It seems to always be berry season. These colorful fruits come with big flavor and can be eaten alone or as a fresh addition to drinks, salads, and desserts. You may think you know all there is to know about some of America’s favorite berries, but there’s more than meets the eye. Here are 10 unusual and interesting facts about these tiny powerhouses.
1. Berries make you more organized
Research from the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston reports that berries boost your brain by activating a natural housekeeping mechanism.
When activated, toxic proteins linked to age-related memory loss and mental decline, including Alzheimer’s disease, are cleaned up and recycled. They also reduce inflammation, protect brain cells from free radicals, and increase neuroplasticity.
2. Blackberries don’t start as black
If you’re camping and eating your way through the forest, you may find blackberries that aren’t black. They actually start out as red and become black when they’re ripe.
3. You can be a cherry pilot
Your next profession might be air drying cherries. The pretty red fruit is so delicate that summer rain may split them open during growth, so pilots are on standby to hover above the fields for a quick blow dry.
4. Strawberries could cure your headache
Mother Nature has blessed us with plenty of homeopathic remedies, including strawberries. They contain natural salicylates, which is an active ingredient in aspirin.
5. Strawberries brighten your smile
Strawberry seeds may be a nuisance when they’re stuck in your teeth, but these red berries contain malic acid, which is a natural teeth whitener. Mixed with baking soda, they may replace your commercial brightening strips.
6. Raspberries aren’t always red
Yellow, purple, gold or black … these are some of the other colours that raspberries come in. You’ll find that the gold ones are the sweetest of them all.
7. Raspberries stop growing
Unlike other fruits, raspberries don’t ripen any more once they have been picked, so don’t wait too long to eat them once buy them.
8. Fruit can be expensive
We’re not just talking about an extra dollar for avocado. In Japan, tattooed apples and coddled cantaloupes are considered luxurious gifts that can run into the thousands.
9. The “bumps” on blackberries and raspberries are always different
Calling all bees! The number of drupletes that make up the berry is directly connected to the number of times a bee has landed on the berry flower to pollinate it.
10. Frozen berries are good for you
According to South Dakota State University, one study found that ice crystals formed during freezing disrupt the structure of the berry’s plant tissue, making the antioxidants that are present more available to the body.