Strawberries to reduce the signs of aging?
April 15th, 2021
Strawberries have long been known to have various health benefits, however it may be news to you that strawberries contain particular phytochemicals that can in fact reduce the signs of aging, so not only do they taste great, but they can help you look and feel younger too!
The phytochemical responsible for the antiaging effects found in strawberries is a type of Flavonol called Fisetin. Fisetin is especially high in strawberries, as this rich red fruit contains one of the densest concentrations of this phytochemical in nature. Fisetin acts as an antioxidant which aids in protecting body tissues from damage and has anti-inflammatory effects, all of which contribute to the reduction of the physical signs of aging.
One of the main theories of aging is called the Free Radical Theory. Free radicals can be explained as ravenous packmen that are never satisfied, taking bites out of every cell in the body that they come across and thereby causing injury and harm. When a cell is injured it creates inflammation which prevents it from fully employing its healing capabilities. While your body usually has the ability to heal these damaged cells, when it is overloaded with free radicals, particularly over the long-term, it can lead to a process called oxidative stress. As oxidative stress and damage increase, the body loses its ability to fight off the free radicals, leading to a range of degenerative and age-related diseases as well as exaggerated signs of aging, such as wrinkles. The free radicals that cause oxidative stress and are directly related to what a person has eaten, drunk, inhaled, absorbed or emotionally created inside their body. A little free radical damage is normal, however when the free radicals are out of control - too many hungry packmen - the aging process accelerates. Luckily, the body does have mechanisms to fight free radicals and prevent or reduce oxidative stress, this mechanism is due to these very potent anti-oxidants. As the word indicates, these anti-oxidants are literally against oxidation, as they neutralize those hungry packmen by eating them and making sure no more damage can occur.
Research has found that the high concentration of Fisetin found in strawberries with its very potent antioxidant properties help fight free radicals and more specifically, prevent damage to collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, which prevent further wrinkle formation. In addition, these juicy heart-shaped berries have the potential to extend lifespan by lessening the burden of free radical damage in the body. Thus, strawberries play an important role in the maintenance of skin and organ health, thereby reducing signs and symptoms of aging. Ancient Roman history tells us that these berries were often referred to as the ‘food of the gods’ and now you know why!
When it comes to strawberries, the fresher the better. The best way to pick the right strawberry is to look out for the bright red and plump ones, and to avoid the dry ones with wilted leaves. Once strawberries are picked, they do not continue to ripen, so if they are yellow or green, they will not taste as sweet and juicy and will contain less beneficial health properties. When buying by the carton, ensure that you look at the bottom in order to check for any mold. If you see one with mold, it is highly likely that another will be moldy too. Strawberries do tend to spoil quite fast, so as soon as you get them home, store them in the fridge and they will keep for a few days. If you do not find fresh, unblemished strawberries it is better to buy them frozen. The majority of frozen strawberries are flash frozen at their peak ripeness which means their maximum nutrient content is preserved for you to consume!
With all that said …. let’s eat!
BERRY BEAUTIFYING GELATO
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1 large banana (frozen with skin off)
1 cup of almond milk or other nut milk
1 tablespoon of almond butter or cashew butter
2 tablespoons of honey or agave
Sprinkle of Cinnamon or Cardamom (optional)
Crushed unsalted almonds for topping
Place all ingredients according to your taste and preferences in a blender.
Blend until smooth but should remain very thick.
Place the mixture in a flat container and spread it out to about an inch thick.
Freeze for approximately 2 hours (more/ less depending on your desired thickness and iciness), serve with fresh strawberries and fresh almond pieces on top for crunch! ENJOY!!