A 2023 study has revealed that strawberries can enhance cognitive function, lower blood pressure, and increase antioxidant levels.
A randomized clinical trial presented at Nutrition 2023, the annual meeting of the American Society of Nutrition (ASN), has shown that daily consumption of strawberries is associated with improved cognitive function, lower blood pressure, and higher antioxidant capacity. This study supports the growing body of evidence demonstrating the cardiovascular, metabolic, and cognitive health benefits of strawberries.
The study, conducted at San Diego State University, involved 35 healthy men and women, aged 66 to 78. Participants were randomly assigned to consume either 26 grams of freeze-dried strawberry powder, equivalent to two servings of strawberries daily, or a control powder for eight weeks each. The results showed that those who consumed strawberries experienced significant improvements in cognitive function, blood pressure, and antioxidant levels compared to the control group.
Participants who consumed strawberry powder experienced:
- 5.2% increase in cognitive processing speed
- 3.6% decrease in systolic blood pressure
- 10.2% rise in total antioxidant capacity. A
- 1.1% reduction in waist circumference, while the control group experienced an increase in serum triglycerides.
These results support the growing body of evidence that strawberries are a nutritional powerhouse packed with beneficial compounds. Strawberries provide substantial amounts of vitamin C, a key antioxidant that supports immune function and protects cells from damage. They also contain folate, potassium, fiber, phytosterols, and polyphenols, which play a crucial role in cardiovascular health and cognitive function.
The study’s lead investigator, Shirin Hooshmand, professor in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at San Diego State University, underscores the significance of these findings, stating,
“This study demonstrates that consuming strawberries may promote cognitive function and improve cardiovascular risk factors like hypertension.”Shirin Hooshmand
Strawberries are a treasure trove of bioactive compounds, providing 100% of our daily vitamin C requirement. They also contain an array of heart-healthy nutrients, including folate, potassium, fiber, phytosterols, and polyphenols.
Prior clinical trials have established a strong link between strawberry consumption and favorable cardiovascular outcomes, such as reduced total and LDL cholesterol levels and lowered blood pressure. The association between strawberry intake and cognitive health has also been extensively explored in both clinical and population-based studies. Research conducted at Rush University revealed a correlation between strawberry consumption and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s dementia. Additionally, long-term observational studies, including the Health Professionals Study and the Nurses’ Health Study, have consistently demonstrated that strawberry consumers exhibit slower rates of cognitive decline.
These findings underscore the remarkable potential of strawberries to enhance cognitive function and cardiovascular health. Incorporating strawberries into one’s diet not only provides a delightful and nutritious addition to meals but also offers a promising path towards maintaining overall well-being.
The study was funded by California Strawberry Commission. 😀
The polyphenolic compounds in strawberries may improve cognitive function and cardiovascular health due to their antioxidant capacities. This study aimed to examine the effects of strawberries on cognitive function and cardiometabolic health in healthy aging adults.
Using a randomized, crossover, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 35 healthy older adults (17 women, 18 men, age 72 ± 6 years, BMI 26.4 ± 3.9 kg/m2) consumed 26 grams of freeze-dried strawberry powder (strawberry) and a control powder (control) daily for 8 weeks each with a 4-week washout period. The primary outcome was cognition measured according to the NIH toolbox, and the secondary outcome was cardiometabolic health assessed by blood pressure, biomarkers, and waist circumference.
Speed of processing (p < 0.001) increased in the strawberry group and episodic memory (p = 0.002) was improved in the control group. Strawberry consumption reduced systolic blood pressure (p = 0.044) and a significant main effect of time for reduced waist circumference (p = 0.043) was detected. Serum triglycerides increased in the control group (p = 0.012) but not after consuming strawberries. Total antioxidant capacity significantly decreased during the control trial (p = 0.032) and significantly increased with strawberry consumption (p = 0.047).
This study demonstrates that daily consumption of 26 grams of freeze-dried strawberry powder moderately improves cognitive processing speed, lowers systolic blood pressure, and increases total-antioxidant capacity, potentially promoting cognitive function and improving cardiovascular risk factors.