It’s summertime 2015! Celebrate with a very special familiar berry. Drum roll please…STRAWBERRIES! Yuuummmo! First, let’s take a look at strawberries and see the difference in these tiny little power-packers.
Studies show that strawberries are a true superfruit. They can reduce the risk of heart disease, lower bad cholesterol levels, and slow down oxidative damage throughout the body. And they’re among the top 50 healthiest foods we eat.
“Wild strawberries are smaller, and their darker pigmentation reflects a great concentration of anthocyanins.”
Health Benefits – Heart HealthWhat makes strawberries such mighty morselly superheros? They are rich in bioactive antioxidant compounds known as anthocyanins, which is also where the berry gets its red color. It’s this high level of antioxidants in strawberries that packs a heart-healthy, fat-busting punch.
A study showed that women who regularly ate strawberries and blueberries over the course of the study done, were found to have a 32% lower risk of a heart attack. The study’s researchers concluded that anthocynanins may also help widen arteries, which counters the buildup of plaque. When blood flow to the heart is slowed down by plaque, heart attacks can occur. The researchers also suggested that although the study’s subjects were all women, a diet rich in strawberries would have the same benefits for men. Get more information on that study HERE.
Other studies have focused on the power of berries, yep including strawberries, to reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes. Eating strawberries as well as other red fruits can help bolster the body’s glucose response, a key factor in preventing disease. And the polyphenol antioxidants in strawberries and other red fruits have also been linked to helping to protect the body against a range of chronic diseases, including neuro-degeneration and cancer. The effects of aging on the body, including cognitive degeneration, may also be countered by a diet rich in these amazing fruits. Can’t you just hear the Wonder Woman theme song playing in the background?!
Don’t Sleep on StrawberriesAs it turns out, not all strawberries are alike. To truly maximize the health benefits of strawberries, it’s best to eat strawberries that are the densest in these antioxidants. Table strawberries, which are the most commonly available, are the result of selective cultivation for size, bright red color, and taste.
But other kinds of strawberries have even more nutritional power. Sometimes found in farmer’s markets and roadside fruit stands, or gathered the old fashioned way, wild strawberries are much smaller, and their darker pigmentation reflects a great concentration of anthocyanins. Another new variety is a close cousin, with the same compact shape and even darker coloring. This is the Nerina strawberry — which was, in fact, cultivated for its health benefits: it’s a super superfruit!
The Nerina was developed with health in mind, using GMO-free, time-honored, traditional horticultural methods. These dark purple, little strawberries have a far greater concentration of antioxidants as table strawberries. Processed into an extract or powder, Nerina strawberries can be mixed into a smoothie or a sports drink—a potent, easy-to-prepare way to collect all the goodness they contain.
Regardless of variety, the science shows that strawberries are incredible allies in the quest for wellness. Like all red fruits, they are packed with health-giving benefits. Added to cereal, blended into a smoothie, or eaten alone, strawberries are an ideal partner in health.
So go ahead and enjoy your summer and don’t forget to include some of these power punchers in your summertime fun!
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