Here’s one of the best-kept secrets of the season: In addition to being delicious and full of antioxidants, strawberries can boost your metabolism and help your body burn fat. These delicious berries supply powerful nutrients that can help you lose weight and even keep your brain young and fit, according to Leo Galland, MD, author of The Fat Resistance Diet.
STRAWBERRIES BOOST METABOLISM
Dr. Galland, who frequently uses foods for prevention and treatment of common conditions, told me that strawberries promote weight loss in at least three ways. Strawberries can:
- Increase the body’s production of a hormone that stimulates your metabolism and curbs your appetite. Anthocyanins, a chemical constituent of strawberries, stimulate synthesis of the hormone adiponectin, which is produced by fat cells. Adiponectin stimulates fat burning.
- Slow the rate of digestion of starchy foods. Anthocyanins and ellagitannins found in strawberries inhibit the enzymes that transform dietary starch into sugar. This helps control the rise in blood sugar that follows a starchy meal. This is a key benefit for those with type 2 diabetes.
- Help your weight-reducing hormones function properly.
According to Dr. Galland, strawberries are a perfect part of his “fat resistance” plan because one cup of sliced strawberries has only 53 calories and comes loaded with 98 mg of vitamin C, 3 grams of fiber, plus calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Strawberries may also help keep the brain young and fit. Research with laboratory animals has demonstrated functional benefits of strawberries for the aging brain, including preservation of memory and learning ability.
All this is in addition to the high anti-inflammatory antioxidant content in strawberries, which helps protect against heart disease and stroke.
HOW TO ENJOY STRAWBERRIES: SHOPPING AND EATING
The fresher the better when shopping for berries. Buy organically grown ones when you can find them, as organic strawberries have been shown to have higher levels of vitamin C. Choose strawberries that are bright red and firm, skipping any that are bruised or soft. Wash them thoroughly just before eating or using them, so they won’t get soggy and to remove pesticide residues, since strawberries have higher pesticide levels than many other crops.
In a world of sugary temptations, strawberries can be considered a 100% guilt-free treat, according to Dr. Galland. “Strawberries give you flavor, color and aroma, awakening your taste buds to the fresh, natural foods your body needs to be healthy and vital,” he said. “Enjoy them as I do, without adding sugar or cream, and let the natural sweetness shine through.”
Get a free one-day meal plan with recipes by visiting Dr. Galland’s Web site at www.fatresistancediet.com/trial/.