Strawberries may be your new secret go-to. Ripe, delicious and juicy, these heart-shaped berries are a summer food that can not only improve your health, but an easy refreshing snack. Another reason to add them to your diet.
Red, ripe and delicious, strawberries are a little fruit that work overtime for your health.
Peak strawberry season is just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to add strawberries to your menu for summer weight loss. From farm stands to your local supermarket, these luscious berries are sure to turn up just about everywhere.
And don’t forget about the amazing organically grown strawberries that come from California year round.
The exciting research that is being done shows that the special nutritional components in strawberries might be able to stimulate your metabolism and help suppress your appetite. They can control blood sugar and can also help you lose weight.
It is no wonder that scientists across the United States, in Sweden and other countries have been researching the wonders of the strawberry and discovering more evidence of its health benefits. There is no doubt that strawberries have joined the other rock stars of super nutritious fruit such as blueberries, cherries, cranberries and pomegranates.
What Gives Strawberries Their Nutritional Punch?
Strawberries are a healthy food to eat to lose weight, because there are 49 calories in one cup of strawberries. They are also loaded with Vitamin C, 3 grams of fiber, and some calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
Strawberries are rich sources of phenolic antioxidants that can help:
- reverse inflammation
- aid in weight loss
- reduce the risk of chronic disease.
University of Illinois researchers found that the most abundant antioxidants in strawberries are ellagic acid, as well as the flavonoids quercetin, kaempferol anthocyanin and catechin. They further pointed out that strawberry extracts have shown to inhibit COX enzymes in laboratory experiments. This would mean that strawberries could have the potential to help reduce inflammation and pain.
Research on Strawberries and Disease
Research results indicate that strawberries can provide nutritional support to fight aging and disease:
- In vitro laboratory experiments from Cornell University suggest that strawberry extracts may help inhibit the growth of liver cancer cells.
- Studies with laboratory animals demonstrated benefits of strawberries for the aging brain.
Writing in the Journal of Medicinal Food scientists from Clemson University examined the cancer fighting potential of various berries. They note: “Plants are proven sources of useful anti-tumor and chemopreventative compounds. Hence, identification of phytochemicals useful in dietary prevention and intervention of cancer is of paramount importance.” Evaluating the results of their experiments the Clemson researchers concluded: “Juice from strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry fruit significantly inhibited mutagenesis.”
Strawberries Help Protect the Heart
Strawberry extracts have direct anti-inflammatory effects, inhibiting the activation of genes and enzymes that promote inflammation. Most of this benefit is due to another group of phenolic antioxidants called anthocyanins, which help give ripe strawberries their lush red color. Anthocyanins decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke by protecting blood vessels from the effects of wear and tear.
Strawberries Promote Weight Loss
The ellagic acid and anthocyanins found in strawberries aid weight loss in at least three ways:
- Chronic inflammation blocks the hormones involved in keeping you lean. Anti-inflammatory foods like strawberries help restore normal function to weight-reducing hormones.
- Anthocyanins actually increase the body’s production of a hormone called adiponectin, which stimulates your metabolism and suppresses your appetite.
- Both ellagic acid and anthocyanins slow the rate of digestion of starchy foods, controlling the rise in blood sugar that follows a starchy meal. This effect is used to control blood sugar in people with adult-onset (Type 2) diabetes.
Learn more about making your weight loss hormones work for you in my article:Increase Metabolism with the Fat Burning Hormone Leptin
Organic Strawberries Have More Nutrition
I recommend organically grown strawberries. Organic strawberries have been shown to have higher levels of vitamin C and than conventionally grown strawberries, due to a higher content of phenolic antioxidants.
In a fascinating study, researchers from Washington State University compared organic strawberries and farms to conventional strawberries and farms. They found the organic strawberries to be higher in quality, and the soil to be healthier. Specifically, in comparison to the conventionally grown berries, the organic strawberries had higher total antioxidants, ascorbic acid, and total phenolics.
Strawberries give you flavor, color, and aroma, awakening your taste buds to the fresh, natural foods your body needs to be healthy and vital. When shopping for berries, freshness is important. Identify strawberries that are bright red and firm. Strawberries are a great snack or dessert, and add color and flavor to healthy recipes. Naturally sweet and juicy, strawberries are a sublime pleasure and make a great healthy treat.
Simply add a handful of sliced strawberries to:
Cereal or granola
You can eat fresh or frozen strawberries as a snack or dessert anytime. Here is a recipe featuring strawberries from my book, The Fat Resistance Diet, an anti-inflammatory program.
Banana Strawberry Smoothie
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 banana, sliced
1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1 tablespoon freshly ground flaxseeds
1 tablespoon whey protein concentrate
Pour 2 tablespoons water into a blender. Add the yogurt, banana, and strawberries and blend. Put in the ground flaxseeds and whey protein. Blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy! Serves 1.
I hope you enjoy the healthy pleasure of strawberries now and throughout the year.
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