Adding Strawberries to Your Diet Can Improve Physical and Mental Health
Adding strawberries to your diet can have numerous benefits for your physical and mental health, according to recent scientific studies. Considered a superfood, strawberries provide an abundance of vitamins and nutrients that can protect the cardiovascular system, relieve inflammation, and promote a healthy intestine.
Berries, including blueberries and raspberries, are already known for their health benefits, but recent analysis has found even more advantages associated with regular consumption of strawberries. Studies have linked the consumption of berries, including strawberries, with the protection of various areas of the body such as the intestinal microbiota, the nervous, cardiovascular, and immune systems.
New research from San Diego State University has now revealed that eating strawberries every day can not only improve cognitive function but also lower blood pressure and increase antioxidant capacity. The study, presented at the annual meeting of the American Nutrition Society, showed that participants who consumed strawberries experienced a 5.2% increase in cognitive processing speed, a 3.6% decrease in systolic blood pressure, and a 10.2% increase in antioxidant capacity compared to those in the control group.
Dr. Shirin Hooshmand, the principal investigator of the study, emphasized the cardiovascular benefits of strawberries in different populations. She stated that consuming strawberries can promote cognitive function and improve cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, and these positive outcomes can be achieved through a simple change in diet.
Strawberries are not only delicious but also incredibly healthy. They have been cultivated since Roman times and are now grown in many parts of the world, with significant production in the United States, Turkey, and Spain. Despite being technically an accessory fruit, strawberries contain essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and folic acid (vitamin B9). They also boast a high content of polyphenols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and phytosterols, which help reduce cholesterol levels. Previous research has linked strawberries to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
To incorporate strawberries into your diet, experts recommend consuming 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit per day. This can be achieved by eating about 8 large strawberries, which equals one cup of fruit. Registered dietitian Allison Tallman suggests starting the day with a protein-packed smoothie that includes strawberries, adding strawberries to lunch, such as on top of a spinach salad or in a bowl of cereal, and using them as a topping for yogurt. The US Department of Agriculture MyPlate program also offers a variety of healthy recipes showcasing strawberries, such as strawberry and orzo pasta salad and fruit muffins.
With all the health benefits they provide, it’s clear that strawberries are a great addition to any diet. So, why not start enjoying their delicious taste and reaping the rewards for your physical and mental well-being?