Berries, the ultimate brain food or just a sham?


Berries are one of those delicious moreish fruits…sweet and juicy, one just isn’t enough! But despite their delicious flavour, berries have been said to have beneficial effects on our brain. This article explores the truth about the health benefits of berries and whether eating that $8 punnet of blueberries is really helping to boost brain power and reduce the risk of a number of health conditions.  What’s in a berry? Berries are high in a number of vitamins and minerals such as fibre, vitamin C and low GI carbohydrates, but it’s not just about their nutrient profile! Berries contain naturally occurring compounds called phytochemicals.[1]Food Standards Australia New Zealand. NUTTAB 2010 Online Database [Internet]. Australia: Food Standards Australia New Zealand; 2015. Available from: http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/science/monitoringnutrients/nutrientables/nuttab/Pages/default.aspx Phytochemicals are not normally a part of the nutrition profile of a food as they are not a nutrient and therefore provide no energy or nutrition. However, this does not mean they aren’t important or should not be considered when thinking about food and nutrition. Phytochemical’s possess a number of important health benefits and have shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, in particular cardiovascular disease and some cancers.[2]Grandy J. Manual of Dietetic Practice. 5th ed. West Sussex: …

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