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Eat Your Heart Out for American Heart Month: California Strawberries Offer a Delicious Approach to “Beat” Heart Disease

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Strawberries in a heart-shaped bowl, on white wooden background.

California Strawberries celebrates American Heart Month

Love is in the air in February for American Heart Month… and at California Strawberries, we are all heart. We’re introducing a fun way to highlight the importance of taking care of your heart with California strawberries (and cheesy heart puns).

This year’s focus at California Strawberries is Snack with Heart. Snack with Heart demonstrates our commitment to:

About Heart Disease

Heart disease is responsible for 25% of deaths in the US. Some of the contributing factors to the disease include inflammation, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. However, lifestyle factors including diet, exercise, and quitting smoking all contribute toward preventing heart disease.

Since we’re in the business of food, we wanted to take a closer look at how we can eat to beat heart disease. Our in-house registered dietitian is dishing out what a heart-healthy diet looks like.

 Heart-healthy meals typically include:

  • fiber
  • potassium
  • antioxidants
  • low sodium
  • low saturated fat
  • low added sugar

One serving of California strawberries contains:

  • 3g of fiber
  • 5% Daily Value of potassium
  • disease-fighting antioxidants called ellagic acid and polyphenols
  • 0% sodium
  • 0g saturated fat
  • 0g added sugar

So you can eat your heart out with California strawberries! Antioxidants, fiber, and phytochemicals in strawberries have been shown to reduce total cholesterol levels.1 Plus, the potassium found in strawberries can help control blood pressure and prevent strokes.2,3

Eating 8 strawberries a day can help keep weight off as well as keep blood sugars in manageable levels. Both of these are important factors for heart health.

 

Take Action

Everybody- young and old- should make heart health a priority. There are two actions you can take today to start building a healthy heart:

  1. First, commit to 30 minutes of physical activity per day- no gym membership needed! Go for a walk, dance in your living room, play outside, or take the stairs.
  2. Second, enjoy heart-healthy foods like strawberries. Eight strawberries- fresh or frozen- at least three times a week are a great option. Here’s one of our favorite heart-healthy recipes that can be eaten any time of day:

Strawberry Quinoa Parfait

This heart-healthy meal is high in fiber (20% Daily Value) and offers 5g of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) to help lower cholesterol. The California strawberries add potassium and antioxidants to keep blood pressure and inflammation down.

glass of quinoa strawberry parfait

Strawberry Quinoa Parfait

For more unique strawberry recipes, visit CaliforniaStrawberries.com

Here are some other fun ways to support American Heart Month:

We’re heart-ly out of puns, but we aorta get going. So this wasn’t all in vein, have a berry healthy Heart Month!

How to make strawberry hearts

How to Make Strawberry Hearts

References:

  1. Basu, A., Betts N.M., Nguyen, A., Newman, E.D., Fu, D., & Lyons, T.J. (2014). Freeze-dried strawberries lower serum cholesterol and lipid peroxidation in adults with abdominal adiposity and elevated serum lipids. The Journal of Nutrition, 144(6), 830-837. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.188169
  2. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (n.d.). Your guide to lowering your blood pressure with DASH – How do I make the DASH? In Heart & Vascular Diseases. Retrieved from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/resources/heart/hbp-dash-how-to
  3. Seth, A., Mossavar-Rahmani, Y., Kamensky, V., Silver, B., Lakshminarayan, K., Prentice, R., … Wassertheil-Smoller, S. (2014). Potassium intake and risk of stroke in women with hypertension and nonhypertension in the women’s health initiative. Stroke, 45, 2874-2880. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.006046
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