Scientists at the University of Warwick have been studying the beneficial effects of strawberries on cardiovascular health, particularly around how they prevent the development of heart disease and diabetes.
Professor Paul Thornalley and his team from Warwick Medical School discovered that extracts from strawberries positively activate a protein in our bodies called ‘Nrf2′ which is shown to increase antioxidant and other protective activities. This protein works to decrease blood lipids and cholesterol, the very things which can lead to cardiovascular problems.
Eating strawberries has previously been found to counter post-meal blood glucose and low density lipoprotein, or ‘bad’ cholesterol and therefore decrease risk of diabetes and heart disease, but this is the first time that strawberry extracts have been proved to actively stimulate proteins that offer us protection against disease. They’re also chock full of vitamins, minerals and fiber, yet are low in calories – about 50-60 calories a cup.
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