Researchers at the University of Toronto recently completed a new study on strawberries and their effect on cholesterol. The study looked at 28 men and women with high cholesterol who had been eating a low cholesterol diet. Researchers gave half of the group three cups of strawberries every day for 30 days and the other half more oat bran bread.
At the end of the month, the subjects who ate the strawberries maintained lower cholesterol but also had a reduction of “oxidative damage to LDL cholesterol.” In excess, LDL (bad) cholesterol is harmful to our arteries, but it’s even more harmful if it’s oxidized. The antioxidants in the strawberries help reduce the free radicals that cause oxidation in the body.
This small study was backed by the California Strawberry Commission. Although the study clearly helps the Commission promote strawberry sales, these new findings help prove that strawberries, and other antioxidant-rich berries and fruits, are an important part of a healthy diet and disease prevention.
Unfortunately, strawberries are known to have some of the highest levels of pesticides. Try opting for organic or better yet…grow them at home. Chelsea Green wrote a great article on The Huffington Post this week with step-by-step instructions on how to grow strawberries at home. Fun and money saving!