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Can Strawberries Improve Heart Health?

Every February, the American Heart Association (AHA) draws attention to the detrimental effects of heart disease through American Heart Month. Throughout the month, the AHA and other organizations reinforce the importance of heart health, the need for more research, and efforts to ensure that millions of people live longer and healthier. 

 With a healthy lifestyle, heart disease can be preventable – and lives can be saved. A healthy lifestyle consists of not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling blood sugar and cholesterol, treating high blood pressure, exercising regularly and getting regular checkups. 

 So where do strawberries come in? Besides being one of America’s favorite fruits and oh-so-delicious, clinical research suggests eating just one serving of eight strawberries a day may improve your heart health! Here’s how: 

  • Reducing Cholesterol: In clinical research trials, strawberries have been shown to reduce total cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.1, 2 
  • Lowering Blood Pressure: Strawberries contain 220mg of potassium per serving,3 along with anthocyanins (antioxidants) and flavonoids, all of which have been shown to help lower blood pressure.4 
  • Decreasing Risk of Heart Attack: In one study, women who consumed more than three servings of anthocyanin-rich strawberries and blueberries per week had a 32% lower risk of heart attack than women who did not consume berries.5 
  • Controlling Blood Sugar: Findings from a clinical research study suggest eating strawberries may help reduce blood sugar levels and inflammation, especially when consumed two hours before a meal!6 

 Adding strawberries to your daily routine is an easy way to help improve your overall heart health. Plus, California strawberries are grown year-round, making it easy to find them in a supermarket near you every day. Head over to our strawberry Recipes section for delicious ways to enjoy strawberries for breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner, dessert and more! 

References 

1 Basu A, Betts NM, Nguyen A, Newman ED, Fu D, Lyons TJ. Freeze-dried strawberries lower serum cholesterol and lipid peroxidation in adults with abdominal adiposity and elevated serum lipids. J Nutr. 2014;144:830-837. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.188169. 

 

2 Gao Q, Qin LQ, Arafa A, Eshak ES, Dong JY. Effects of strawberry intervention on cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Br J Nutr. 2020 Aug 14;124(3):241-246. doi: 10.1017/ S000711452000121X.   

3 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. (2019). Strawberries, raw. FoodData Central. fdc.nal. usda.gov. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167762/nutrients 

 

4 Afrin S, Gasparrini M, Forbes-Hernandez TY, et al. Promising health benefits of the strawberry: a focus on clinical studies. J Agric Food Chem. 2016;64(22):4435-4449. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.6b00857 

 

5 Cassidy A, Mukama, KJ, Liu L, Franz M, Eliassen AH, Rimm EB. High anthocyanin intake is associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction in young and middle- aged women. Circulation. 2013;127(2). doi: 10.1161/circulationaha.112.122408. 

 

6 Huang Y, Park E, Edirisinghe I, Burton-Freeman BM. Maximizing the health effects of strawberry anthocyanins: understanding the influence of the consumption timing variable. Food Funct. 2016 Dec 7;7(12):4745- 4752. doi: 10.1039/c6fo00995f. 

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