How to live longer: Strawberries may prevent high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer

Martin Daubney suggests a 'vegan tax' as they 'live longer'

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Its vibrant red colouring is attractive to the eye – and nature’s gift just keeps on giving. Strawberries have been linked to lower blood pressure, and may prevent heart disease and cancer. One strawberry contains 153mg of potassium, which is a key ingredient to lessen the effects of sodium in the body. Too much sodium in the body can raise blood pressure readings, certified the national health body (NHS).

There are numerous health risks associated with high blood pressure, such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Heart failure
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Aortic aneurysms
  • Kidney disease
  • Vascular dementia

Strawberries are rich in anthocyanin – a type of flavonoid – that have been linked to a lower risk of heart attack in one research paper.

Another research paper noted anthocyanin “have been widely studied for their medicinal values”.

“Anthocyanins possess anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-obesity effects,” the researchers noted.

In addition, anthocyanins have been linked to the “prevention of cardiovascular diseases”.

An example of cardiovascular disease is heart disease, which can be prevented by:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Being more physically active
  • Keeping to a healthy weight
  • Do not smoke
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Keep blood pressure under control

Eating a handful of strawberries will count towards one of your five-a-day – the minimum amount of fruit and veg people should be eating every day.

Do note that eating more than one handful of strawberries will still only count as one of your five-a-day – no matter how much you eat of them.

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Research presented by the University of Maine in America detailed the protective role of strawberries against cancer.

“Mounting evidence reports a variety of health benefits of berry fruits that are usually attributed to their non-nutritive bioactive compounds,” it read.

DNA strands are protected from damage thanks to the “anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory” properties found in strawberries.

Cancer is attributed to damaged DNA structures that can lead to unchecked cell division and growth, forming a tumour.

In addition to protecting DNA strands, strawberries can help stop the rapid progression of pre-cancerous and cancerous cells.

“Its effect on premalignant cells [i.e. pre-cancerous cells] is important for [its] ability to cause premalignant lesions to regress in humans,” the researchers stated.

This means the health properties found in strawberries can help stop cells from turning cancerous.

Evidence demonstrates again and again that what you choose to eat has a great impact on your health.

Verywell Health list dietary sources of anthocyanins – the compound that can protect you against disease. These are:

  • Red onions
  • Pomegranate
  • Tomato
  • Tart cherry
  • Berries

“Scientists have yet to determine whether taking high concentrations of anthocyanins in supplement form can help treat or prevent any specific health condition,” said Verywell Health.

Several key findings have linked anthocyanins to a reduced risk of cancer, but eating more carcinogenic substances can undue all the good they provide.

Carcinogenic substances increase the risk of cancer developing, such as:

  • Processed meat, such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs, pepperoni, prosciutto, salami, beef jerky
  • Red meat

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