Nutrients Found in Strawberries and Healthy Ways to Prepare Them
Strawberries are low in cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium. The fruit is a good source of potassium, folate, dietary fiber, vitamin C and manganese. In a study done by the American College of Nutrition, researchers found that strawberries ranked as one of the top three important fruits. Ranking was based on the ability of strawberries to provide nine essential nutrients.
The vitamin C content in strawberries can help the body fight cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. Large doses of vitamin C have the ability to fight the damages caused by free radicals which are responsible for causing cellular and tissue damage. Due to high levels of powerful the antioxidants quercetin and kaemferol, strawberries help prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and causing damage to arterial walls.
Strawberries also contain ellargic acid which binds to cancer-causing chemicals and blocks the mechanism of action in cancer cells. The ellargic acid hinders the ability of other chemicals to cause bacterial mutation and prevents carcinogens from binding to DNA, which directly reduces the incidence of cancer in human cells which are exposed to cancer causing agents.
Healthy Ways to Prepare Strawberries
The key to healthy eating is learning how to properly prepare foods to retain natural vitamin and nutrient content. Strawberries can be prepared many ways, cooked, served raw, and brewed into tea or added to dishes. The best way to prepare and eat strawberries to glean all the healthy benefits is to eat them fresh and raw.
Rich Source of Antioxidants: for Cancer and Infection Protection
The antioxidants and polyphenols in strawberries help protect the body cells from the damages of carcinogens, which are cancer causing agents. Antioxidants help prohibit the development of carcinogens and delay tumor growth and expansion. Another added benefit of the nutrients found in strawberries are responsible for helping to fight infection, and removing damaged or abnormal cells from the human body.
A recent study conducted by Harvard Medical School has also determined that strawberries can help reduce the risk of elevated inflammation in blood vessels. Researchers determined that subjects who ate the most strawberries experienced lower blood levels of C-reactive protein, which is a biomarker for blood vessel inflammation. Lowering the C-reactive protein levels in the blood directly reduces the risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Additionally, a study conducted by the Salk Institute for Biological Health found that an antioxidant nutrient in strawberries may help improve memory retention and protect the brain against Alzheimer’s disease. The flavonoid in strawberries is called fistein, and subjects showed a marked improvement in the memory and mental function. Research is ongoing at this time to further isolate all the benefits that strawberries can impart to people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Medical science has shown that antioxidants are important to warding off several types of chronic diseases and to promoting optimum health. Experts recommend that the average adult consume five fresh servings of fruits and vegetables every day, adding fresh strawberries to the diet is an excellent way of protecting body health and maintaining and promoting a healthy immune system.