Savor Strawberries' Health Benefits

May 18, 2012

It's strawberry season, and that means it's time to take advantage of these healthy, sweet, and delicious treats from nature

It’s strawberry season and SupermarketGuru wants to share some of the amazing health benefits of this sweet red berry. Shopping for produce in season ensures that you are getting the freshest, sweetest and most nutritious fruit available, due to shorter transit time and to add to that, seasonal fruits and vegetables cost less. Strawberries have been the sweet topic of various studies, examining their health benefits and antioxidant capabilities.

Strawberry consumption can play an important role in cardiovascular health. A recent study found that 50 grams of strawberry powder per day (the equivalent of 3 cups of fresh strawberries) for eight weeks reduced total cholesterol levels and other markers of atherosclerosis. Now that's a lot of strawberries! Adding a couple of strawberries to your oatmeal, or atop some yogurt or cottage cheese will send you in the right direction regarding cardiovascular health.

Another study conducted by the Department of Nutrition, at the University of California, Davis, found that regular consumption (about a 1/2 cup serving a day) may help mitigate the negative effects of a high-fat meal and reduce LDL oxidation- both important in preventing cardiovascular disease.

The American Dietetic Association also found that strawberries might help with weight loss - by stimulating our metabolism and helping to suppress appetite. It should also be noted that, strawberries contain 49 calories per cup. They are a great source of vitamin C, fiber, as well as calcium, magnesium, iodine, and potassium. Thus replacing other sweets with strawberries may be the key to your weight loss effort.

Strawberries have also been found to have a positive impact on blood sugar regulation. Something sweet that also can help normalize blood sugar, sounds too good to be true!

Strawberries are also a rich source of antioxidants, the fourth most 'potent’ in the fruit category. Antioxidants aid in reducing inflammation, pain, weight loss, and reduce the risk of chronic disease; specifically ellagic acid is the responsible antioxidant, as well as several flavonoids.

How to shop for strawberries? Look for strawberries that are firm to the touch, a deep, bright red color and are not bruised. They should smell very sweet. Strawberries should be consumed as close to purchase as possible, as the vitamin C content and antioxidants decreases rapidly several days after picking. It is also advised to leave the stems on the strawberries until ready to eat or use and for best flavor, do not wash the strawberries until you are ready to eat them.

Enjoy the strawberry season!