Strawberry Consumption Lowers Cardiovascular Risk Markers
Looking for a list of high blood pressure diet foods? Strawberries top that list!
In an unusual new study, a team of volunteers ate half a kilo of strawberries daily for a month while researchers examined whether their blood parameters were affected in any way. At the end of the study, the volunteers’ levels of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol and triglycerides were significantly lower relative to before the start of the study.
In the past, several studies had already demonstrated the antioxidant capacity of strawberries. Now this new study from Italy and Spain has shown that strawberries can also help to reduce cardiovascular risk markers.
The research team added 500 grams of strawberries to the daily diets of 23 healthy volunteers for over a month. They took blood samples before and after this period to compare data.
The study results show that the total amount of cholesterol as well as levels of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol and triglycerides fell significantly in study subjects at the end of the study period. Interestingly, levels of HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol remained unchanged.
Eating strawberries also improved other parameters such as the general plasma lipid profile, antioxidant biomarkers and platelet function. All parameters returned to their initial values 15 days after strawberry consumption was stopped.
This is the first study that shows a protective role for the bioactive compounds in strawberries in managing risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. And while there is no direct evidence as to which components of this fruit are responsible for their beneficial effects, all the signs point towards anthocyanins, the vegetable pigments that give strawberries their red colour.
Other studies have previously shown that eating strawberries protects against ultraviolet or UV radiation, reduces alcohol-induced damage to the gut lining, strengthens erythrocytes or red blood cells and improves the antioxidant capacity of blood.