Strawberries are one of the most popular berries in America. They are rich in antioxidants and fibers that can help keep your tummy healthy. From the animal experiments conducted so far, strawberries seem to be good for your stomach.
As compared to other organs, the stomach is known to create a tremendous amount of free radicals (highly reactive substances that can damage cells and tissues) that contribute to oxidative stress. This oxidative stress plays a major role in the development of multiple disorders, such as gastritis (inflammation of the stomach), stomach ulcers, or stomach cancer.
In a study that was conducted on rats, strawberry extracts prevented alcohol-induced damage to the lining (gastric mucosa) of the rats’ stomachs. Alcohol caused severe damage to the stomach and consumption of strawberries prevented the worsening of the damage. The study attributed these effects to the antioxidant activity and polyphenol content (anthocyanins) of strawberries. It was concluded that a diet rich in strawberries might exert a beneficial effect in the prevention of stomach disorders caused by oxidative stress (oxidative stress is known to induce inflammatory processes).
Eating strawberries may help prevent or treat
Are strawberries healthy for your bowels?
Animal experiments have been conducted to find out if strawberries can help treat inflammatory conditions of the bowel (intestine). A research was conducted on mice at the University of Massachusetts Amherst; the study found that dietary consumption of whole strawberries may help in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by suppressing symptoms like body weight loss and bloody diarrhea.
Another animal study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that strawberry increases the abundance of potentially beneficial bacteria and decreases the abundance of potentially harmful bacteria. The research concluded that along with its anti-inflammatory activity, the beneficial effect of strawberries on the gut bacteria may help in maintaining colonic health. Consuming strawberries may help in the prevention of inflammatory diseases of the colon (large bowel).
How to identify fresh raw strawberries?
To derive maximum nutritional benefits from eating raw strawberries, you should eat them fresh. Choose strawberries that are:
- Deep red or bright red
- Having their caps green and intact
How to eat strawberries?
Rinse the strawberries with cold water just before you eat them. Do not wash and keep them for eating later as molds may develop over them.
You can eat fresh strawberries as a whole or in any of the below ways:
- Sprinkled on top of whole-grain cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt
- Mixed with green leafy vegetables
- Smoothie (combined with yogurt or milk)
Remember to eat strawberries in moderation as they are high in sugar.
Strawberry is low in potassium and can be consumed in moderation if you have a kidney problem. Just do not consume large quantities because this can increase your potassium levels (hyperkalemia). Hyperkalemia can cause life-threatening problems in your heart rhythm.
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American Chemical Society (ACS). Strawberries Could Help Reduce Harmful Inflammation in the Colon. August 7, 2018. https://www.newswise.com/articles/strawberries-could-help-reduce-harmful-inflammation-in-the-colon
Henning S, Chang H-W, Yan D, et al. California strawberry consumption alters gut microbiome in healthy participants: A pilot study. Curr Dev Nutr. 2020;4(Suppl 2):1561. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5385025/
Han Y, Song M, Gu M, et al. Dietary intake of whole strawberry inhibited colonic inflammation in dextran-sulfate-sodium-treated mice via restoring immune homeostasis and alleviating gut microbiota dysbiosis. J Agric Food Chem. 2019 Aug 21;67(33):9168-9177. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30810035/