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New Research Shows Strawberries Can Play Role in Alzheimer's and Diabetes

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TASTE News Service, November 2, 2015 - We're used to tossing strawberries into our shopping carts, but new research shows that this fruit may also keep us at our healthiest. As November kicks off both American Diabetes Month and National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, new research indicates that eating strawberries regularly can be an effective way to help prevent and manage diseases that affect millions of Americans and their families.

With approximately 5.3 million Americans currently suffering from Alzheimer's disease, a severe type of dementia, USDA researchers designed one of the first clinical studies to determine if strawberry intake could reverse age-related motor and cognitive decline among healthy older adults. Even in the absence of neurological dysfunction, the researchers demonstrated that supplementing older adults' diets with about two cups per day of strawberries can improve cognition. The research, conducted at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, was presented at the recent Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Chicago. Overall, the results suggest that dietary intervention with strawberry fruit may be an effective means of combating age-related cognitive decline.

But the benefits don't stop there. For people of all ages, without a healthy diet and regular exercise, health conditions such as diabetes represent a major threat. With 29 million Americans currently suffering from diabetes, and nearly 86 million with prediabetes, this condition remains a significant detriment to public health. Research shows that strawberries can play a role in management and prevention when it comes to diabetes as well. Harvard University researchers unveiled this year at the American Diabetes Association's 75th Scientific Session the results of a Women's Health Study showing that compared to women who rarely or never ate strawberries, those who ate strawberries at least once a month had a lower risk for developing diabetes.

In recognition of both awareness initiatives, the California Strawberry Commission is introducing recipes and tips to promote a healthy diet and lifestyle.

"Getting a healthy dose of strawberries can help aid the prevention and management of these and other chronic diseases, and can kickstart a healthier diet and lifestyle for all," says dietitian Toby Amidor, who works closely with the California Strawberry Commission. "It's easy to incorporate strawberries into your daily diet even in the winter months -- try blending frozen strawberries, Greek yogurt and honey with a splash of cranberry juice for a simple breakfast smoothie that won't disappoint."

Editor’s Note: More information on strawberries and recipes using strawberries can be found at www.californiastrawberries.com.

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