(Michelle Simmons) Strawberries are more than just their delectable taste. This fruit, particularly its organic versions, offer many health benefits. Here are some of them:
- Strawberries are an excellent source of antioxidants: Strawberries are rich in antioxidants because of their flavonoid content. Because of their antioxidant capacity, they ward off free radical damage to low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol. Based on the results of a controlled study of sixty people with abdominal obesity, strawberry raised antioxidant capacity and glutathione levels in comparison to the control.
- Strawberries are good for the heart: Research on the heart health benefits of strawberry has been starting to gain attention. Some studies have now demonstrated that the fruits are good for the heart because they improve cholesterol and triglycerides even in overweight people and those with metabolic syndrome. Strawberries do this by not only lowering LDL cholesterol levels but also reducing the free radical damage that makes the LDL cholesterol dangerous. In addition, a double-blind study on 25 teenage men who were overweight or obese found that consuming freeze-dried strawberry powder significantly increased the participants’ reactive hyperemia index, a measure of blood vessel responsiveness. The increase suggested that eating strawberries improves blood flow. Another study, which looked at 93,600 women, revealed that eating blueberries and strawberries cut the risk of heart attack by 34 percent due to their high anthocyanin flavonoid content.
- Strawberries help improve osteoarthritis symptoms: Eating strawberries can help improve osteoarthritis, in a way, by reducing inflammation in obese people. In a double-blind study, obese people with osteoarthritis of the knee either consumed a placebo or 50 grams of freeze-dried strawberry powder every day for 12 weeks. Results showed that markers of inflammation were substantially cut in the strawberry group in comparison to the placebo group. Moreover, the strawberry group experienced significant reductions in pain and cartilage degradation.
- Strawberries preserve cognitive function: A study of 16,010 women aged 70 and above revealed that eating more strawberries is linked to significantly slowing down cognitive decline by up to 2.5 years. This effect is believed to caused by the flavonoids in strawberries.
- Strawberries regulate blood sugar levels: In a single-blind study of 14 overweight adults, it was revealed that consuming a strawberry drink two hours before eating a meal dramatically decreases blood sugar increases after eating. This suggested that strawberry also enhance insulin sensitivity.
Only buy organic strawberries
Eating strawberries is healthy, but are you buying the right ones? When purchasing strawberries, make sure they were organically grown. This is because researchers from the Environmental Working Group found that strawberries contain the most pesticides of any fruit or vegetables.
In the study, researchers looked at 48 types of popular non-organically grown fruit and vegetables and based the analysis on over 36,000 samples gathered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Even though all the samples were washed and peeled (if needed) before the examination, results still revealed that about 70 percent of the samples were contaminated with pesticide residues, with 178 various chemicals being determined.
The foods that had the most number of pesticides, which were labeled as the “Dirty Dozen” were strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches, celery, grapes, pears, cherries, tomatoes, bell peppers, and potatoes. On the other hand, the “Clean 15,” or those that contain no more than four types of pesticides include avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbages, onions, frozen peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplants, honeydew melons, kiwis, cantaloupes, cauliflowers, and grapefruits.