Strawberries and Cholesterol: Do Strawberries Help Cholesterol?

Strawberries are, needless to say, a very popular and highly versatile fruit. They also have qualities that can positively impact your cholesterol and cardiovascular health. Strawberries have no cholesterol at all, however elements in strawberries can affect blood serum cholesterol levels and health. Specifically, strawberries are high in antioxidants (especially Vitamin C) and also have a good amount of fiber.

Antioxidants in Strawberries

cholesterol antioxidant

The graph below shows that strawberries are the number ten fruit on the list of the Top Ten Antioxidant Fruits, of fruits measured in a database developed by the USDA. One measure of the power of antioxidants in the body is the ORAC value (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), a overarching measure of antioxidants that many academic food scientists use in examining antioxidans in food. In the case of strawberries, the measure includes various antioxidant vitamins and other properties

The particular antioxidant strawberries have in great abundance is vitamin C. (See tables below with nutrition information on strawberries.) One hundred grams of strawberries contain 58.8 milligrams of Vitamin C, which amounts to a stunning 98% of the recommended daily intake for someone with a 2,000 calorie daily diet. Vitamin C has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”), which has been implicated in clogging of the arteries. Vitamin C intake is also correlated with lower rates of mortality from cardiovascular disease. [1] Vitamin C in strawberries will be at its highest when the strawberry is fresh and ripe but not over-ripe. Freezing or otherwise preserving strawberries will reduce the vitamin C content.

Raw strawberries contain 4302 micromoles/liter of Trolox equivalents per 100 grams, the total ORAC value of Strawberries.

  • The H-ORAC value for strawberries is 4266.
  • The L-ORAC value for strawberries is 36.
  • The total phenolic content of strawberries is 332 mg GAE/100 g.

Strawberries are also quite high in the antioxidant class called polyphenols, a compound in plants. Strawberries stand at 33 on the list of the top one hundred foods in polyphenols. [2] Polyphenols and a type of polyphenols called flavonoids have been shown in research studies to be associated with a variety of health benefits, including lower rates of heart attack [3] and heart disease mortality [4].

Fiber in Strawberries

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Strawberries are also rather high in dietary fiber. Thanks largely to the small tan seeds on the outside of the strawberry that are entirely edible, each 100 gram serving of strawberries contains 2 grams of dietary fiber — 8% of the daily recommended intake for someone with a 2,000 calorie diet. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of this dietary fiber is soluble in water and the rest is insoluble. Research has shown soluble fiber to have some significant benefits for the circulatory system, including lowering LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”) levels in the blood without lowering the amount of HDL cholesterol (“good cholesterol”) [5]. Strawberries may also reduce your risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. All of these great properties of strawberries make it a heart-healthy fruit.

Macronutrients And Cholesterol In Strawberries

The nutritional content of strawberries is listed in the tables below. Strawberries are a stand-out for vitamin C but they also do include trace minerals and, in particular, a nice amount of manganese.

Component
Amount
% Daily Value*
Calories
32
Protein
.67 g
1%
Carbohydrate
7.68 g
3%
Fat
.3 g
0%
Fiber
2 g
8%
Sugar
4.89 g
Water
90.95 g
Ash
.4
*The daily value is based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

Fat Types In Strawberries

Fat Type
Amount
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
.01
0%
Monosaturated Fat
.04 g
*The daily value is based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

Minerals in Strawberries

Mineral
Amount
% Daily Value*
Calcium
16 mg
2%
Magnesium
13 mg
3%
Iron
.41 mg
2%
Zinc
.14 mg
1%
Sodium
1 mg
0%
Phosphorus
24 mg
2%
Potassium
153 mg
4%
Manganese
.39 mg
19%
Copper
.05 mg
2%
Selenium
.4 mg
1%
*The daily value is based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

Vitamins In Strawberries

Vitamin
Amount
% Daily Value*
Vitamin C
58.8 mg
98%
Vitamin E
.29 mg
1%
Vitamin A – IU
12 IU
0%
Vitamin D – IU
0 IU
0%
Thiamin – B1
.02 mg
2%
Riboflavin – B2
.02 mg
1%
Niacin – B3
.39 mg
2%
Vitamin B6
.05 mg
2%
Vitamin B12
0 mcg
0%
Folic Acid
0 mg
Food Folate
24 mg
*The daily value is based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

References On Strawberries And Cholesterol

[1] Simon, JA. “Vitamin C and Cardiovascular Disease: a Review.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 11, no. 2 (April 1992): 107-125

[2] Pérez-Jiménez J., Neveu V., Vos, F., and Scalbert A. “Identification of the 100 Richest Dietary Sources of Polyphenols: an Application of the Phenol-Explorer Database.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 64, no. 3s (2010): S112-S120.

[3] Hirvonen T, Pietinen P, Virtanen M, et al. “Intake of Flavonols And Flavones and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Male Smokers.” Epidemiology 12 (2001): 62–67.

[4] Hertog MG, Kromhout D, Aravanis C, et al. “Flavonoid Intake and Long-Term Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Cancer in the Seven Countries Study.” Archives of Internal Medicine 155, no. 4 (February 27, 1995): 381–386.

[5] Glore, S., van Treeck, D., Knehans, A., and Guild M. “Soluble Fiber and Serum Lipids: A Literature Review.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 94, no. 4 (April 1994): 425-436.

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