New Research Shows Strawberries May Have Positive Impacts on Gut, Heart, Metabolic and Brain Health

Six new research studies from universities across the U.S. found promising health impacts of consuming everyone’s favorite berry– strawberries.

The research findings include positive outcomes in the important areas of gut, heart, metabolic, and brain health – which is good news all around for strawberry lovers.   


Changes in the Gut Microbiome

Multiple studies show that daily strawberry intake could alter the gut microbiome in just four weeks.

  • One study suggests a potential role of strawberries in easing inflammation of the colon and promoting gut health.
  • Another study appears to show that the equivalent of three servings of strawberries per day is associated with a significant increase in a type of gut bacteria linked to improved heart health. 

Strawberries’ fiber and polyphenols, which have been identified to have anti-inflammatory properties, may be contributing to the changes in the gut microbiome.

Heart Health

Two studies saw cholesterol improvements in participants at high-risk for heart disease. High LDL cholesterol on its own is not necessarily cause for concern. Instead, the size of the LDL particles comes into play. Small, dense LDL particles raise the risk for heart disease.

  • After consuming the equivalent of 2.5 servings of strawberries per day for four weeks, the number of small dense LDL particles decreased in study participants.
  • A second study showed that just 1 serving of strawberries each day led to significant improvements in LDL, non-HDL, and total cholesterol levels after four weeks.

A serving of strawberries has a full day’s worth of vitamin C and 5% of the daily value of potassium. The antioxidant effects of vitamin C and potassium’s ability to lower blood pressure may contribute to heart health.

Blood Sugar Management

Two studies found that strawberries helped control blood sugar levels.

  • “Individuals at risk for diabetes may benefit from consuming 2.5 servings of whole strawberries [per day] and experience improved insulin function within four weeks,” Dr. Arpita Basu, the lead researcher of one of the studies, concluded.  
  • The other study may have found good news for overweight, post-menopausal women at high-risk for heart disease. These women experienced a decrease in fasting blood sugars after consuming 3 servings of strawberries every day for four weeks.

Strawberries and other berries are considered a top food for a diabetic meal plan because they have fiber, less than 8 grams of sugar per serving, and a low glycemic index. 

Brain Function

The final study used data from the Rush Memory and Aging Project to look at associations between strawberry intake among older adults and the development of Alzheimer’s Disease.

  • A trend emerged showing an association between those who ate the most strawberries and a decrease in neuro-fibrillary tangles, one of characteristic hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease.  

Strawberries are rich in flavonoids – which help the body function more efficiently while protecting against everyday toxins and stressors. The flavonoid “pelargonidin” is thought to be the key nutrient in this study that may be protecting the brain. 


It is recommended that individuals eat a serving of 8 strawberries a day. A serving of about 8 strawberries, either fresh or frozen, is only 50 calories and contains the nutrients discussed above- vitamin C, fiber, potassium, flavonoids and folate.

Best ways to enjoy eating your 8-a-day?

Strawberries are so versatile and the perfect fresh ingredient to incorporate into your breakfast, lunch, dinner, or enjoy as a favorite snack.  Our recipe page is filled with plenty of delicious inspiration that will keep you enjoying fresh or frozen berries all year-long. 

With all of this good news, what’s not to love about the sweet red berry that is naturally shaped like a heart?