The present study investigates the effect of strawberry antioxidants in beverage form on meal-induced postprandial inflammatory and insulin responses in human subjects. Overweight adults (n 24) consumed a high-carbohydrate, moderate-fat meal (HCFM) accompanied by either a strawberry or a placebo beverage in a cross-over design. Postprandial changes in plasma anthocyanins, their metabolites, insulin, glucose and inflammatory markers were assessed for 6 h. The postprandial concentrations of pelargonidin sulfate and pelargonidin-3-O-glucoside were significantly increased when the strawberry beverage was consumed concurrently with the HCFM compared with the placebo beverage (P < 0·001). The strawberry beverage significantly attenuated the postprandial inflammatory response as measured by high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and IL-6 (P < 0·05) induced by the HCFM. It was also associated with a reduction in postprandial insulin response (P < 0·05). Collectively, these data provide evidence for favourable effects of strawberry antioxidants on postprandial inflammation and insulin sensitivity.