A new study suggests that eating strawberries every day can reduce cholesterol and provide other heart health benefits.
The strawberry fruit is fragrant, high in fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium, and anthocyanins. Anthocyanins, which are antioxidant compounds called flavonoids, are the pigments many plants produce in order to attract the birds and insects necessary for the dispersion of their seeds and pollination. Previous research has shown that eating strawberries may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Strawberry may also be useful as an anti-inflammatory and may help enhance iron absorption.
In a recent study, healthy participants were given 500 grams of strawberries daily for one month. Data on cholesterol levels as well as markers for oxidative stress and antioxidant status were collected at the beginning of the study, after 30 days, and again 15 days after the study ended.
The researchers found that eating strawberries significantly lowered total cholesterol levels, low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels compared to the beginning of the study. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL, or "good") levels remained the same. The authors noted that eating strawberries also decreased oxidative stress markers and increased antioxidant status.
The authors concluded that eating strawberries can beneficially affect cholesterol levels, as well as antioxidant status, contributing to overall heart health.
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