It is a common-known fact that eating more fruit and vegetables is good for you and can aid with weight loss. Eating food grown locally instead of buying those transported to the UK from other countries is even better, especially since they are more flavoursome and contain more nutrients.
What’s more, British strawberries are even larger and juicier this year as their flowering and ripening occurred more gradually.
This was due to a cooler winter and spring in the UK.
Nick Marston, Chairman of strawberry suppliers British Summer Fruits, said: “This year strawberries have developed a little more slowly than usual.
“The recent cooler weather is resulting in tasty but also larger and juicier British strawberries than previous years.
“We are excited that our continuously advancing growing techniques, such as large-scale glasshouse production for season extension, means we can offer shoppers these locally grown fresh berries for more of the year.”
Dr Emma Derbyshire is a public health nutritionist and adviser to British Summer Fruits.
She spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about the benefits of eating locally-grown fruit and how to add more fruit and vegetables, as well as other healthier foods, to your diet.
Dr Derbyshire said: “There are a few simple ways that healthier foods can be included within meals.
“Sprinkling seeds or berries onto your breakfast bowl, such as cereals, porridge, or natural yoghurt, is one option. Eating vegetable crudités in between meals is another.
“Snacks such as biscuits, sweets, cakes, and chocolate can also get swapped out too and replaced with nutrient-dense foods lower in calories such as berries, melon, chopped vegetables and rice cakes or toast topped with hummus or vegetable spreads.
“Within the term ‘diet’ we also need to reflect on what we are drinking.
“Water is always a great first choice. Surplus energy from sugar-sweetened drinks can easily sneak in and add up – so they are worth monitoring too.”
Dr Derbyshire went on to explain the benefit of berries and why you should consider adding more into your diet.
She said: “Berries are considered to be beneficial to health. This is often put down to their vitamin profiles and biologically active compounds.
“As well as being delicious and naturally sweet, they provide vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, copper, folate, and fibre.
“Berries also contain antioxidants which help to counteract free radicals and oxidant species. These are unstable molecules that can be harmful to health if their damage to cells becomes too high.”
Dr Derbyshire added that berries could contribute to weight loss due to them “providing dietary fibre which is satiating so we should feel like eating less”.
The nutritionist added: “A recent study published in Nutrients Journal showed that increased fruit and vegetable intakes were a main contributor to weight loss in women.
“This effect was further enhanced when energy-dense or high-fat foods were also limited.”