Strawberries are a tasty, healthy seasonal treat and cost very little, but they could potentially do wonders for your gut health. A recent study discovered that eating less than a ¾ cup of strawberries each day could relieve the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
IBD affects an estimated 1 in 250 people aged 5 to 40 in Australia and is becoming more common. Sedentary lifestyles combined with high-fat, high sugar and low fibre diets are thought to be increasing the risk of IBD. There are two main types which are ulcerative colitis, where the intestine and rectum can become inflamed, and Crohn’s disease which can affect any area of the gastrointestinal tract.
During this recent study, scientists assessed how eating strawberries affected mice with IBD. They discovered that mice who consumed the equivalent of ¾ of a cup of strawberries each day lost less weight and had fewer IBD symptoms compared with mice who weren’t fed strawberries. The researchers also found that levels of inflammation and harmful gut bacteria reduced, while levels of good bacteria increased.
Although researchers are hopeful about the outcome of this study, they are warning people with IBD to check with their doctor before substantially altering their diet.