Fruit fights heart disease
It just gets better because fruit can also keep your heart healthy. Experts say that potassium in fruit explains the connection between eating more fruit and lowering your risk of high blood pressure.
“Obesity and high blood pressure are the two main risk factors for heart disease,” Eric Rimm, Sc.D., professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston told Consumer Reports. “And fruit intake has been linked to lowering the risk of both. For example, trials have shown that you can get a 20 to 25 percent reduction in risk of heart disease by replacing two servings of starchy vegetables or refined carbohydrates with two servings of fruit a day.”
And remember those anthocyanins? They also reduced the risk of hypertension by 8 to 12 percent in people who consumed the most in a 14-year study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Plus, a nugget of goodness like a blackberry is bursting with polyphenols, which may help prevent cancer as well as cardiovascular disease, notes Health.
The best news ever? Unlike some healthy living changes, such as getting more exercise, you don’t have to wait forever to see results. Rimm notes that in some cases, you can see an impact in just three months. Please pass the strawberries.
Name the fruit that boosts brain power and heart health