Berry season is right around the corner, and if a big bowl of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries didn't excite you before, maybe this news will: eating at least two servings of berries per week can help delay age-related memory loss in women. A recent Harvard study followed 16,010 women over the age of 70, finding those who ate berries slowed memory loss by almost three years. Researchers cite the plethora of antioxidants packed into these small fruits as being the reason. If preventing memory loss weren't enough, here are five more reasons why you should up your berry intake.
- They help with weight loss: Berries are loaded with the antioxidant anthocyanin, which has been shown to alter the activity of genes found in human fat cells, making it more difficult to put on weight. Blueberries, specifically, have been shown to diminish stubborn belly fat.
- They are good for your brain: Investigators with the US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston found that the polyphenols in berries help the part of the brain that takes care of regular maintenance and "housekeeping." Blueberries and strawberries were said to contain the most polyphenols.
- They are good for your eyes: Berries, especially blueberries and raspberries, contain lutein, which is important for healthy eyes and sharp vision.
- They help protect against disease: Berries are brimming with carotenoids, an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer. Other phytonutrients in berries have been shown to protect against heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Those deep hues pay off tenfold when it comes to maintaining the health of your body.
- They help slow down the aging process: The powerful antioxidants in berries prevent free radical damage in your body, and less free radical damage means slowing down the aging process to help you live longer!
Amped up for berry season yet? Mix things up by making one of these healthy berry recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktail hour!