Tuesday, September 29, 2009

mmmmm strawberries

Strawberry season is close. We have already had strawberries from our wild plants, both the white and red wide variates. These grow like weeds, but have very small berries. The white taste divine, the red are acceptable and nice if they have enough water. However you would need a massive garden to get a cup full.

We have a "proper" strawberry patch with two varieties, with a red ripe strawberry ready to be picked - which is will be once this post is written. Definitely cut this one in half and share with Tiffany!

The reason for this rambling is that a study published overnight (NZ time) shows the value in eating strawberries. Apparently in general population studies eating of strawberries reduces cardiovascular disease, one of the big killers in the Western world. This study looked at feeding freeze dried strawberry powder to obese women. They found over the 4 week study that bad cholesterol significantly decreased and evidence of oxidative stress decreased. All great indications that strawberries are working magic.

Freeze dried strawberries - never heard of them until today. It comes in a powder form, and one teaspoon gives equivalent of 1/3 cup of strawberries. The levels used in the above study gave approximately 1 1/2 cups of strawberries a day. This puts a new perspective on the study. I might suggest that strawberries out of your garden, you wouldn't have to eat so many. However if you purchase yours from a store, you might have to eat less due to the depredation of the strawberries in storage.

What this shows is that you need to eat large volumes of nutrient rich foods to obtain significant health benefits. This is where food concentration is helpful. Taking the water and cellulose (fibre) out of food to increase the ease in which we can consume this level.

Reference: Basu, Wilkinson, Penugonda, Simmons, Betts and Lyons. Freeze-dried strawberry powder improves lipid profile and lipid peroxidation in women with metabolic syndrome: baseline and post intervention effects Nutrition Journal 2009, 8:43

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