Strawberry lovers unite! There’s one more reason to love this delicious summertime fruit and it has nothing to do with ice cream or smoothies.

A new study from Spanish and Italian researchers has found that strawberries may help protect against dangerous UV rays. This is because strawberries contain powerful protectors in the form of anthocynanins – the compound that gives strawberries their bright, red color.

For starters, strawberries are incredibly healthy on their own with one, one cup serving of containing more than 160 percent of the daily recommended requirement of vitamin C. Plus, they’re plenty high in folate, potassium, calcium, iron, and  fiber – which is extremely important for proper digestion. In addition, strawberries also contain antioxidants and flavonoids, which can help prevent certain types of cancers.

And now? Researchers suspect strawberry extract may protect our skin cells from being damaged by ultraviolet radiation. Is there anything this super fruit can’t do?

To conduct the study, researchers added strawberry extracts in various doses to skin cell cultures, ranging in size from .05 milligrams per millimeter to 0.5 milligrams per millimeter. In addition, they added a “control extract” to the cultures. Researchers then examined the skin cell cultures’ reaction to ultraviolet light that was equivalent to 90 minutes of peak, summertime sun.

Researchers found that the strawberry extract in high doses seemed to decrease DNA damage to the cell cultures and also preserved the cell’s “survival” when compared to the controls.

As reported by the Huffington Post, study researcher Sara Tulipani of the University of Barcelona points out that the compounds in strawberries have “anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-tumor properties and are capable of modulating enzymatic processes.” And though this is a compelling finding, she was quick to note that a direct relationship between these compounds and photo protective properties has not yet been confirmed.

Though this study was telling, Tulipani suggests that it only lays the groundwork for future research regarding the protective properties of strawberries for human skin. And furthermore, whether they’re more beneficial applied topically or when consumed.

Either way, you can’t deny the benefits of consuming these powerful berries on a daily basis. So until the link between strawberries and skin protection is confirmed, we encourage you to get your hands on as many pints of berries as possible and keep them a constant staple in your diet.

Also Read:

How to Cook with Strawberries

source: Huffington Post