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One Major Effect of Eating Strawberries, Says Science

If you're a lover of strawberries and pancakes, this is for you.

When you're starting at a pile of pancakes at your kitchen table or in a restaurant, what's the fruit you tend to reach for the most? While berries of all kinds pair deliciously with fluffy pancakes, strawberries tend to be a popular topping—and for good reason! Not only are strawberries delicious, but they can also slow down glucose digestion in the body, which helps with crazy blood sugar spikes after a carb-filled meal like pancakes or waffles.

This one major effect of eating strawberries has been linked to preventing metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Here's exactly how the science behind the strawberry works, and why you should start adding a side of strawberries to your carb-filled meals. After, be sure to read our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now for even more healthy eating tips.

Enjoying sliced strawberries on top of pancakes, waffles, or even oatmeal can be a delicious—and nutritious—way to enjoy your breakfast—even research says so! According to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, adults who were given strawberries with a "high-carbohydrate, moderate-fat meal" saw a "reduction in postprandial insulin response."

How does this translate? When you consume carbohydrates, your body produces insulin, which helps break down those carbs into sugar. Sugar is then released into your bloodstream and used for energy. Your body experiences blood sugar spikes each time this happens, and more severe spikes lead to some common diet-related diseases like heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

But don't fret—this doesn't mean you can't consume carbohydrates. In fact, it's important to find ways to incorporate other foods into your meals that can help regulate these blood sugar spikes and make them less severe. Fiber-rich foods can help with blood sugar spikes because they can slow down the absorption of sugar and improve blood sugar levels, according to the Mayo Clinic.

And strawberries are full of fiber! One cup of whole strawberries provides your body with 3 grams of fiber, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This equates to around 10% to 12% of your daily recommended intake of 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day, per the American Heart Association.

Does this mean you can eat pancakes as long as you eat strawberries? Yes—and it doesn't always have to be strawberries. This all ties back to good nutrition practices: Adding good sources of fiber into your meals helps you stay fuller longer. An easy way to ensure that you're getting the proper amount of protein is to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, which is a recommendation that comes straight from the USDA MyPlate Dietary Guidelines.

So add a few pancakes to your plate, fill the other half with a cup of strawberries, and you'll find yourself with a healthy meal that keeps you satisfied without those crazy blood sugar spikes.

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten
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