According to a new study, including strawberries into your diet could help lower cholesterol and boost cardiovascular health.
A team of researchers from Italy and Spain found that regular consumption of strawberries helped the total amount of cholesterol (8.78 percent), bad cholesterol (13.72 percent) and triglycerides – a kind of fat found in blood (20.8 percent) -go down without affecting the level of good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein or HDL).
Eating strawberries also improved other things such as the general plasma lipid profile, antioxidant biomarkers (such as vitamin C or oxygen radical absorbance capacity), antihemolytic defenses and platelet function. All these returned to their initial values 15 days after abandoning the strawberry “diet.”
As Maurizio Battino, researcher at UNIVPM and Director of the study, tells SINC: “This is the first time a study has been published that supports the protective role of the bioactive compounds in strawberries in tackling recognized markers and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.”
However, the researchers say there is still no direct evidence about which compounds of the strawberry are behind the beneficial effects, “but all the signs and epidemiological studies point towards anthocyanins, the vegetable pigments that afford them their red color.”
The team confirmed in other studies that eating strawberries also protects against ultraviolet radiation, reduces the damage that alcohol can have on the gastric mucosa, strengthens erythrocytes, or red blood cells, and improves the antioxidant capacity of the blood.
The results are published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
Battino and his colleagues plan to publish another study in the journal Food Chemistry showing how consuming strawberries increases blood’s antioxidant function. The study will be published later this year.