A new scientific study has uncovered just how abundant red berries are in vitamins and phenolic compounds and how these can help reduce the risks for various health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, cataracts, various types of cancer, heart disease, stroke and hypertension.
It is National Berry Month, and it just so happens to coincide with the peak of British berry season and the time to stock up and enjoy fresh berries. A new scientific paper published in the Foods Journal has evaluated the nutritional composition and health benefits of ‘red’ fruits, focusing on red berries – including strawberries and raspberries.
The paper has examined how red fruits are abundant in vitamins, carotenoids and phenolics, which, in turn, have been associated with reduced risks for a range of health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, cataracts, various types of cancer, heart disease, stroke and hypertension.
Strawberries – recently revealed as the nation’s favourite fruit in a poll of 2,000 Brits – were noted for having particularly high antioxidant activity.
The iconic soft fruit – worth over £769 million to the British economy – was also found to provide magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, a range of polyphenols and some zinc, iron, and dietary fibre.
Last year Brits bought over 87,000 tonnes of British strawberries. With increasing innovation in growing techniques and investment in new varieties, the UK is now self-sufficient in strawberries from May to late October.
Dr Emma Derbyshire, Public Health Nutritionist and adviser to British Berry Growers, commented, “It is refreshing to read a new scientific publication that focuses solely on red fruits. These are interesting findings, adding to the nutrition domain and showing how making some simple daily swaps – like substituting fast or processed snacks for nutrient-dense berries could benefit health.”
About British Berry Growers
British Berry Growers is an organisation that represents 95 per cent of berries supplied to UK supermarkets. It funds Love Fresh Berries – a year-round campaign celebrating soft fruits’ seasonality.
References Cosme F et al. (2022) Red Fruits Composition and Their Health Benefits-A Review. Foods. 11(5):644. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8909293/pdf/foods-11-00644.pdf (accessed 5th May 2022).  OnePoll research was carried out 26th May – 1st June 2022 of 2,000 UK nationally representative adults.
The photographs featuring strawberries are courtesy of Matt Munro Photography/Berry Farms.
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