WATSONVILLE, Calif. (PRNewswire-USNewswire — Encouraging children and adults of all ages to improve fruit intake and variety by adding strawberries to their diet, the California Strawberry Commission and Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) teamed to present registered dietitians (RDs) with substantial evidence to classify strawberries as a functional food – offering health benefits beyond basic nutrition.
The webinar, Strawberries as a Functional Food: A Sweet Strategy for Health, presented by expert Britt Burton-Freeman of the Illinois Institute of Technology and UC Davis, was attended by 144 health professionals. An overview of the health-promoting constituents of strawberries was shared, and a review of data from human studies that support their potential role in helping to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, age-related cognitive decline and inflammation. The presentation also highlighted how to add inspiration and appeal to meals and snacks by just adding strawberries, making it easy to increase the nutrient content of everyday meals.
"A key initiative of PBH is to continuously provide fruit and vegetable focused information and resources to registered dietitians, especially those employed by supermarkets who interact daily with consumers, said Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D., President & CEO, Produce for Better Health Foundation. "When consumers ask registered dietitians, particularly supermarket dietitians, food and nutrition related questions they need to have accurate information and access to resources. Partnering with organizations, such as the California Strawberry Commission is one way PBH, and the entire fruit and vegetable industry, is ensuring registered dietitians have the needed information to help consumers increase their daily consumption of fruit and vegetables."
"As one of America's favorite fruits, it is important to effectively communicate the many benefits strawberries can provide to the daily diet, said Chris Christian, Senior Vice President, California Strawberry Commission. "We are pleased to have experts like Dr. Burton-Freeman share findings with RDs who do a great job turning the information into valuable and practical advice for their clients and the public."
As an added benefit to attending the webinar, available on the PBH website June 20, 2014 , the RD participants received continuing education credit.
About the California Strawberry Commission
The California Strawberry Commission , is a state government agency representing all of California's strawberry shippers, processors and farmers. With an emphasis on food safety education, Commission activities focus on production and nutrition research, trade relations, public policy, marketing and communications. California produces more than 85 percent of all strawberries grown in the United States. Follow California Strawberries on Facebook  and Twitter. 
According to the California Strawberry Commission and Produce for Better Health Foundation, there is substantial evidence to show that strawberries are a functional food — offering health benefits beyond basic nutrition, such as reducing cardiovascular disease.