It's harvest time!
23 August 2011
It's late summer and many gardens and hedgerows are bearing vitamin and mineral rich fruit that can boost our general health and fitness. If you feel like some extra vitamins you could be forgiven for raiding some of the hedgerows for blackberries next time you're out with your running group.
Blackberries contain an antioxidant known as ellagic acid and are among the top ten foods that carry the most antioxidants. Cooking does not appear to destroy ellagic acid so even jams may give health benefits. One of the benefits is strengthening of blood vessels. With healthy blood vessels, you can prevent heart disease, arteries clogging and even strengthen your eyesight as the vessels aound the eyes will be more healthy.
The juicy treats are low in calories and high in fibre. Fibre promotes healthy digestion, eliminates cholesterol and lowers the risk of developing certain diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Studies have also found that fibre aids weight loss and weight management.
They are high in vitamin C which the body uses to strengthen the immune system and fight free radicals. Vitamin C also aids healing the healing of injuries and may actually lessen the appearance of wrinkles. Bonus!
Blackberries have also been shown to reduce the muscle soreness caused by inflammation due to broken blood vessels and microtears in the muscles. This is especially pertinent to those who are new to running or have stepped it up too quickly!
Whatsmore, blackberries are a good source of vitamin K. Vitamin K is used by the body for the normal clotting of blood and to aid the absorption of calcium.
Blackberries are also a good source of potassium. Potassium can help prevent the onset of cramp and well as provide more energy as it functions as an electrolyte and is essential for the conversion of blood sugar into glycogen. Glycogen is the stored form of blood sugar found in the muscles and liver and is essential for running!
You'd be surprised at how fun it can be too, so next time you're out with your running group why not take a few baskets and suggest a spot of blackberry picking!