Eat More Organic StrawberriesJanuary 11, 2012 Written by JP [Font too small?]
Avoid sugary foods. Cut back on carbohydrates. Skip dessert. If you’re at all interested in weight management and well being, you’ve probably been advised to follow one or all of these adages. But, how you apply this advice is as important as whether you follow it at all. For instance, if you avoid wholesome fruits such as strawberries you’re missing out on important health benefits that are frequently overlooked.
A study appearing in the January 2012 issue of the journal Cancer Prevention Research reports that consuming 60 grams/day of freeze dried strawberry powder protects against pre-malignant lesions in patients at high risk for esophageal cancer. These findings should be of interest to anyone living with chronic GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease in particular. And, judging by the number of over-the-counter and prescription sales of GERD medications, this is a significant percentage of the population indeed. The good news about strawberry powder, as opposed to acid suppressing drugs, is that the strawberry powder used in this study was “well tolerated, with no toxic or serious adverse effects”.
The reason I advise my clients, family and friends to eat strawberries goes far beyond the esophagus. In short, strawberries are about as close to a perfect food for those with or at risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. The research examining strawberry intake in relation to these conditions is extremely encouraging. Several human studies from 2010 and 2011 reveal that eating strawberries lowers multiple cardiometabolic risk factors including: insulin resistance, lipid levels and lipid oxidation and systemic inflammation (C-reactive protein and interleukin 6). Measures of circulatory health also tend to improve when strawberries are included in the diets of at risk subjects (ie obese individuals and those with abnormal blood sugar and/or elevated LDL cholesterol). It should also be noted that raw strawberries are an abundant source of folic acid. This B-vitamin is widely employed as a nutritional agent for lowering a potentially cardiotoxic amino acid known as homocysteine.
While I encourage most people to eat more strawberries, there are a few caveats. First and foremost, conventionally grown strawberries often contain worrisome levels of pesticide residues. According to a recent investigation, opting for organic versions of this fruit reduces pesticide exposure while, at the same time, improving the levels of naturally occurring antioxidants and flavor. Last but not least, if strawberries aren’t in season, rest assured that even heat processed forms of the fruit (ie. jam and purees) still maintain many of the health promoting properties of fresh strawberries. Just make sure to select products that don’t contain additives that may offset the goodness inherent in this amazing berry.
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 – Randomized Phase II Trial of Lyophilized Strawberries in Patients … (link)
Study 4 – Attenuation of Meal-Induced Inflammatory and Thrombotic Responses … (link)
Study 5 – Strawberries Decrease Atherosclerotic Markers in Subjects with … (link)
Study 6 – Strawberry Modulates LDL Oxidation and Postprandial Lipemia in … (link)
Study 7 – Folate Content and Retention in Selected Raw and Processed Foods … (link)
Study 8 – Pesticide Residues in Some Commodities: Dietary Risk for Children … (link)
Study 9 – Fruit and Soil Quality of Organic and Conventional Strawberry … (link)
Study 10 – Strawberry Processing Does Not Affect the Production and Urinary … (link)
Freeze-Dried Strawberry Powder Supports Esophageal Health
Source: Nutr Res. 2010 July; 30(7): 462–469. (link)
Tags: Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, Organic
Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition