Strawberries are known for their flavour, flashy red colour and pleasant aroma. It’s favourite among all age groups and geographies. It is probably the most desired fruit in the world. The strawberry flavour is incorporated into various sweets and delicacies across the world. This delicious and healthy fruit can be easily incorporated in salads, healthy desserts, smoothies and other healthy snacks.
Strawberries contain many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants such as flavonoids, anthocyanins and ellagitannins. These antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties which can prevent certain cancers and heart ailments. Additionally, strawberries also help control blood sugar level.
A recent research study has also examined the effect of strawberry consumption on cholesterol levels, and the results of these studies appear to show a promising link between the two.
The research team set up an experiment in which they added 500 grams of strawberries to the daily diets of 23 volunteers over the duration of a month. They took blood samples before and after this period to compare data.
Researchers found that the total amount of bad cholesterol level, that is the level of low density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol) or triglycerides fell by 8.78%, 13.72% and 20.8% respectively. The high-density lipoprotein (HDL or good cholesterol) remained unchanged.
The reason behind this was the presence of anthocyanins, which are a sub-class of flavonoids that can help dilate arteries and prevent plaque build up, thus improving heart health and cholesterol levels.
Strawberries also contains soluble fibre, which is known as pectin. Fibre lowers the blood cholesterol by interfering with the re-absorption of bile salt in the intestine. The bile gets excreted in the faeces. To make up for this loss of bile, the liver produces more bile salts. The body require cholesterol to make bile salts. So in order to obtain the cholesterol necessary to make more bile salts, the liver increases its production of LDL receptors, thus eating into the body’s bad cholesterol levels.
Not only bad cholesterol level, but strawberries even improve other parameters like plasma lipid profile. Strawberries contain antioxidants like vitamin C that has anti aging properties and helps in wound healing, apart from playing a role in collagen formation. Strawberries even contain antihemolytic factors, which prevents breakdown of Red Blood Cells.
Fresh strawberries are available only seasonally, so indulge in them when they’re available to derive maximum benefit. But their benefits are only limited to the consumption of the actual strawberry, not the unhealthy sugary desserts and cakes that just have their flavour and none of strawberry’s actual benefits.