You’ve probably heard the saying, “If it tastes good, it must be bad for you.” Not so, according to a new study conducted in Europe. It turns out that ripe, luscious strawberries are not only delicious, but they can also do wonders for your health and youthful vitality. So make some room in your daily diet because this juicy summertime fruit isn't just for dipping in chocolate and topping short cake anymore. Research has revealed that strawberries can actually help ward off cancer
, slow aging, and prevent diabetes.The power of strawberries.
A study performed by Italian and Spanish researchers found that strawberries can boost your red blood cell’s capacity to deal with oxidative stress, a condition linked to various cancers and diseases. In the study, volunteers consumed half a kilo (approximately one pound) for two weeks. Blood samples were taken from the volunteers after four, eight, 12 and 16 days as well as a month later. What they found was that adding strawberries to your diet can vastly improve the antioxidant capacity of blood.
Maurizio Battino, a researcher at Marche Polytechnic University in Italy, said, “We have shown that some varieties of strawberries make erythrocytes more resistant to oxidative stress. This could be of great significance if you take into account that this phenomenon can lead to serious diseases.”
The Sveva variety of strawberries was used in the study, but research is underway to analyze different varieties as well as the effect of eating smaller amounts of strawberries. “Various strawberry varieties are also being analyzed in the laboratory, since they each contain antioxidants in differing amounts and proportions,” states José Luis Quiles, a researcher at the University of Grenada in Spain. How strawberries boost red blood cells.
The study found that strawberries strengthen the body's antioxidant defenses
so that less oxidative stress can occur. Strawberries contain phenolic compounds, including flavonoids, which are known for their antioxidant properties. These compounds allow the red blood cells to repair oxidize genetic material, molecules our body produces on its own, or molecules ingested through the food we eat by neutralizing free radicals. These compounds also reduce oxidative stress that occurs in cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes as well as in aging, birth and exercise.
So do you need to eat a pound of strawberries a day? Not exactly. While researchers attempt to determine how much stress-fighting benefit smaller quantities can deliver, Battino points out, “The important thing is that strawberries should form a part of people’s healthy and balanced diet, as one of their five daily portions of fruit and vegetables.” The average daily consumption is considered to be about seven ounces of strawberries.
So go ahead and indulge in summertime’s bounty of strawberries. Once again, science has proven nature’s supply of disease-fighting food
delivers a great deal of what you need to stay healthy and youthful well into your golden years. Good taste doesn’t have to mean compromised health!