Strawberries are near miracle for our diets

Strawberries are near miracle for our diets, you can eat about as many of them as you please and not only will you not put on any weight but you’ll providing your body with the capability to look younger and pro-long life!

Now that’s quite a claim for a food we all picked from long hedgerows in a farmer’s field and tossed carelessly into a cardboard basket as children. The health claims for eating strawberries have been based largely around them being high in anti-oxidants, packed full of fibre and containing high amounts of both vitamins. Now, whilst we all understand that these things are good for us, we generally don’t stop to consider just why that is. If we read through the finer-print we can also find claims pointing to benefits to our vision, that they can give arthritic relief, aid brain function, bolster our immune-system, drop blood pressure and , hence, reduce our chance of developing heart disease and other chronic diseases. It’s quite a responsibility to our health. It’s only surprising that were not all smearing them into our skin as part of our morning ritual, after all there are plenty of anti-oxidant creams stacked on the health & beauty shelves in chemists and supermarkets.

OK, good, that’s excellent, let’s all eat strawberries and I’ll wind-up the article here then? But what do all these claims actually mean for us and our diet? If, like me, you’ve been eating strawberries beyond just Wimbledon fortnight what good have they done us, have we all got ironclad immune systems and turned into latter day Peter Pans, at least without arch foes with a hook for a hand?

As with everything in the human body, it is a balance of many things that gives us the real benefit, the basis behind homeostasis (a stable equilibrium between many elements), but how many strawberries should we be eating to get these amazing health benefits?

Anti-oxidants have received plenty of positive press in recent years due to them being considered as cancer killers. They work by inhibiting the oxidation of molecules, an action that produces free radicals, which in-turn can lead to the damage or death of surrounding cells. This latter process can cause illness, such as cancer and heart-disease and oxidative stress has also been linked to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and diabetes. Though supplementation has not found many benefits in clinical studies, having a diet rich in thin-skinned fruits and vegetables has been found to be beneficial, due to the synthesis of nutrients within the food rather than just shovelling anti-oxidants down by themselves.

The argument goes that the process is due to the fructose-sucrose bonds and fibres within the fruit. Fibre from strawberries is insoluble, meaning it cannot be digested and, therefore, allows food to move through our bowels more easily to keep them healthy and prevent digestive problems. This fibre also keeps us feeling ‘fuller-for-longer‘. However, bear-in-mind that the fruit must be eaten whole as by having a smoothie we strip the fibre from it meaning all the sugar within the smoothie is quickly transported into the bloodstream, where it acts like any other sugar by causing a surge in insulin and a one-way ticket into your fat stores.

This often happens when people feel they have a free-pass after exercising and reward themselves with a ‘healthy’ smoothie. If you’re looking to lose-weight or tone-up this is a very bad move as a strawberry smoothie will typically contain around 200kCal, more than you’ll probably burn in an hour’s weight-training or 30-min on the treadmill; this compares with about 30kCal in 100g of strawberries.

About 8 strawberries contain more vitamin C than an orange, which is vital for good skin and, further, our bodies cannot produce energy without vitamin C, further, diets rich in vitamin C have shown to significantly reduce the risk of diabetes. Vitamin C is vital for the production of collagen, which is essentially the protein of life as it forms our skin and the connective tissue at our joints.

Realistically you can eat as many strawberries you like and the more you eat the more you’ll bolster your immune-system and gain the benefits we’ve talked about.

By eating strawberries three times-a-week you’ll benefit your cardiovascular system, insulin and blood sugar stability and better skin.

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