New research shows that a little-known compound found in strawberries shows tremendous promise against many serious brain diseases and numerous types of cancer.
Known as fisetin, which is a plant compound primarily found in strawberries, the phytonutrient shows promise in the prevention of Alzheimer‘s disease, according to new research in the Journals of Gerontology. The researchers believe the reason for fisetin’s strongly brain-protective ability is that the plant nutrient is a potent antioxidant that also exhibits powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants prevent cellular and tissue damage from harmful free radicals that are otherwise linked to aging and disease.
The researchers were building on their earlier research in which they showed that fisetin reduced memory loss in animals with Alzheimer’s disease.
Fisetin also demonstrates antidepressant properties through the regulation of brain hormones like serotonin, suggesting that the compound may have a role in the prevention and treatment of depression.
Earlier research published in the medical journal Brain Research found that fisetin exhibited strong nerve and brain cell protection and was even effective to reduce damage after stroke.
As if that wasn’t already enough reason to race to the grocery store to chow down on strawberries, research in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that fisetin was also effective against highly aggressive melanoma cells. Melanoma is a type of invasive skin cancer that develops in the pigment that gives skin its color, but can spread throughout the body. In this study researchers were so impressed by the outcome of their tests that they concluded: “there is strong evidence that [fisetin] may be a strong candidate in cancer prevention and therapeutic strategies.”
Still not convinced to start eating more strawberries? Research in the medical journal Carcinogenesis found that the compound fisetin killed prostate cancer cells. Fisetin also shows promise against colon and pancreatic cancer.
While strawberries have the highest concentration of fisetin of fruits and vegetables (at 160 micrograms/gram) followed by 26.9 migrograms/gram in apples and 10.5 micrograms/gram in persimmons. Other foods that contain fisetin include: grapes, kiwi, onions, and cucumbers.
9 Ways Get More Strawberries Into Your Diet
By now, you’re probably as ready to run and grab some strawberries as I was while writing this blog. So, you may be interested in some fresh ways to get more of these berry delights into your daily diet. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Add fresh or frozen strawberries to smoothies, shakes, juices.
2. Top your favorite healthy crepes or pancakes with fresh or frozen (thawed) strawberries.
3. Add strawberries to tarts and pies (who doesn’t love strawberry-rhubarb?).
4. Top fresh dairy-free yogurt with strawberries.
5. Top your favorite green salad or quinoa salad with strawberries.
6. Cut up fresh strawberries and add to almond butter on your morning toast.
7. Top your favorite cake or cupcake with fresh or frozen (thawed) strawberries.
8. Add strawberries to carbonated water for a refreshing beverage.
9. Use frozen strawberries in place of ice cubes in your favorite beverage (don’t forget to eat the strawberries afterward).
It’s easy to get more strawberries into your diet to reap their brain-protecting and anti-cancer rewards.