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WATSONVILLE, CA - The dark, cold days of winter can also lead to some pretty gloomy moods, but research from the California Strawberry Commission here shows that consuming the berry can go a long way to brightening moods.
During a segment on NBC's "Today Show" November 2, strawberries figured prominently on a list of foods that can improve moods. According to registered nutritionist Joy Bauer, the soluble fiber in strawberries helps slow the absorption of carbohydrates in the blood stream, which helps keep a person's blood sugar levels (and temperament) more even.
"One of the things that can make people cranky and feel bad is a big swing in blood sugar," said another nutrition expert, Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. "Some people rely on sweets to give them an energy boost. The part they don't expect is when they come crashing down because refined sugar is metabolized very quickly. Strawberries can help satisfy the craving for something sweet. They taste delicious, and the soluble fiber will help to avoid the letdown that can come after the sugar rush. Besides, it makes you feel good just to look at a bowl of strawberries - they're so pretty."
Results of a CSC-conducted survey found that consumers - especially women -- connected to strawberries both nutritionally and emotionally, citing benefits such as easing monthly cycle and menopause symptoms, and helping to ease everyday aches and pains. The perception of strawberries as "romantic" also spoke to their emotional needs, which contributes to overall health.
Strawberries are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with essential vitamins, fiber, potassium and other compounds that may boost the immune system. Plus, they are naturally low in sugar, high in vitamin C. Strawberries can also be a healthy, festive addition for upcoming holiday gatherings, with delicious, easy-to-make non-alcoholic drinks or bright garnishes.
CSC supports and represents the California strawberry industry with programs in research, education, marketing and issues management and represents an industry of over 700 growers, shippers and processors.