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Mar 7, 2020 Diet & Nutrition Samantha Mainland 141 views

Red, juicy, sweet, and perfect pick-me-ups, snacks, and desserts.

Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B9 and potassium, and to a much lesser extent, they provide iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamins B6, K and E. These nutrients make strawberries great for your immune system, great for your skin, and needed for the maintenance of cartilage, bone and teeth.

Strawberries are high in water with a very low total carb content. The net digestible carb content is less than 6g in a 100g serve, and the glycaemic index of strawberries is 40, which is considered relatively low and safe for diabetics. Further to this, strawberries have a decent amount of fibre, both soluble and insoluble, providing important food for the friendly bacteria within your gut.

Strawberries come under the ‘berries’ category of super foods (everyone knows how good berries are) and it is typically their antioxidant load that provides most of the benefits. More than 25 different anthycyanins have been found in strawberries, with pelargonidin being the most abundant. These anthycyanins have the potential to provide fantastic antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities[1].

Interestingly, strawberries have been studied for their beneficial potential in obese adults with knee osteoarthritis. Two studies have used strawberries, via a supplement or freeze dried beverage, to evaluate the pain relief and inflammatory markers when compared to those who did not receive any strawberries[2],[3]. Both studies showed statistically significant benefits in regards to inflammatory markers, pain levels and cartilage degradation. It is also worth noting that the supplement/beverages did not impact glucose or lipid profiles in these obese adults. This being said, strawberries have a significant potential for obese adults with knee osteoarthritis.

Further to this, freeze dried strawberries were studied in relation to atherosclerosis in people with type 2 diabetes[4]. It was found that supplementation with freeze dried strawberries improved glycaemic control and antioxidant status, and reduced lipid breakdown and inflammatory response in those with type 2 diabetes.

In addition to pain relief and sugar control, strawberries are believed to be great for heart and cholesterol health[5],[6].

Strawberries are available fresh, frozen, freeze-dried and in jellies, syrup and jams. If you are interested in the frozen and dried strawberries, be sure to check the label for added sugars, and if you are interested in jellies and jams, choose the all-fruit options that do not contain added sweeteners or fillers.

Not sure how to incorporate strawberries into your routine? Try these tips below:

  • Dice strawberries and add them to a chicken salad
  • Add sliced strawberries and sliced almonds to plain Greek yoghurt
  • Blend strawberries with a little water and use it as a fresh syrup to top desserts or breakfast foods
  • Mix cut strawberries into a spinach salad with walnuts and goat’s cheese
  • Toast a whole grain bagel and top with light cream cheese and strawberries
  • Put some frozen strawberries into a blender with a banana, low fat milk and ice, for a quick and easy strawberry and banana smoothie

Enjoy strawberries! But don’t go overboard. Let’s say no more than 8 strawberries a day, please!

 

References:

[1] Mazza, G. J. (2007). “Anthocyanins and heart health.” Ann Ist Super Sanita 43(4): 369-374.

[2] Schell, J., et al. (2017). “Strawberries Improve Pain and Inflammation in Obese Adults with Radiographic Evidence of Knee Osteoarthritis.” Nutrients 9(9).

[3] Basu, A., et al. (2018). “Strawberries decrease circulating levels of tumor necrosis factor and lipid peroxides in obese adults with knee osteoarthritis.” Food Funct 9(12): 6218-6226.

[4] Moazen, S., et al. (2013). “Effects of freeze-dried strawberry supplementation on metabolic biomarkers of atherosclerosis in subjects with type 2 diabetes: a randomized double-blind controlled trial.” Ann Nutr Metab 63(3): 256-264.

[5] Basu, A., et al. (2010). “Strawberries decrease atherosclerotic markers in subjects with metabolic syndrome.” Nutr Res 30(7): 462-469.

[6] Jenkins, D. J., et al. (2008). “The effect of strawberries in a cholesterol-lowering dietary portfolio.” Metabolism 57(12): 1636-1644.

Samantha Mainland

About The Author - Samantha Mainland

Samantha is a highly educated Naturopath having graduated from both Southern Cross University with a Bachelor of Naturopathy, and University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Medicine Management with Professional Honours in Complementary Medicine.

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