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Feature Articles: Food, Fitness and Eating Well

 

Raspberries, Blueberries and BlackberriesBerries

Janet Hackert, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Harrison County, University of Missouri Extension

 

June is the season for berries. Strawberries, raspberries and wild berries provide tasty and nutritious options for summer eating.

 

A cup of fresh red raspberries — about 65 calories — has nearly 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and about 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance of fiber. They also contain potassium, magnesium, calcium and vitamin A. Raspberries taste great with yogurt or cereal, or as a salad topper.

 

A half cup of fresh strawberries — 23 calories — provides 70 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and 8 percent of the recommended dietary fiber. They are also a good source of potassium and they contain folic acid, vitamin B5 and magnesium.

 

Recent research indicates that berries may also have other health benefits. Researchers at Tufts University have studied older rats that would approximate 65-year-old humans. Various berries were added to the rats’ diets and the rats were put through a series of tests to evaluate memory (comparable to remembering where you parked your car) and balance (comparable to us walking on slippery ice-covered sidewalk).

 

“Pretty much every berry we have studied — blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cranberries — has improved learning, memory and balance in our aging rats,” said Barbara Shukitt-Hale, one of the two lead investigators.

 

Early results have led researchers to move forward with studying these potential benefits in human subjects.

 

Eat more berries this summer for a nutritious, tasty treat that may also help memory and balance.

 


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Last update: Monday, June 22, 2015