I’m suffering from a serious case of spring fever.
The weather is warming up, the first flowers of the season are starting to bloom, and my office windows are wide open to let in the warming breeze. And can you guess what I’m daydreaming about?
A great big bowl of fresh strawberries!
And just in time for strawberry season, I have some exciting news to share about this delicious summertime treat. It turns out that this member of the rose family has been hiding a powerful cancer-fighting ability in its juicy red fruit.
Strawberries help protect against esophageal cancer
A team of researchers composed of scientists from Ohio State University and a group of scientists from China has completed a human clinical trial that found that eating strawberries can provide protection against esophageal cancer.
In previous research, the group in China had already found that freeze-dried strawberries have the ability to squash esophageal-tumor development in lab rats. Armed with that exciting finding they decided to find out what the strawberries could do for human patients with precancerous lesions of the esophagus.
The research team had 36 volunteers with precancerous lesions consume 60 grams… about 2 ounces… of freeze-dried strawberries per day for six months. Biopsies taken before and after the strawberry experiment revealed that in 29 out of the 36 volunteers there had been a remarkable decrease in the apparent severity or histological grade (the appearance of the lesions when compared with normal tissue) of the precancerous lesions after the six months.
In other words, the strawberries appear to have actually slowed the progression of the lesions toward cancer!
This is huge news, because esophageal cancer is a particularly nasty form of cancer with a very low survival rate. In fact, only 10 percent of patients live five years after their initial diagnosis.
More than 16,000 new cases of this deadly cancer will be diagnosed in the United States alone this year. And with esophageal being the third-most-common gastrointestinal cancer and the sixth-most-frequent cause of cancer death in the world, we’re talking about the potential to save a LOT of lives.
Strawberries are PACKED with nutrients!
The researchers have plans to next test their findings in randomized controlled trials, but there’s certainly no need to wait for those results to start reaping the benefits of nutrition-packed strawberries. These nonfat low-calorie treats are brimming with vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6… so you simply can’t go wrong making them a part of your regular diet.
Be sure to choose an organic whenever possible since strawberries, being a soft-skin fruit, are particularly vulnerable to pesticide contamination. The freeze-dried varieties, with no added sweeteners or preservatives—like were used in the China study—are also readily available in many grocery stores as well as online.
Now, if you’ll pardon me, I think I will go claim that delicious bowl of strawberries now before my husband beats me to them.
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