The Many Healthful Antioxidants In Strawberries
Antioxidants are widely known to be beneficial for health. An antioxidant is any chemical molecule that prevents other chemical molecules from being oxidized. They perform a critical function because although oxygen and oxidation reactions are crucial for life, they can also damage DNA and other cellular structures - which is why all plants and animals maintain complex systems of multiple types of antioxidants. Oxidation reactions generate free radicals that are capable of triggering harmful chain reactions, harming or even killing cells. According to Dr. Bruce Ames, PhD, a biochemist at Berkeley, the DNA of each cell in our body is attacked by free radicals up to 10,000 times each and every day.
Antioxidants prevent harmful chain reactions by neutralizing free radicals and rendering them harmless. Insufficient levels of antioxidants or their inhibition can lead to a condition known as oxidative stress, damaging or killing cells. Oxidative stress has emerged as an important component of many human diseases, especially heart disease, stroke, neurodegenerative disorders and even cancer. When blood antioxidant capacity is lowered by stress, physical exertion or normal metabolic function, oxidative stress occurs and the risk of chronic disease increases exponentially. In fact, many health experts today believe that oxidative stress is a key factor determining how quickly we age.
For instance, free radicals damage heart health by attacking LDL cholesterol. LDL is widely known as "'bad' cholesterol, but it is actually a harmless molecule in itself. When its levels are elevated in blood, it enters artery walls and gets trapped there, leading to its oxidation by free radicals. It is only when LDL is transformed by free radicals into oxidized LDL that it becomes dangerous, damaging arterial cell walls and setting off a chain of events that results in atherosclerosis and heart disease over time.
While a single fruit or vegetable can contain up to 150 antioxidants, consuming multiple types of fruits and vegetables can potentially deliver up to 4,000 different types of antioxidants to your body - along with many more protective compounds that haven't even been identified yet. Including as many types of colorful fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and green leafy vegetables in our daily diet as possible makes very good sense for maintaining overall health.
Of the wide variety of fruits freely available to us today, the strawberry is an excellent source of many healthful micronutrients including minerals, vitamin C, folate and various natural phenolic compounds - most of which are natural antioxidants and contribute to the high nutritional quality of the fruit. In particular, the many natural phenolic compounds in strawberries are well-known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, along with antimicrobial, anti-allergenic and anti-hypertensive properties. Due to these benefits, strawberries are often included in the ingredients of superfood fruit drinks and fruit supplements.
Studies have shown that regular consumption of strawberries raises blood antioxidant capacity significantly and lowers the risk for many chronic diseases. For example, eating two cups of strawberries daily for two weeks has been shown to boost the antioxidant status of red blood cells and improve the body`s immune response reaction to oxidative stress . Similarly, an Italian study showed that when twelve healthy adults were fed the equivalent of two cups of strawberries over the course of a day for a period of two weeks, their blood antioxidant capacity was increased significantly.
These results are not surprising, because strawberries are ranked third among antioxidant-rich foods, according to a 2006 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The various classes of antioxidants found in strawberries include:
- Anthocyanins - a type of antioxidant that gives strawberries and other fruits their red color. They reduce inflammation levels in the body, lowering risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Preliminary data indicates that anthocyanins may also be useful in treating stomach ailments such as ulcers.
- Vitamin C - a 'super' molecule, a powerful antioxidant that helps to recycle other vitamins such as vitamin E and helping to prevent harmful oxidation of LDL cholesterol that leads to heart disease. Vitamin C strengthens the immune system, guards DNA mutations against free radical attack and rids the body of free radicals that contribute to aging. Vitamin C is water-soluble and needs to be ingested frequently to maintain adequate stores. Fortunately, a half-cup serving of sliced fresh strawberries can give you up to 82% of your daily vitamin C requirement.
- Ellagic acid - also found in pomegranates and raspberries along with strawberries, ellagic acid has antibiotic and antiviral properties and shows promise for preventing certain cancers. It is also be helpful in lowering harmful LDL cholesterol levels and promoting overall heart health.
- Quercetin - a flavonoid antioxidant which acts as an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory agent. It helps to alleviate rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and high blood pressure (BP).
- p-Coumaric acid - a phenolic compound present naturally in strawberries. A study published in the March 2007 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition showed that p-coumaric acid reduces the number of platelets in blood without affecting blood clotting and coagulation, greatly reducing risk of developing vascular disease.
Strawberries are just one of 42 of the healthiest fruits present in a single delicious glass of Go Ruby Go super fruit supplements with a mix of healthful, life-giving all-natural phytonutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds like nothing else available today.
So why not boost your body's antioxidant capacity and lower your risk for diabetes, heart disease and other ailments by ordering Go Ruby Go today?