Strawberries: Are They Beneficial to Diabetics?

Kozzi-strawberries-on-a-white-background-767-X-677Strawberries have always been a popular fruit because of their red color and sweet, delectable flavor. Strawberries are cultivated in an array of sizes, colors, shapes and flavors and also are picked according to the season of ripening. Some strawberries vary in foliage also.

The first garden strawberry known to be grown was during the 18th century in France. Due to the richness of sugars in fruits, it has often been thought that strawberries are not good for diabetics, but research by nutritionists and scientists suggests strawberries can add many benefits to the diet a diabetic is on. Type 2 diabetes, based on research, and has shown to respond well to an ingredient found in strawberries.

Strawberries have a low calorie count along with many healthy vitamins and minerals, such as fiber and vitamin C. Fiber is an important mineral to a diabetic as it has been shown to aid in weight loss. Fiber is considered a bulking agent, so appetite is suppressed and the body is satisfied via its capacity to fill the stomach. A half of cup of strawberries added to a diabetic’s diet provides 25 calories, and makes a delicious energy-boosting treat when needed. It also provides the necessary daily amount of vitamin C needed by the body.

Strawberries have also been found to have calcium and iron when eaten. Strawberries, because the body processes them as glucose, provide the carbohydrates as energy fuel to the body. It is essential that diabetics ensure that they pay attention to the types of carbs they consume. The American Diabetes Association notes that most diabetics eat about 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates during their breakfast, lunch and dinner. One cup of strawberries contains about 11 grams of carbohydrates; so adding the sweet fruit to one’s meal is possible. Controlling the amount of carbohydrates is one of the most vital aspects of a diabetic’s diet. The British Journal of Nutrition found that if a diabetic adds a berry mixture that incorporates strawberries, they will slow the body’s glucose response to other foods they have eaten during the day. This is due to the high levels of a compound known as fisetin that is present in strawberries.

Fisetin, which is a particularly rare flavonoid, has also been found in apples and tomatoes, and is a polyphenolic compound that delays the absorption of sugar in the body. Researchers have studied the compound and found it beneficial to diabetics in the sense that it aided in reducing kidney and memory issues as well as keeping diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy at bay, or diminishing the effects if the diabetic has either present in their body. While the research performed was on mice, nutritionist Donna Weihofen, R.D., M.S., at the University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics stated that it was “an exciting discovery.” Flavonoids are also present in blueberries and red wine, but with the added benefit of fisetin being found in strawberries, in addition to their other benefits, the fruit is perfect for a diabetic and any other individual as a delicious snack. Strawberries can be used in a myriad of ways in a diabetic’s diet, such as in preserves, dairy products such as smoothies, milkshakes, yogurts and strawberry flavored milk, as well as in sweet desserts such as strawberry pie, strawberry rhubarb pie and shortcake.

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