Including strawberries into your daily diet may improve blood vessel function and systolic blood pressure. A new study seems to indicate that the fruit shows benefits for those who are overweight or obese and who have moderately high cholesterol (LDL cholesterol or ‘bad’ cholesterol).
Strawberries are packed with beneficial antioxidants and nutrients including potassium, folate, fiber,2 and polyphenols—compounds found in plants that offer a slew of health benefits.
Michelle Routhenstein, RDN, CDE, CDN, a New York-based cardiology registered dietitian and owner of Entirely Nourished, told Verywell: “It is no surprise to me that the rich polyphenol content of strawberries allows for a positive effect on endothelial functioning. This allows for relaxation of the arteries, improving blood flow and reducing systolic blood pressure."
The endothelium, or the thin membrane that lines the walls of the heart and the blood vessels, needs to remain healthy in order for the heart to do its job effectively: relax and contract to pump blood. If the endothelium is not functioning properly, large blood vessels in the heart may not dilate—or open—the way they should.
The goal of this new study was to determine whether eating strawberries can play a role in vascular endothelial function as well. Results showed that consuming strawberry powder every day for four weeks resulted in an improved flow-mediated dilation one hour after the strawberry drink was drunk. Plus, systolic blood pressure decreased among participants two hours after drinking the strawberry beverage, and was still noted four weeks later.