As the weather continues to warm, signaling summer’s fast approach, it’s hard not to think of the fresh, sweet taste of Oregon strawberries. These precious ruby-colored gems add the unmistakable taste of summer to any meal, and are a favorite around our Portland City Dental office. But there’s more to love about strawberries than just the great taste – Studies have found that strawberries also rank as one of the healthiest foods we can eat.
Just 1 cup of strawberries a day offers the body some serious health benefits. In fact, 1 cup of strawberries actually contains more vitamin C than an orange, nearly half as much sugar as an apple, 1/3rd fewer calories than a banana, and double the fiber as one serving of grapes.
Here are a few more reasons why strawberries rank as one of the best foods for your body.
Whitens Your Smile
Strawberries contain high levels of malic acid, a natural tooth whitener that can help revitalize the complexion of your smile. You can even use strawberries to make your own home whitening treatment. Simply crush a strawberry into a pulp, mix it with teaspoon or baking soda, and spread the mixture over the surface of your teeth using a soft-bristled brush. After five minutes, rinse your mouth and then brush your teeth to see the results. Just make sure to floss after, as the tiny strawberry seeds can easily become trapped between your teeth.
Improves Heart Health
Studies suggest that adding strawberries to your diet could help reduce the risk of lower blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. That’s because strawberries are loaded with nutrients that work to protect the heart, including potassium, antioxidants, fiber, folate, and vitamin C. Even more compelling, studies have found that strawberries may even reduce your risk of heart attack. Researchers discovered that women who consume three or more servings of fruits high in anthocyanin – such as strawberries and blueberries – a week reduce their risk of heart attack by over 30 percent when compared to women that did not consume either type of berry.
Regularly eating strawberries may help keep your mind sharp as you age. Strawberries contain high levels of flavonoids, which act as both an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Researchers believe that flavonoids may play a role in helping to offset the negative impact that stress and inflammation can have on the brain and delay memory loss caused by aging. One study published in the Annals of Neurology found that diets high in strawberries may actually delay cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years.
Other studies conducted on animals suggests that eating strawberries may also help to boost motor function and memory.
May Lower Cancer Risk
The abundance of nutrients contained in strawberries may actually help reduce the risk of cancer, according to some research. Scientists believe that these nutrients work in harmony to reduce cellular damage resulting from oxidative stress and inflammation. In animal studies, ellagic acid, a tannin found in walnut, raspberries, and strawberries, and quercetin, a flavonoid, have all been found to inhibit cancer cells.
So there you have it. Great taste, good for the body, and even good for your teeth. Strawberries really do have it all. So the next time you visit our Portland City Dental office, just remember that the great taste of summer offers many health benefits that last the whole year.