Move over chocolate. Step aside red wine. Have a seat, green tea. Make way for the strawberry? It's not too surprising that this strange member of the rose family has just proven itself to be quite superior. After all, it's the only fruit that has its seeds on the outside of its skin (Mother Nature loves breaking her rules!). There are more than 600 strawberry varieties (wow!), and they're a low-cal fiber-rich summertime snack must. And now, there's new research that shows the little ol' strawberry is one incredible super fruit.
Loaded with phytonutrients, in addition to overall immune-boosting, strawberries can help prevent more serious issues including Alzheimer's, diabetes and certain types of cancer, as well as some nervous system disorders, according to an article published in a recent issue of Science Daily.
Fisetin is a neuroprotective flavonoid found in strawberries that has a protective effect on cells. In the study, participants ate 500 grams of strawberries every day for two weeks and submitted to regular blood tests. The results showed an improvement in antioxidant capacity in the blood and increased resistance to oxidization, particularly as it corresponded to the development of serious afflictions.
Strawberries also have a healthy effect on the brain by triggering a clean up of toxins that may contribute to memory loss. And if all that's not appealing enough, the malic acid content in those ripe, red strawberries can actually improve the whiteness of tooth enamel. Ridiculous, right? But it's true!
Make sure you opt for organic strawberries though. For one reason, they'll taste light years better than the unripe conventionally grown kind that smell a little like a clogged up garbage disposal. They're also not exposed to methyl iodine, a widely used toxic chemical that's supposed to prevent bacteria, insect infestations and weeds from ruining strawberry crops. It is also linked to cancer, late-term miscarriages, thyroid disease and neurological damage in humans, making it an unsafe and unpredictable toxin.
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Photo: Jill Ettinger