Berries to Boost your Immune System

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With the rise in SARS-CoV-2 infections (COVID-19), keeping your immune system strong matters more now than ever before. Eating fresh fruit, including berries, and vegetables could be a great way to give your immune system a boost according to scientific research.

An article published in Nutrition Reviews[1] looked at the evidence of berries and their impact on the digestive and immune system. The article authors concluded that eating whole berries could have a positive effect on the immune system due to the phytochemicals found in berries which appear to stimulate and strengthen immunity. From an evolutionary point of view, the human digestive system evolved on a diet abundant in raw fruits, and so has adapted to benefit from eating fresh fruits1.

Dr Emma Derbyshire, Public Health Nutritionist and adviser to British Summer Fruits commented; “Factors such as stress, illness, and the natural ageing process can all influence and reduce our immunity and so improving our health, be it through exercise or what we eat, is more important than ever before.

“Certain lifestyle modifications, however, could help to counteract some of these effects. This includes exercise, good quality sleep and having a healthy and balanced diet.[2] Eating berries is a great way to stay healthy and help keep immunity strong during these challenging times.

“In fact, just 7 strawberries (80g – a portion) provides the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C[3] which contributes to the normal function of the immune system along with the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.[4] Strawberries can be enjoyed on the go, used to brighten up lunchboxes or popped into reusable snack pots for a quick vitamin C boost.”

 

For berry recipe inspiration head to lovefreshberries.com

 

Vitamin C Comparator

Typical Snacks Amount of Vitamin C (mg/100g)
Strawberries 57
Citrus fruit, easy peelers 42
Nectarines 37
Cranberries 13
Pomegranate 13
Chestnuts, dried Trace
Dates Trace
Fruit cake Trace

 

[1] Govers C et al. (2018) Review of the health effects of berries and their phytochemicals on the digestive and immune systems. Nutr Rev 76(1):29-46.

[2] https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/helpingyoueatwell/covid19immunity.html

[3] http://www.britishsummerfruits.co.uk/html/news_may.htm

[4] http://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/labelling_nutrition/claims/register/public/?event=search 

 

About British Summer Fruits

British Summer Fruits is an organisation that represents 95 percent of berries supplied to UK supermarkets.  It funds Love Fresh Berries – a year-round campaign that celebrates the seasonality of soft fruits. 

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