As an end of summer celebration, we’re sharing our top tips for making the most of your strawberries. But first we’re reminding our readers why “snacking with heart” on strawberries goes beyond the tastebuds.
Why Strawberries are Integral to Health
Beyond their heart shape, gorgeous ruby color, sweet flavor, and ability to conjure up memories of joy and warm summer days, strawberries are also a superfood when it comes to nourishing the body.
- “Snacking with heart” literally promotes heart health when you snack on 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
- Touted for their full day’s worth of vitamin C, eating a serving of strawberries a few times a week may contribute towards building a stronger immune system, absorbing more iron from plant-based foods, and improving skin appearance through collagen synthesis.
- Strawberries’ polyphenols are also being considered in research studies to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia and the amount of insulin needed after a meal.4
- Strawberries contain fiber that helps with digestion. Recent studies are showing strawberries’ ability to alter the gut microbiota, which researchers think may be promising news for decreasing inflammation of the colon, leaky gut, and promoting a healthy microbiome. Some scientists theorize a healthy microbiome may be the key to a healthy heart, bringing the benefits of strawberries full circle.
So just because summer is ending, it doesn’t mean you have to stop eating these nutritional powerhouses. California strawberries are hand-picked year-round and can be bought fresh or frozen 365 days a year.
End of Summer Strawberry Celebration Tips
Here are some tips on selecting the best strawberries, along with storing, freezing, preserving, and enjoying them.
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.113.1881693.
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-to4.
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
Burton-Freeman, B.; Brzeziński, M.; Park, E.; Sandhu, A.; Xiao, D.; Edirisinghe, I. A Selective Role of Dietary Anthocyanins and Flavan-3-ols in Reducing the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Review of Recent Evidence. Nutrients 2019, 11, 841.