With strawberries’ natural heart shape and deep red hue, they were perhaps destined to be associated with matters of the heart. They are a symbol for Venus, the goddess of love, and revered as an aphrodisiac. Legend has it that if you share a double strawberry with someone, he or she will become the object of your affection. Though no one can quantify just how much strawberries contribute to healthy romance, evidence suggests that strawberries can play a significant role in heart health.
Eating Strawberries can slightly lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, protect against oxidative damage that impairs brain function. They’re also good source of potassium, which helps regulate electrolytes in the body, lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke. Strawberries’ folate, fiber and vitamin C also provide heart-protective benefits. They also help prevent a decline in motor and cognitive skills commonly related to aging.
As far as antioxidant content, did you know that strawberries rank third highest? (just below blackberries and walnuts) Anthocyanins, the pigment that give strawberries their characteristic crimson color, are powerful antioxidants, which help protect cells from free radical damage and make strawberries potent cancer fighters, Thet also possess anti-infammatory properties much in the same way anti-inflammatory drugs do without the side effects. This makes them an ideal dietary choice for those suffering from rhematoid arthritis and related condtions.
Beyond such vital health benefits, strawberries can also enhance physical beauty. A cup of sliced strawberries contains as much vitamin C as one cup of orange juice, and vitamin C is essential for maintaining strong connective tissue in skin. In other words, strawberries may help keep your skin plump and healthy and stave off wrinkles. Perhaps that’s why Madame Tallien, one of the figures in Emperor Napoleon’s court, insisted on bathing in the juice of 22 pounds of crushed strawberries.
With so many benefits, it’s not surprising that strawberries would inspire such decadence. Even the indulgence of strawberries with Champagne or a strawberry daiquiri has its advantages; researchers have discovered that alcohol boosts the natural antioxidant capacity of strawberries by one-third and increases their ability to seek out and fight free radicals. Why not toast to the strawberry and to your good health. Bravo to the strawberr
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