strawberries improve prevent heart disease in overweight kids

We recently wrote a blog collecting all the research on the unheralded strawberry. Touted for its taste but not for its health value, we revealed that strawberries are actually great for your heart, among their many other benefits. Now, we can add a whole new reason why this beautiful berry is great for your heart.

In our recent review of strawberries, we uncovered several studies that found that strawberries are great for cholesterol and triglycerides. But, that may not be the only way that strawberries reduce the risk of having a heart attack.

This double-blind study wanted to see what cardiovascular effects strawberries would have on people who were at higher risk of cardiovascular disease. They decided to look at twenty-five adolescent men who were all between the ages of 14 and 18 and who were all overweight or obese.

Every day for a week, the men took either 50g of freeze-dried strawberry powder or a placebo. Immediately after taking the strawberry powder, levels of nitrate/nitrite went up, suggesting a relaxing of the blood vessels. There was no long term effect at the end of the study. But, in the men who experienced the immediate effect, there was a significant increase in the reactive hyperaemia index at the end of the study. Reactive hyperaemia index is a measure of blood vessel responsiveness that suggests that eating strawberries increases blood flow.

This study suggests that, in addition to improving cholesterol and triglycerides and acting as an antioxidant, strawberries can also improve cardiovascular health by dilating blood vessels and improving blood flow even in people who, because of being overweight, are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

British Journal of Nutrition 2016;116(4):639-47

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For more on delicious, healthy eating for preventing and treating heart disease, see Linda's newest book, The All-New Vegetarian Passport: a comprehensive health book and cookbook all in one.

For much more on preventing and treating cardiovascular disease, see our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.

The Natural Path
 is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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