Seeing the lines of strawberry baskets at the farmers market this weekend always makes me think of the Beatles song, “Strawberry Fields.” I can see the beautiful red fields of strawberries just waiting to get picked so that we can all indulge in sweet, antioxidant goodness. Thankfully, the strawberry season in Southern California is currently supplying millions of pounds of delicious, fresh strawberries to not only Californians, but to countless grocery stores around the country. Nevertheless, strawberries can be found year round, all over the country, as different regions have different seasons for growing strawberries (northern California’s strawberry season is from April – November). Still, what makes strawberries even better is that they just might be the healthiest fruit you can consume!
While we know that eating fresh fruit is always better than consuming a candy, a cupcake or other junk food item, some fruits pose problems for those who are trying to lose weight or battling other health conditions; bananas have higher carbohydrate amounts and mangos are very high in sugar. Strawberries, on the other hand, are low in calories, low in sugar, and consuming about 8 strawberries gets you more Vitamin C than an orange! With their high vitamin, fiber and antioxidant count, strawberries have been found to help reduce cholesterol levels, help control blood pressure, reduce your risk for stroke, and much more.
Just recently, the Food Chemistry journal published a study that found that regular strawberry consumption could help the body fight oxidative stress by increasing immune cell defenses.1 For two weeks, 18 participants – male and female with an average age of 35 – consumed about 500 g of strawberries, with researchers looking at their immune system’s blood cell count; before and after the study. The results of the study showed that the immune system’s peripheral blood mononucleated cells (PBMC) experienced a “significant increase” in all parameters of DNA damage examined with no changes recorded in control cells.2 This study is able to show how significant changes can occur to one’s immune system, and health from the nutrients found in strawberries in just two weeks!
Most berries, including blueberries, goji berries and more provide us with a bevy of health benefits. The great thing about strawberries, is that they are usually very affordable, easy to find, and easy to consume. They can be added to shakes, salads, and a wide variety of side dishes. Go check out your local farmers market for an even greater, organic selection! I love including them in my shakes after a workout, salads, and I even substitute them for jelly when I’m in the mood for an old fashioned PB&J; gluten-free bread of course. A handful of strawberries along with some almond or coconut milk are a great addition to your Slender FX Vanilla or Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake. Try it for yourself!
The strawberry fields are waiting… prevention is the key!
Youngevity Marketing Team