A team of researchers has found that incorporating antioxidant-rich strawberries into a daily diet may help lower cholesterol and boost cardiovascular health.
A team of volunteers ate half a kilo of strawberries a day for a month to see whether it altered their blood parameters in any way. At the end of this unusual treatment, it was found that their levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides reduced significantly.
Researchers from the Università Politecnica delle Marche (UNIVPM, Italy), together with colleagues from the Universities of Salamanca, Granada and Seville (Spain), set up an experiment in which they added 500 g of strawberries to the daily diets of 23 healthy volunteers over a month.
The results showed that the total amount of cholesterol, the levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL or bad cholesterol) and the quantity of triglycerides fell to 8.78 percent, 13.72 percent and 20.8 percent respectively.
However, the high-density lipoprotein (HDL or good cholesterol) remained unchanged.
Eating strawberries also improved other parameters such as the general plasma lipid profile, antioxidant biomarkers (such as vitamin C or oxygen radical absorbance capacity), antihemolytic defences and platelet function.
All parameters returned to their initial values 15 days after abandoning 'treatment' with strawberries.
The study is published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.