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Strawberry Powder Drink May Boost Heart Health

Overweight teens are at a higher risk of developing heart disease, the number one killer in the United States. A recent study suggests that increasing nitrate intake through a daily strawberry powder drink may help boost cardiovascular health in overweight teen boys.

Participants in the study included 25 overweight or obese boys between the ages of 14 and 18. They were given 50 g of freeze-dried strawberry powder — the equivalent of 500 g of fresh-weight strawberries — or a control powder every day for a week.

The researchers measured markers of vascular health at baseline and one hour after drinking the strawberry drink. They found improvements in nitrite levels in some of the participants but did not see any significant changes in the group as a whole.

However, when they looked specifically at the boys whose fasting nitrate levels did increase after the strawberry drink, they found an increase in reactive hyperaemia index (RHI), which measures the blood flow to different tissues in the body and is a marker of endothelial function.

Researchers from the University of California conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on June 20, 2016, in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Previous studies have also linked strawberries with reducing the risk of Parkinson’s disease, decreasing the risk of bladder infections, and improved vision. Strawberries are easily incorporated into your daily diet by adding them to smoothies, yogurt, pancakes, and fruit salads or by consuming a freeze-dried strawberry powder drink, as they did in this study.

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