Thursday, November 02, 2017

Can Eating Strawberries Prevent Heart Disease?

Being one of the most popular berry fruits in the world, strawberries are packed with a variety of potent phytochemicals and fiber, yet being relatively low in sugar. They are excellent sources of not only antioxidants and Vitamin C but also carotenes, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium. One cup of strawberries has more Vitamin C than an orange, nearly half the sugar of an apple, a third of the calories of a banana, and twice the fiber of a serving of grapes.

A study that was released at the 16th biennial meeting for the Society for Free Radical Research International (SFRRI), Imperial College London revealed that extracts from strawberries positively activate a protein in human bodies called 'Nrf2', which is shown to increase antioxidant and other protective activities. The scientists from the University of Warwick found that this protein lowers blood lipids and cholesterol, hence preventing development of heart disease and diabetes.

The positive effects may be particularly achievable in people with metabolic syndrome, meaning people with obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and trouble with glucose metabolism may gain most by including strawberries in their diet. While there is still no clue on the number of strawberries needed to get the biggest protective benefit, the researchers estimate eating 2 to 3 servings a week should be beneficial for the health.

Previous studies had found that eating strawberries may counter post-meal blood glucose and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol) but the new study for the first time proved that strawberry extracts can actively stimulate proteins that offer protection against disease.

Meanwhile, a study that was published January 14, 2013 in the American Heart Association Journal ‘Circulation’ suggested that eating strawberries and blueberries may also help prevent cardiovascular health issues. 93,600 women aged between 25 and 42 years from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) II who were healthy at baseline (1989) were followed up for 18 years to examine the relationship between anthocyanins and other flavonoids and the risk of heart attack.

Researchers found that women who ate strawberries and blueberries at least 3 times a week had a 32 percent lower risk of a heart attack than those consuming the berries once a month or less. Risk factors like age, high blood pressure, body mass, lack of exercise, smoking, caffeine and alcohol consumption, and family medical history, that could have influenced the results had been taken into account. While the findings come from an ongoing study of nurses involving only women, they may also apply to men.

Scientist believe the protective effect could be linked to anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that may help open up arteries and counter the build-up of fatty deposits on blood vessel walls. Flavonoids are antioxidant compounds found in plants, as well as tea and red wine, which can protect against a wide range of diseases, including heart disease, hypertension, some cancers and dementia.

2 comments:

  1. Today heart attack deceases is a big issue.Every people have change his life.Thanks for sharing valuable information about Heart Decease in India.
    heart attack decease

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  2. This is a really good article. Learned that strawberries and blueberries can prevent heart disease based on a great amount of evidence.

    ReplyDelete