Study: Regular Strawberry Consumption Linked to Improved Insulin Resistance

September 13, 2022

Strawberries continue to rank among Americans' top five favorite fruits and vegetables, despite a general decline in fruit and vegetable consumption in the country. However, regular consumption of this vivid red fruit might have additional health benefits beyond merely boosting your intake of fruits and vegetables.

In addition to being a nutrient-dense food, a recent study indicates that consistently consuming strawberries may reduce insulin resistance. Eating strawberries reduced inflammation, insulin resistance, and the density of fatty particles in the blood, according to a study that was published in Nutrients.

About the Study

In a 14-week randomized controlled crossover research, 33 persons who satisfied the criteria for presenting with at least one symptom of metabolic syndrome—such as obesity, abdominal adiposity based on waist circumference, or increased LDL cholesterol levels—took part.

One serving of low-dose strawberries was given to each participant, while two and a half servings of high-dose strawberries were given to each participant. The strawberry groups consumed a beverage that contained freeze-dried strawberry powder. A licensed dietician visited participants every two weeks, and they were required to submit meal logs. The study discovered a significant decrease in serum insulin and serum resistance with the high-dose strawberry treatment. Compliance with the procedure was determined by the return of any unused strawberry powder. The identical technique also caused a marginally significant change in the amount of LDL cholesterol that was lowered.

"Strawberries are full of essential nutrients—fiber, folate, vitamin c, and manganese," says registered dietitian Carrie Moody, RD. "While you may have heard to avoid fruit because it contains carbs or it can spike your blood sugar levels, strawberries have a low glycemic index."

What The Experts Say

In addition to anthocyanin, a substance found in plants and abundant in strawberries, polyphenol is thought to play a role in the prevention of chronic disease, according to various studies.
Strawberries are also relatively low in sugar and have a low glycemic index. Include a 2 1/2 cup serving of strawberries in your diet if you have diabetes or want to manage your weight.

"Strawberries are very nutritious and a favorite among many, particularly those who are looking to lose weight," says Diana Rodriguez, MS, RD, CDN based in New York City. "Strawberries are low-calorie, and 2 1/2 cups of strawberries contain about 7.5 grams of fiber, specifically soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps absorb water and forms a gel-like substance in the digestive system, slowing down the stomach’s emptying, thus increasing the feeling of fullness while helping regulate appetite."

Furthermore, Rodriguez adds that research points to a potential link between fruit consumption and a decreased risk of long-term weight gain. Remember that the strawberries used in the study were freeze-dried if the thought of eating two and a half cups of strawberries in one sitting seems a bit excessive. Since all produce counts toward your daily goal, this is a fantastic alternative that is accessible all year round for those who prefer it. They can be incorporated into a smoothie, served as a topping for yogurt with almonds, or as part of a more comprehensively balanced snack. No matter how nutrient-dense a food is, balance is always crucial, according to registered dietitian Carrie Moody, RDN.

"Strawberries are a great fruit option that will not significantly raise your blood sugar levels," says Moody. "It’s always a good idea to pair strawberries with a source of protein [or] a healthy fat to further curb a spike in blood sugar."

The strawberries reduced insulin resistance, enhanced lipid particle profiles, and reduced blood levels of an inflammation biomarker, even though differences in conventional lipid and glucose profiles did not change in either of the study's arms.

"Strawberries are a great snack option that can quickly satisfy your sweet tooth and help support weight loss," advises Rodriguez.

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