WATSONVILLE, Calif., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- With most Americans falling short of 5 A Day recommendations, new research gives people additional reasons to eat more strawberries. Two separate studies presented today at the American Dietetic Association Food and Nutrition Conference and Exhibition reveal that in addition to being low in fat and calories, strawberries are naturally high in fiber, Vitamin C, folate, potassium and antioxidants, making them a sweet alternative that advances heart health, reduces the risk of certain types of cancer, and gives a boost to total body wellness.
One Serving a Day ...
Dr. Gene Spiller, Nutrition and Health Research Center, recently released data showing that when people eat a daily serving of strawberries (about 8 berries; 50 calories) there are significant increases in blood folate levels and decreases in systolic blood pressure, findings that amplify the importance of including strawberries as part of a heart-healthy diet. Strawberries' propensity to decrease systolic blood pressure may reduce the risk of heart disease associated with high blood pressure. Folate reduces levels of homocysteine, an amino acid which may at high levels block arteries. In addition, earlier findings showed that strawberries are high in antioxidants such as ellagic acid and anthocyanins, the red pigment in strawberries, which is further evidence that strawberries provide an edge for heart health.
A second study released today by Dr. Victor Fulgoni, Nutrition Impact LLC, further validates these findings and reveals additional benefits. Like Dr. Spiller's findings, Dr. Fulgoni's research using large surveys created by the US government showed that compared to non-eaters, strawberry eaters have higher blood folate levels and lower levels of homocysteine and tend to have lower blood pressure. In addition, Dr. Fulgoni's data revealed that strawberry eaters tend to have higher dietary fiber, folate, potassium and vitamin C intake.
"The body of evidence showing a health benefit of strawberries continues to grow," said Dr. Fulgoni. "This latest research demonstrates that people who eat strawberries may be benefiting from their many nutrients, which may help maintain a healthy heart." In addition to advancing heart health and reducing risks of certain types of cancer, strawberries have been shown previously to enhance memory function and aid in the management of rheumatoid arthritis.
... And They Taste So Good
While long-term health benefits are compelling, for some, the immediate reward is equally fulfilling. A nutrient dense fruit, strawberries also have the added benefit of great taste while being high in fiber. Their versatility and adaptability add interest, lively color and flavor to either indulgent or healthy recipes. Fresh, frozen or dried, eaten alone or tossed into cereal, salads or yogurt, strawberries naturally add a nutritional edge to an ordinary meal or snack.
Health benefits, taste and convenience are the foundation for the California Strawberry Commission's "The Red Edge(SM)" campaign.
"Strawberries are available year-round, offering the perfect opportunity for consumers to add great taste and nutrition to their everyday, healthy diet," explains Rodger Wasson, president of the California Strawberry Commission. "While research shows that 94% of Americans currently consume strawberries annually, this recent research strongly suggests that consuming them more often will be beneficial to their overall long-term health."
California is the largest producer of domestically grown strawberries, supplying 83 percent of the strawberries grown in the United States. On average, over 26,000 acres in the state produce over one billion pounds of fresh and frozen strawberries. Visit www.calstrawberry.com for more information or contact Mary DeGroat at 831-724-1301 or Michael DeAngelis at 202-973-5830.