Strawberries and cream are a quintessential expression of an English summer, so what better time to celebrate these little berries than the conclusion of The Wimbledon Championships. Over the past two weeks tennis fans from all over the world visiting this tennis heaven in London will have devoured some 140,000 servings – some 28,000kg (almost 31 tons, for our North American readers).
The fans will also have polished off some 29,000 bottles of champagne, 86,000 ice creams and 130,000 scones, but the strawberries will have provided some much needed additional benefits.
Healthy, heavenly strawberries
Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C and contain antioxidants decreasing inflammation in the body while also working against free radicals, that could inhibit tumour growth. In 2011 researchers found that eating about 37 strawberries a day can significantly reduce diabetic complications such as kidney disease and neuropathy. Other benefits include:
- The flavonoid quercetin, a natural anti-inflammatory that appears to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and protect against the damage caused by LDL “bad” cholesterol in animal studies
- The polyphenol content may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by preventing platelet build-up and reducing blood pressure
- Other studies have shown that eating strawberries helps to lower homocysteine levels, an amino acid in the blood associated with damaging the inner lining of arteries
Due to their high potassium content, strawberries are great for people with high blood pressure, to help negate the effects of sodium in the body. A low potassium intake is a risk factor for developing high blood pressure, meanwhile a routine nutrition high in potassium is associated with a 20% decreased risk of dying from all causes.
Combine strawberries with porridge, as a topping for wholemeal pancakes, as an addition to fruit salads, or just enjoy a punnet on their own with even a little cream as a treat.
And for those of you interested in these things, alongside their strawberries and scones the Wimbledon tennis fans consumed some 11,500 litres (over 2,500 gallons) of cream…
Note: if you have concerns about your potassium levels always consult your doctor.
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