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Nutrition

Can eating berries boost your brain power?

One of the best things about visiting supermarkets and farmers' markets is browsing through the stalls of in-season fruit and vegetables to find tasty and healthy treats that haven't been flown halfway around the world to end up in our trolley.

Eating food that's in season is also supposed to be better for us, as it contains higher levels of vitamin C, explained registered nutritionist Dr Carina Norris.

"Seasonal foods are often fresher, which means they'll have higher levels of the vitamins that deteriorate over time," she added.

And while it's still a little too early in the year to indulge, this summer we'll have another reason to stuff our faces with berries as research shows consuming the flavonoid-rich fruit is good for the brain.

A study by scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital in the US found that strawberries and blueberries don't just make for delicious snacks - they can also slow down the deterioration of memory in middle aged women by 2.5 years.

Lead author Elizabeth Devore commented: "What makes our study unique is the amount of data we analysed over such a long period of time. No other berry study has been conducted on such a large scale.

"Among women who consumed two or more servings of strawberries and blueberries each week we saw a modest reduction in memory decline. This effect appears to be attainable with relatively simple dietary modifications," she explained.

As well as boosting your brain, improving your healthy living diet by upping your intake of juicy fruits and vegetables can help your skin glow too.

A study that came out in March showed how eating just two extra portions of the good stuff each day can significantly change the tone and condition of skin, thanks to the carotenoid pigments found in fresh produce.

Researcher Ross Whitehead commented: "Most of us know we should eat plenty of fruit and veg yet we are not motivated to go ahead and eat a healthy diet.

"We hope that highlighting the benefits of a healthy diet on our attractiveness will be a stronger incentive for people to eat more healthily."

Posted by Matilda Jones

 
 
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