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Beyond Gorgeous

Troubled with inflammation disorder like osteoarthritis, asthma, or atherosclerosis?  Instead of reaching for the ibuprofin bottle, you might try reaching for the strawberries instead.

Strawberries, our good-for-you food this week, contain a chemical compound called phenols.  Phenols fight against inflammation disorders by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase — which is what aspirin and ibuprofen do. The difference is that strawberries aren’t hard on your stomach. In fact, they are rich in fiber which aids your digestion and helps lowers your blood pressure, as well as helps you feel full so you aren’t as likely to overeat.  One cup of these sweet berries has only 43 calories, but delivers 13% of the RDA of fiber.

The phenols are also antioxidants, which help protect your cells.  The combination of both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents are powerful weapons against the onset of cancer — as are the vitamin C, folate, and flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol that strawberries have in abundance.

Do you feel like your immune system is down?  No need to buy a bottle of artificial vitamin C.  One cup of strawberries has 136% of the RDA for that powerhouse vitamin that boosts the immune system.  It also helps lower blood pressure and help prevent age-related eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

Hmm.  Good for your inflammation issues, your immune system, your eyes, your blood pressure, your digestion.  Is that enough to make it worthwhile to stop by the produce section?  How about adding in healthy bones? Strawberries also have manganese, which is important for building good bones.  That same one cup of berries provides 21% of the RDA of manganese — which is also anti-inflammatory and important for preventing cardiovascular disease.

And they taste good!  They make a great snack or dessert.  Just don’t put sugar on them!  Strawberry shortcake with a dip of ice cream doesn’t have the same effect as that cup of raw berries.

Hippocrates said it centuries ago: Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food.

If you choose your foods, not just by taste or habit, but on the basis of what your body needs, you might be able to avoid those expensive prescriptions, which invariably come with side effects.  That kind of “health care” makes sense for everybody!

Eating to live and living for Christ,

Susan Jordan Brown

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