Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Strawberries Boost Heart Health

We hear a lot of cholesterol. There's bad cholesterol (LDL) and good cholesterol (HDL). A new factor that may be important in predicting the risk of heart disease is called C-reactive protein (CRP).

A Harvard study suggests that eating strawberries at least twice a week may be associates with reducing elevated CRP and LDL levels.

CRP is a protein in the blood that is elevated in response to injury. Ex: Chronic injury to blood vessels that comes from having damaged arteries.

Other studies have shown that elevated CRP may explain heart disease in people who otherwise appear to have very low risk, even those with normal cholesterol levels.

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower CRP. Antioxidants are found in these foods and play an important role. Strawberries are an antioxidant powerhouse.

A Women's Health Study of 27,000 women were analyzed and compared with their risk development of heart disease over a 10 year period. This study included their diet records and blood samples. The women were then separated into two groups: High and Low strawberry intake. Those with the highest intake were found to be less likely to have elevated CRP in their blood. They also had lower cholesterol levels.
This study adds to the research showing how strawberries support heart health.

No comments: