A daily serving of strawberries could help to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, new research has shown.
The study, carried out at the University of Oklahoma, found that people who ate strawberries for eight weeks had reduced markers for atherosclerosis, or furring up of the arteries.
The research was carried out on patients with metabolic syndrome, a precursor to diabetes and heart disease.
They were each given four cups of a drink made from 50 grams of freeze-dried strawberries with water (the equivalent of three cups of fresh strawberries).
At the end of the study, their levels of bad LDL cholesterol had dropped by more than 10 per cent, while their levels of another compound linked to a higher risk of furred-up arteries went down by nearly 20 per cent.
Strawberries are thought to have a potent antioxidant effect. Previous studies suggest they're high antioxidant levels in strawberries can help neutralise the negative effects of free radicals in your system. Antioxidants are also known to boost the immune system and help keep off diseases like the cold and flu.
They're rich in potassium, a mineral that helps regulate the electrolytes in your body, lowering your risk of heart attack and stroke. They also contain folate, a key ingredient in the manufacture of red blood cells.
Strawberries are a rich source of vitamin C and contain more of this vitamin than citrus fruits. This is helpful in fighting off some forms of cancer and also helps with bad cholesterol. Strawberries are packed with B2, B5, B6, vitamin K, copper, and magnesium. They also contain omega fatty acids and essential fibre.
“To our knowledge, this is the first randomized controlled trial investigating the effects of strawberry supplementation on lipid profiles in subjects with metabolic syndrome,” wrote researchers from Oklahoma State University.