Health Benefits of Strawberries

Health Benefits of Strawberries

Strawberries antioxidant content

Strawberries contain high amounts of anti-oxidants, in particular anthocyanins type 2 and ellagitannins. These pigments are responsible for strawberries red color, as well as their powerful oxygen quenching capabilities.

Antioxidants like anthocyanins have been shown by several studies to be effective in reducing risks of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease and inflammation-related diseases. Anthocyanins have a function similar to cyclooxigenase inhibitors (such as aspirin and other NSAIDs), in that they reduce the transformation of arachydonic acid (a saturated fat) into prostaglandins (mediators of inflammation).

Clinically, COX1 inhibitors have been linked to a reduction in mucous secretion in the gastric mucosa, but this has not been the case with COX2 inhibitors, and anthocyanins appear to not cause these side-effects as well: in a way, they can be considered a safer version of aspirin in their anti-inflammatory properties.As for their anti-cancer and anti-cardiovascular disease properties, they are caused by the reduction in cellular damage caused by free radicals: some oxygen species such as the super-oxide ion can be quenched by the antioxidant power of anthocyanins contained in strawberries. This in turn greatly reduces the rate of mutation in our cells, which is a direct measure for the risk of developing cancer and diseases such as atherosclerosis.

Strawberries content reduction in cancer death risk

In a study, published by the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, eight strawberry cultivars (Early grow, Annapolis, Evangeline, Allstar, Sable, Sparkle, Jewel, and Mesabi) were analyzed for their content in phenols, flavonoids and anthocyanins, as well as their overall antioxidant capacity. Strawberries have been proven to reduce significantly the rate of reproduction of cancerous liver cells, in different magnitudes depending on the specific strawberry cultivar.

It should be noted that there was no direct correlation between the total content in antioxidants and the rate of reduction in cancerous liver cells' reproduction rate, which is probably a proof that strawberries also contain several other, possibly unknown, phytonutrients that have this anti-cancer ability. Another interesting study was carried out on a group of 1000 elderly people, and found that those eating the most strawberries had a risk of developing cancer that was only 33% of the risk in those eating none.

Strawberries content Protection from Macular Degeneration

A study published in the Archives of Ophtalmology involving 110,000 subjects of both sexes evaluated the effects of consuming fruits(strawberries) , vegetables, antioxidant vitamins such as A,C and E and carotenoids on the risk of developing Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Macular Degeneration is the primary cause of sight loss in adults, and the study found that by eating at least 1.5 servings of fruits daily, one can reduce the risk of developing the disease by 36%.

Risk reduction was not directly linked to consumption of vegetables, antioxidants and vitamins, but to the consumption of whole fruits: the optimal level, according to the study, is three servings a day, which can be easily reached by sprinkling strawberries on your morning cereal or dressing up salads with other fruits.

strawberry nutrition


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