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Spoonfuls of Strawberries Help the Cholesterol Go Down
Date:3/10/2009

Evidence Continues to Mount For Strawberry Nutrition Benefits

WATSONVILLE, Calif., March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- For millions of Americans now in hot pursuit of super foods that improve health and longevity, the latest research results on strawberries are right on time. A new study published in the scientific journal, Metabolism, found that antioxidants in strawberries help lower "bad" cholesterol.

The study, conducted by David J.A. Jenkins, MD, PhD, backs existing evidence that touts strawberries as one of the world's most nutrient-rich foods. It showed that the antioxidant power in strawberries can improve and maintain the effectiveness of cholesterol-lowering diets. High cholesterol is known to contribute to heart disease which is the leading cause of death for women and men.

"As more Americans embrace healthy eating trends to promote their own health and guard against illness, these types of findings are important," said Dr. Jenkins. "Diet plays a crucial role in lowering cholesterol and including antioxidant-rich strawberries in a healthy diet is a behavior change that's simple and delicious to make."

Antioxidants Review

Antioxidants are the body's internal heroes that go to battle with harmful "free radicals" known to contribute to diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. According to a US Department of Agriculture study, strawberries rank third when compared to the top fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Ultimate "Super Fruit"

The good news from this study adds to the growing body of research that supports the importance of strawberries as a "super fruit." California strawberries are grown and available year-round in supermarkets across the country. Below are a few more reasons to say yes to the red berries:

  • Strawberries contain a powerful mix of antioxidants which are critical to warding off chronic diseases and promoting optimum health.
  • They are low in sugar, containing only eight grams per serving. One serving, about eight strawberries (or one cup), has only 50 calories.
  • An excellent source of vitamin C, one serving of strawberries provides more vitamin C than an orange!

About the Study

The 2.5-year University of Toronto study focused on 28 men and women with high cholesterol who were previously on a diet to lower cholesterol that included soy, oat bran, plant sterols and nuts. One half of the group was instructed to eat about 3 cups of strawberries per day while the other group consumed additional oat bran bread for one month.

Results showed that the subjects who ate strawberries had several positive effects. While continuing to maintain their lowered blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, the strawberries also reduced oxidative damage to LDL cholesterol. LDL is the 'bad' cholesterol, and it becomes even more damaging when it becomes oxidized. Furthermore, the strawberries improved the taste of the cholesterol-lowering diet. Overall, the research shows that strawberries can improve the effectiveness of diets designed to lower the risk of coronary heart disease.

For more information and a variety of healthy and delicious strawberry recipes, visit www.calstrawberry.com.

About the California Strawberry Commission

The California Strawberry Commission is a state government agency that represents an industry of more than 500 growers and 60 shippers and processors of California strawberries. With a focus on food safety education, Commission strategies also include production and nutrition research, trade relations, public policy and marketing communications.

For more information, contact the California Strawberry Commission at 831-724-1301.


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SOURCE California Strawberry Commission
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