In Sacramento and Davis, several years ago the University of California, Davis studied the health benefits from eating a small amount of strawberries. For more information, check out the UC Davis Strawberry Study site. The UC Davis Nutrition Department’s phone number is listed at the site. Scientists at UC Davis’ Department of Nutrition have conduced a study that looked at the effects of flavonoid-rich freeze-dried strawberry powder on cardiovascular health. And other universities also have focused on the health benefits of strawberries. In one study, seven types of wild strawberries were named. Red alert: Wild strawberries may reduce cancer risk.
Seven wild strawberry types have been identified as tasty new 'super foods'. Seven types of wild strawberries, Fragaria virginiana, contain higher antioxidant levels and more potential to reduce cancer risk.We've all seen the term "super food" used to describe those nutrition-loaded edibles that promote health and discourage disease. Powerhouse foods high in antioxidants and phytochemicals that block the development of cancer cells have been touted as nature's way to fight off the potentially devastating disease. The complete study and abstract are available on this ASHS Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science electronic journal web site.
When it comes to familiar super foods, strawberries rank among the best. These tasty red berries are known to be a significant source of vitamin C, a natural antioxidant that attracts and neutralizes free radicals—those invasive, highly reactive molecules that damage the body's natural cancer fighting cells. Many scientists believe that antioxidants can prevent cellular and tissue damage in the human body.
Dr. Shiow Y. Wang, a plant physiologist and biochemist at the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, led a recent study that investigated the antioxidant capacity and anticancer activity of multiple species of wild strawberries. According to Dr. Wang in the December 2, 2007 news release, Red alert: Wild strawberries may reduce cancer risk, "antioxidants are natural plant chemicals that play an important role in promoting human health. While we have known that wild strawberries are a good source for obtaining desirable traits to be used in breeding programs, little information was available on antioxidant activities and their inhibitory effects on the growth of cancer cells in specific species of wild strawberries."
The study published in the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science found that antioxidant capacity and anti-cancer activity vary greatly among different types of wild strawberries. Researchers discovered seven types of wild strawberries that contain higher antioxidant levels and more potential to reduce cancer risk. "These seven types may be especially useful in developing cultivars with greater anticancer potential. They showed significantly greater anti-proliferation effects than other genotypes we tested", stated Dr. Wang.
Results of the research study will be valuable to scientists, fruit breeders, and produce growers interested in producing berries that are high in antioxidants. Varieties of the "super seven" strawberries may soon become available in local markets in the U.S., giving consumers a sweet new way to fight cancer.
Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education and application. More information at ashs.org Interested in other juices such as vegetable juices? You may need to eat more vegetables and vegetable juice for a variety of health benefits from the antioxidants in vegetable juice.
Currently statistics say almost eight out of 10 people worldwide fall short of the daily recommendation, according to the article, "Vegetable Juice Aided in Dietary Support for Weight Loss and Lower Blood Pressure," published in Medical News Today. Research presented at the International Symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruits and Vegetables suggests the best approach may be to focus on the factors that are often behind this vegetable gap: convenience and enjoyment.
Strawberries, blueberries may cut heart attack risk in women
According to the American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report named in the January 14, 2013 news release, "Strawberries, blueberries may cut heart attack risk in women," eating three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries per week may help women reduce their risk of a heart attack by as much as one-third, researchers reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. See the study's abstract, "High Anthocyanin Intake Is Associated With a Reduced Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Young and Middle-Aged Women."
Blueberries and strawberries contain high levels of naturally occurring compounds called dietary flavonoids, also found in grapes and wine, blackberries, eggplant, and other fruits and vegetables. A specific sub-class of flavonoids, called anthocyanins, may help dilate arteries, counter the buildup of plaque and provide other cardiovascular benefits, according to the study.
Flavonoids are found in numerous fruits and vegetables
Dietary flavonoids exert potential beneficial effects on endothelial function in short-term trials; however, the relationship between habitual intake and risk of MI in women is unknown. A high intake of anthocyanins may reduce heart attack (MI) risk in predominantly young women. Intervention trials are needed to further examine the health impact of increasing intakes of commonly consumed anthocyanin-rich foods, the study's abstract notes. The issue for consumers is what about elderly women?
After age 60, the risk of heart attack increases, since the estrogen protection of pre-menopause is over. What researchers need to do is to find out what type of protection or lowered risk can be applied to women over age 60 or 70 from eating strawberries or blueberries. Too many strawberries can affect the thyroid. See, "Foods that affect your thyroid in a negative way."
Blueberries and strawberries in the diet
"Blueberries and strawberries can easily be incorporated into what women eat every week," says Eric Rimm D.Sc., senior author and Associate Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, according to the news release. "This simple dietary change could have a significant impact on prevention efforts."
Blueberries and strawberries were part of this analysis simply because they are the most-eaten berries in the United States. Thus, it's possible that other foods could produce the same results, researchers explain in the news release.
Scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health in the United States and the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom conducted a prospective study among 93,600 women ages 25 to 42 who were registered with the Nurses' Health Study II. The women completed questionnaires about their diet every four years for 18 years.
Blueberries and strawberries made a difference even in women who ate other fruits and vegetables
During the study, 405 heart attacks occurred. Women who ate the most blueberries and strawberries had a 32-percent reduction in their risk of heart attack compared to women who ate the berries once a month or less – even in women who otherwise ate a diet rich in other fruits and vegetables.
"We have shown that even at an early age, eating more of these fruits may reduce risk of a heart attack later in life," says Aedín Cassidy, Ph.D., lead author and head of the Department of Nutrition at Norwich Medical School of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, United Kingdom, according to the news release.
The findings were independent of other risk factors, such as age, high blood pressure, family history of heart attack, body mass, exercise, smoking, caffeine or alcohol intake. The American Heart Association supports eating berries as part of an overall balanced diet that also includes other fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products. Eating a variety of foods is the best way to get the right amounts of nutrients.