sure surprised me…
Many foods are valuable sources of antioxidants. But researchers have recently ranked the 50 best antioxidant sources among commonly eaten foods and found
to be quite exceptional.
When total antioxidant capacity was measured,
ranked 27th best among U.S. foods. In addition, when only fruits were considered, strawberries came out 4th among all fruits (behind blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries).
Since many foods (for example, spices and seasonings) are seldom consumed in amounts as large as 3.5 ounces, researchers also looked at common serving sizes for all foods and their total antioxidant capacity.
In this evaluation, strawberries came out 3rd among all U.S. foods including spices, seasonings, fruits, and vegetables!
Only blackberries and walnuts scored higher in total antioxidant capacity.
Research has shown strawberries to be a surprisingly fragile, perishable, and delicate fruit.
Food scientists recently took a close look at storage time, storage temperature, storage humidity, and degree of strawberry ripeness and found significant differences between different types of strawberry storage. On average, studies show 2 days as the maximal time for strawberry storage without major loss of vitamin C and polyphenol antioxidants.
It’s not that strawberries become dangerous to eat or invaluable after 2 days. It’s just that more storage time brings along with it substantially more nutrient loss.
In terms of humidity, 90-95% has been shown optimal. Most refrigerators will average a much lower humidity (between 80-90%).
Because air circulation inside the fridge can lower humidity, you may want to give your strawberries more storage humidity by putting them in your refrigerator’s cold storage bins.
If your fridge does not have storage bins, you can use a sealed container for refrigerator storage of your strawberries.
Optimal temperature for strawberry storage over a 2-day period has been found to be relatively cold, (36F) (2C).
Public health organizations only recommend refrigerator temperatures of 40F (4.4C) as the maximum safe level for food storage. But, if you are storing sizable amounts of fruits and vegetables, including strawberries in your refrigerator, you may want to set your refrigerator to a lower than maximum temperature setting in the range of 36-38F (2-3C).
In terms of ripeness, recent studies have found that both under ripeness and over ripeness can have an unexpectedly large impact on the phytonutrient content of strawberries, especially their antioxidant polyphenols.
Fortunately, optimal strawberry ripeness can be judged by color. Consume your strawberries when their pinkish red color is most vibrant.
Improved blood sugar regulation has been a long-standing area of interest in research on strawberries and health.
However, scientists have recently discovered a fascinating relationship between intake of strawberries, table sugar, and blood sugar levels. You might not expect this blood sugar spike to be reduced by simultaneous consumption of strawberries! Yet that’s exactly what researchers have discovered.
With the equivalent of approximately one cup of fresh strawberries (approximately 150 grams), blood sugar elevations from simple sugar intake can be reduced. Researchers have speculated that polyphenols in strawberries play a major role in helping regulate blood sugar response.
This finding is great news for healthy persons wanting to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and also for persons with type 2 diabetes who enjoy fresh strawberries and want to enjoy them on a regular basis.
Given their amazing combination of phytonutrients, including anthocyanins, ellagitannins, flavonols, terpenoids, and phenolic acids, it’s not surprising to find increasing research interest in the anti-inflammatory properties of strawberries.
It’s exciting to see this remarkable fruit lowering level of inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (CRP) when consumed several days per week, in everyday amounts of approximately one cup.
Research has now shown that several blood markers for chronic, unwanted inflammation, can be improved by regular intake of strawberries.
One study showed, consumption of strawberries did not display anti-inflammatory benefits until strawberries were consumed at least 3 times per week.
This research is why we recommend inclusion of berries at least 3-4 times per week in your overall fruit consumption.