Just one cup a day of America’s favorite fruit, strawberries, benefits the entire body. Clinical research suggests that eating just a serving of eight medium strawberries a day may improve heart health, help manage diabetes, support brain health, and reduce the risk of some cancers. The American Diabetes Association identifies berries, including strawberries, as one of the top 10 superfoods for a diabetes meal plan because they are low in sugar and packed with vitamins, antioxidants and dietary fiber. When added up, strawberries provide a nutritious boost for the entire body.
Anthocyanins in Strawberries Improve Insulin Resistance
A new study published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that anthocyanin-rich strawberries may improve insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance (IR) is a hallmark of metabolic syndrome and a risk factor for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Subjects in the study were served a typical ‘Western-style’ meal high in carbohydrates and fat plus a beverage that contained freeze-dried whole strawberry powder (amount of powder ranged from 0 grams to 40 grams, equivalent to 3 cups of fresh strawberries). When subjects drank the most concentrated beverage, they didn’t produce as much insulin as when they drank the least concentrated versions. In other words, they didn’t need as much insulin to metabolize their meal after drinking the anthocyanin-rich strawberry shake. The study results add to the collective evidence that consuming strawberries may help improve insulin action.
“The health benefits of strawberries for the heart, body and mind are really incredible. In addition to the new insulin resistance study, another recent study indicated that an eating plan called the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, or “MIND”, diet can lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by more than one-third-and the secret was a healthy daily dose of strawberries and blueberries,” said Toby Amidor, registered dietitian. “Since strawberries can play a role in protecting our brains as we age, there’s never been a better time to remember to eat more strawberries.”
Naturally low in sugar, strawberries provide a unique combination of essential nutrients, dietary fiber and phytochemicals. One serving of eight medium strawberries is just 45 calories and provides:
• More vitamin C per serving than an orange and 140 percent of the daily value
• A good source of fiber—3 grams
• Folate and potassium, along with a variety of health-promoting phytochemicals
• Just 7 grams of sugar.
Delicious in both sweet and savory dishes or by themselves, strawberries are a versatile fruit that can be enjoyed in every meal of the day. By just adding strawberries to simple, everyday recipes, it’s easy to boost nutrition and make a difference in overall health. Here’s a tasty smoothie recipe to enjoy:
Cool Red Strawberry Smoothie
Makes 2 smoothies
1 cup of grape or pomegranate juice
4 lemon peels
5 cups of fresh strawberries, stemmed
6 to 8 fresh mint leaves
1 medium fresh beet, cooked or canned
1 large carrot, cut up into chunks
2 tablespoons of honey (optional)
In large blender, blend fruit until smooth. For sorbet consistency, use whole frozen strawberries.
You can find further facts and delicious recipes at www.californiastrawberries.com.