Here’s more “berry” good health news: Clinical research suggests that eating just one serving of eight strawberries a day—fresh or frozen—may improve heart health, reduce the risk of some cancers and support brain health. Additionally, the American Diabetes Association identifies berries, including strawberries, as one of the top 10 super-foods for a diabetes meal plan because they are low in sugar (just 7 grams) and calories (just 45 calories), and packed with vitamins (more vitamin C per serving than an orange), antioxidants and dietary fiber (3 grams). When added up, strawberries provide a nutritious boost for the entire body.
New research conducted at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University and presented to the Society for Neuroscience revealed that strawberries might effectively combat age-related cognitive decline. In clinical studies, USDA researchers demonstrated that supplementing older adults’ diets with about two cups a day of strawberries could improve cognition even in the absence of neurological dysfunction.
For the trial, healthy men and women, age 60 to 75, consumed either the equivalent of about two cups per day of fresh strawberries in the form of a freeze-dried powder or an equal amount of a calorie-matched control powder containing no strawberries, for 90 days. The participants maintained their normal diet, other than refraining from consuming any berries or berry products during the study. Dietary intervention with strawberries for 90 days led to improvements in spatial memory and word recognition among these healthy older adults. Overall, the study results suggest that dietary intervention with strawberry fruit may be an effective means of combating age-related cognitive decline.
“This new study about strawberries supporting cognitive health adds further strength to the clinical research around the health benefits of strawberries,” said Sylvia Klinger, registered dietitian. She added, “Eating eight strawberries a day is a good habit to develop no matter what stage of life we’re in.”
As one of the most versatile fruits—and a delight for the taste buds—strawberries are easy to enjoy daily just as they are, or in a variety of simple, savory or sweet recipes.
Naturally sweet and delicious, here’s a simple way to enjoy strawberries.
Cool Red Strawberry Smoothie
1 cup grape juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
5 cups fresh California strawberries, stemmed
6 to 8 fresh mint leaves
1 medium fresh beet, cooked or canned
1 large carrot, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons honey (optional)
Add all ingredients to a large blender; process until smooth. For a sorbet consistency, use whole frozen strawberries.
Nutrition per Serving: Calories, 110; Fat, 0 grams; Cholesterol, 0 mg; Sodium, 25 mg; Carbohydrates, 26 grams; Fiber, 5 grams; and Protein, 2 grams.
For more information, visit www.californiastrawberries.com.
NORTH AMERICAN PRECIS SYNDICATE