(BPT) – Eight strawberries, a single serving, delivers on a surprising checklist of benefits for anyone looking to live a healthier lifestyle. Strawberries are much more than a sweet and delicious treat — they are a versatile fruit that’s great for your health. What better time than National Strawberry Month to share six health benefits of strawberries that may be new to you. Grab a handful of strawberries and read on, because eating right has never tasted so good.
* Strawberries help you stay sharp. A recent study in the Annals of Neurology suggests that eating strawberries more than twice a week appears to delay cognitive aging by up to two and a half years.
* Loaded with nutrients. Strawberries pack a lot of healthy properties into a small package. Each berry is full of beneficial antioxidants and nutrients, including potassium, folate and fiber.
* Sweet without the sugar. The sweet taste of strawberries makes them a natural dessert topping, and strawberries are also low in calories and sugar — one serving of eight strawberries contains just 45 calories!
* A delicious source of vitamin C. When you think vitamin C, think strawberries. One serving of eight strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange, topping out at 140 percent of the recommended daily value. It’s the perfect power-packed boost that you can add to any meal or cold remedy.
* A healthy choice for diabetics. The American Diabetes Association has identified berries, including strawberries, as a perfect component of a diabetes meal plan. This is because strawberries have a low glycemic index and are loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and dietary fiber.
* Cholesterol fighter. Lowering your cholesterol is a common goal for many Americans these days, and strawberries can help. In addition to being packed with antioxidants and fiber, strawberries are also rich in phytochemicals, which have been shown to reduce overall cholesterol levels. In addition, the potassium found in strawberries may help control blood pressure and fight strokes.