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11 healthy reasons to eat strawberries this winter!

Strawberries lower bad cholesterol levels: Including strawberries in your diet daily lowers your blood cholesterol levels and boosts cardiovascular health. Strawberries are rich in anti oxidants and the study says that this property of strawberries also helps improving other parameters like general plasma lipid profile, antioxidant biomarkers (such as vitamin C or oxygen radical absorbance capacity), antihemolytic defences and platelet function.

This season, don't miss out these 10 amazing benefits of eating strawberries

Written by Sameer Jha |Updated : January 14, 2015 2:47 PM IST

One of the most vibrant and lustrous fruits, strawberries are one of a kind berries that are loved by one and all. With heart-shaped delicate outer flesh, embedded with tiny seeds, strawberries are not only popular for their delightful external appearance but also widely consumed for their juicy nature and sour, sweet taste. Plus, they are loaded with nutrients, making them even more desirable. Here are some benefits you can derive by eating strawberries this season.

1# Boosts your immunity: Strawberries are packed with Vitamin C that helps boost immunity, protecting against you from infections. Just one cup of strawberries can meets 100% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C. This alone makes it a fruit that you should not miss out on, especially during the strawberry season. (Read: Immunity-boosting foods that are available in India and easy on the pocket!)

2# Prevents heart disease: Oxidative stress and inflammation are key players in development of heart disease and strawberries contains compounds that attack these key factors contributing to atherosclerosis and heart disease. The flavonoids called anthocyanins and antioxidants present in strawberries prevent the build-up of bad cholesterol that can block your arteries. Other compounds including catechin, quercetin and kaempferol promote plaque stability and improve the function of endothelial cells. They also help prevent plaque rupture and thrombosis [1]. Studies have shown an inverse relationship between strawberry consumption and incidence of high blood pressure and blood levels of C-reactive protein, an important biomarker of heart disease. In smokers, strawberries lowers lipid peroxidation that increases the risk of heart disease [2]. (Read: 8 natural cholesterol busters)

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3# Prevents and regulates diabetes: Strawberries have a lowly glycemic index of 40, which means diabetics can consume it without worrying too much. Additionally, research suggests that compounds in strawberries have a favourable effect on glucose levels and lipid profile in diabetics. Regular consumption of 2-3 servings of strawberries is also found to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes in healthy individuals.

4# Relieves constipation: Strawberries are fairly rich in fibre (100g meets 8% RDA of fibre). They can be included in diet to boost digestive health and regulate bowel movement. The fibre content adds bulk to stool, allowing its easy passage through the colon, thereby reducing the overall transit time. (Read: Top 10 home remedies for constipation)

5# Helps prevent cancer: The high antioxidant content of strawberries makes them capable of keeping cancer at bay. In particular, strawberries have antioxidants like lutein and zeathanacins which suppresses the growth of cancer cells. What more? The high vitamin C content boosts your immunity and makes your body more capable of fighting cancer cells. Laboratory studies have shown that strawberry extracts can block the initiation of carcinogenesis as well as suppress the progression and proliferation of tumours, giving them the ability to fight cancer effectively. [1] (Read: Top 10 food habits to prevent cancer)

6# Good for your skin: A lot of skin products like face wash, anti-ageing creams and moisturisers appearing in the market are enriched with strawberry extracts and essence. That's because strawberries are a rich source of antioxidants like flavonoids and vitamins. These compounds fight free radicals and prevent early ageing by slowing down the development of wrinkles. Here's a simple home remedy to use strawberries for beautiful, glowing skin.

7# Helps you lose weight: Strawberries are extremely low in calories, with a cup having just 53 calories. Also, they have fibre which can leave you feeling fuller if you have them before a meal. Not only this, the high vitamin C content help boost your metabolism which helps your body burn the calories faster.

8# Great for pregnant woman: Folate present in rich quantities in strawberries helps in the baby s brain, skull and spinal cord development. In addition, it also has folic acid which can save the child from having certain birth defects. (Read: 10 diet dos and don ts during pregnancy by expert dietician Naini Setalvad)

9# Great for your bones: Strawberries are rich in minerals like manganese and potassium that not only help promote bone growth but also help keep them in mint condition. These properties also make strawberry a good fruit for growing children.

10# Prevents hair loss: Folic acid, vitamin B5, vitamin B6 and ellagic acid present in strawberries helps prevent your hair from falling and thinning. Furthermore, minerals like copper and magnesium helps prevent dandruff and fungal growth on your scalp. If that wasn t enough, many home made packs can be made using strawberries that ll add shine and glow to your hair. (Read: Prevent hair loss with these foods)

11# Boosts memory: Fisetin, a naturally occurring flavonoid present in strawberries helps enhance memory by stimulating the signaling pathways. A research published in Annals of Neurology also proved that eating 2 or more servings of strawberries per week can delay memory decline in ageing women [1]. (Read: Exam diet: Foods to boost your brain power)

So, why wait? Go to your nearest fruit seller and get a delicious box of strawberries home!

Image source: Getty images


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References

  1. Hannum SM. Potential impact of strawberries on human health: a review of the science. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2004;44(1):1-17. Review. PubMed PMID: 15077879.
  2. Basu A, Rhone M, Lyons TJ. Berries: emerging impact on cardiovascular health. Nutrition reviews 2010;68(3):168-177. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00273.x.
  3. Basu A, Nguyen A, Betts NM, Lyons TJ. Strawberry as a functional food: an evidence-based review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014;54(6):790-806. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2011.608174. Review. PubMed PMID: 24345049.

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