- Strawberries contain more vitamin C than the equivalent weight of oranges
- Dietitian Nigel Denby says they rank as one of the world’s healthiest foods
- Fruit is rich in antioxidants which has been found to halt growth of tumours
- But they often cause allergic reactions such as eczema and headaches
The world’s most popular berry isn’t just sweet and juicy – it can also do wonders for your health.
Traditionally, strawberries, which contain more vitamin C than the equivalent weight of oranges, have been used to cleanse the digestive system.
But they also contain a range of phytonutrients – protective chemicals which have a range of health-boosting effects.
‘Strawberries can legitimately claim to be heart protective, anti-inflammatory and have anti-cancer properties – all rolled into one,’ says dietitian Nigel Denby.
‘They rank as one of the world’s healthiest foods.’
Here, writing for The Hippocratic Post, he reveals just exactly how beneficial they can be…
Strawberries are one of the world’s healthiest foods according to London-based dietitian Nigel Denby. Here, he explains they contain a range of protective chemicals with a range of health-boosting effects
Strawberries are a rich source of the cancer-busting antioxidants anthocyanins and ellagic acid.
Anthocyanins found in strawberries give them their distinctive red colour, but also help to mop up damaging free radicals in the blood. These damage tissues and can cause cancerous changes in the cells.
The ellagic acid content of strawberries has been shown in to halt the growth of tumours in the lungs, oesophagus, breast, cervix and tongue in laboratory studies.
And a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found antioxidants in strawberries could significantly inhibit the proliferation of human liver cancer cells.
Smokers will be happy to know that a US study found strawberries reduced the effects of carcinogens – a substance capable of causing cancer – in tobacco smoke.
PROTECTION AGAINST AGE-RELATED VISION LOSS
Strawberries are a rich source of vitamin C.
A study published in the Archives of Opthalmology indicated that eating three or more portions fruit rich in vitamin C may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by 36 per cent.
Macular degeneration is the primary cause of vision loss in older adults.
Eating strawberries could reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration – the leading cause of vision loss in older adults – by 36 per cent due to the high levels of vitamin C
Researchers found that rats fed are a diet rich in strawberries show less age related declines in brain function.
They also had improved learning capacity and motor skills.
This could be related to the fact that the fruit contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are long chain fats – the building blocks of brain tissue.
HELPS WITH PREGNANCY
Folic acid, also known as folate, is one of the few vitamins known to prevent neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida, which affects one on every 1,500 babies born in the UK.
Just eight strawberries a day contain a fifth of the folate requirement for an adult woman.
Folic acid is an essential component of spinal fluid and helps to produce red blood cells and the mood-lifting hormone serotonin.
Strawberries contain high levels of dietary fibre, known to improve digestion
Strawberries contain high levels of dietary fibre, which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and intestinal disorders.
One punnet of strawberries contains just 47 calories but 3.5g of dietary fibre, around one tenth of the total recommended daily intake.
Ripe fruit, which contains high levels of soluble fibre, is best for your gut.
Some phenols in the fruit work to dampen down the activity of specific enzymes known as cyclo-oxygenase, or COX.
Overactivity of this enzyme has been shown to contribute to unwanted inflammation of osteo-arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.
But drugs which have a similar effect can cause intestinal bleeding.
A word of caution. Strawberries are one of the foods most commonly associated with allergic reactions, which can be mild or life threatening.
Common reactions to the fruit include eczema, skin rash, headache, hyperactivity or insomnia.
Strawberries also top the league table of foods on which residues of pesticides are frequently found – people who want to avoid ingesting chemicals should opt for organically grown fruit.
Those who have existing kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating strawberries because the fruit contains a measurable amount of oxalates – a common chemical found in food which the body finds difficult to digest.
If these become too concentrated, they can crystallise in the body fluids and cause problems.
Oxalates also hinder the uptake of calcium. If you are taking calcium to build bone mass, eat strawberries two to three hours before you take your supplements.
This article has been reproduced with the permission of The Hippocratic Post.
Link original: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3690613/They-save-sight-prevent-cancer-tuck-punnet-strawberries-weekend.html?ITO=applenews