Strawberries boost red blood cells

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A group of volunteers ate half a kilo of strawberries every day for two weeks to demonstrate that eating strawberries improves the antioxidant capacity of blood. The study, carried out by Italian and Spanish researchers, showed that strawberries boost red blood cells’ response to oxidative stress, an imbalance that is associated with various diseases.

A team of researchers from the Marche Polytechnic University (UNIVPM, in Italy) and the University of Granada (UGR, in Spain) fed 12 healthy volunteers 500 grams of strawberries over the course of the day. The results show that regular consumption of strawberries can improve the antioxidant capacity of blood plasma and also the resistance of red blood cells to oxidative haemolysis.

The team is now analysing the variations caused by eating smaller quantities of strawberries. Various strawberry varieties are also being analysed in the laboratory, since they each contain antioxidants in differing amounts and proportions.

The results are published in Food Chemistry.

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