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Sensational Strawberries

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Strawberries May Improve Insulin Sensitivity
Nothing against May flowers, but what we’re really looking forward to are the strawberries. Bursting with flavor and nutrition, strawberries provide an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese plus three grams of fiber per cup. A new reason to stock up on these juicy red berries: They may help in the fight against diabetes. A 2016 study sponsored by the California Strawberry Commission and published in the Molecular Nutrition & Food Research explained why. 

Researchers from the Illinois Institute of Technology recruited 21 obese adults with insulin resistance—a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes—to eat a high fat, high carbohydrate breakfast along with one of four beverages. Three of the drinks were made with freeze-dried strawberries (containing the equivalent of 0.7, 1.5, or 3 cups of strawberries) and one drink was strawberry-free. For six hours following breakfast researchers monitored the participants’ blood. 

Compared with other drinks, the drink with the most strawberries reduced post-meal insulin concentrations by about 12%, an effect that could help lower risk of diabetes and other metabolic disorders. Researchers controlled for fiber in analysis, suggesting strawberry polyphenols, especially anthocyanins, are the compounds effecting insulin signaling. 

Looking for ways to incorporate more strawberries in your diet? Sliced strawberries over yogurt makes a tried and true favorite, but we’re kicking things up a notch at Dole and using strawberries in unexpected ways. Our Green Toast with Strawberries becomes the star of any party, combining savory and sweet by pairing strawberries and banana with avocado and a little feta cheese. 

Published May 1, 2016

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