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As one of the most popular fruits, strawberries are loved by everyone. They reach peak ripeness in summer and become juicy, tart, and sweet.
They should be eaten immediately after harvest or stored in cool but dry containers to last a few more days.
Strawberries are not actually berries, since they have their seeds on the outside. They have been cultivated for thousands of years around the world, which is why there are different types of strawberries in every country.
This is also why not all grow the same size or taste as sweet or juicy.
Due to its bright red color, one might guess that strawberries are rich in phytonutrients.
They have flavonoids such as anthocyanin, catechin, kaempferol, and quercetin. Strawberries are also rich in tannins and ellagic acid. With these in mind, what exactly can strawberries do for your health?
Healthy Heart and Lipid Profile
It is a fact that colorful fruits and vegetables often contain phytonutrients that cannot be found anywhere else.
Flavonoids and other types of polyphenols such as tannin and ellagic acid are all phytonutrients, and are some of the best antioxidants in nature. They are very aggressive at scavenging free radicals to prevent damage and aging in the body.
These phytonutrients reduce inflammation in the body. Prolonged inflammation not only leads to discomfort, but can develop into auto-immune disorders and degenerative diseases that directly affect cardiovascular functions.
Anthocyanins relax blood vessels to allow blood to flow continuously to and from the heart.
When blood vessels are relaxed, the heart does not have to pump too hard, which can cause elevated blood pressure and a risk for a heart attack. Strawberries also contain potassium and magnesium, both of which are vasodilators and are vital in keeping the heart healthy.
Since blood flow is improved, oxygen is regularly delivered to the brain. This gives the added bonus of supporting cognitive function.
Studies have shown that regularly consuming strawberries can reduce platelet aggregation.
Platelets clumping together can lead to clots and result in thrombosis. Thrombosis hinders blood and oxygen from circulating properly in the body due to platelet blockages. These are commonly felt in the legs or arms.
Patients with this condition often feel swelling and pain in these areas and may have difficulty using their affected limbs. It may resolve on its own, but can also lead to pulmonary embolism which could be fatal. Blood clots can also lead to strokes.
The compounds in strawberries are bioactive, meaning they can alter or affect biological processes in the body.
Take phytosterols, for example—these are the equivalent of cholesterols in plants. Since strawberries are rich in phytosterols, it competes with cholesterols when absorbed through the digestive lining and bloodstream.
Regularly eating strawberries therefore lowers the cholesterol absorption in the body, causing excess cholesterol to be flushed out of the system.
Good for the Eyes
Another benefit from getting enough flavonoids in the system is the preservation of eye sight. Certain flavonoids are a precursor to Vitamin A, which keeps the macula of the eyes healthy.
Eye pressure is kept balanced with the help of flavonoids. Strawberries are packed with these antioxidants, helping one against developing age-related eye disorders such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.
Healthy Immune System and Controlled Allergies
With a controlled inflammatory response, the body is less prone to developing allergies, common fevers, and pain. The immune system is boosted with the help of antioxidants and the high vitamin content in strawberries.
A single serving of strawberries already provides enough Vitamin C for the day. If strawberries are available, make sure to serve them to children and adults running a fever or cold.
Since strawberries start ripening at spring, which coincidentally is also allergy season. It is the perfect remedy for people experiencing allergies symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, wheezing, hives, rashes, or redness.
Healthy Snack for Diabetics
Diabetic patients have to adhere to a strict diet and have limited snacks choices, but they can eat as many strawberries as they want thanks to the strawberry’s very low glycemic index.
This means that even if it contains sugars and carbohydrates, it does not metabolize as fast, so sugar isn’t released right away into the bloodstream. This regulates the blood sugar.
Good for Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Strawberries contain two protein hormones called adinopectin and leptin. These hormones send signals to the brain that will leave you feeling full.
People trying to shed excess weight eat strawberries before a meal to send these signals early to the brain, causing them to eat less. Instead of consuming unhealthy snacks such as cookies, chocolate bars, and sugary beverages, strawberries are a good alternative.
Strawberries also contain a high water content and enough dietary fiber to help with digestion. Some people find it hard to drink pure water and often turn to sweet or flavored drinks.
Strawberries can help replace these by placing slices of the fruit in the water to give it a mild flavor. Since the strawberry also has diuretic effects, one can easily flush out wastes through urination.
Strawberries also have an antibacterial property which help people with digestive problems caused by unclean food preparation practices.
In addition, inflammation in the digestive tract can be reduced with the help of fiber and antioxidants in strawberries.
People currently experiencing the symptoms of diverticulitis, constipation, or diarrhea can find relief in consuming strawberries.
Healthy Skin, Bones, and Hair
Thanks to their antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects, strawberries reduce the pain felt by people with toothaches, osteoarthritis, and joint inflammation.
It contains enough Vitamin C that works as building blocks and helps Vitamin D and calcium in repairing bones. Vitamin C also boosts collagen and glutathione production in the body, repairing damages and keeping skin, nails, hair, and bones healthy.
Besides eating strawberries as is, strawberries are also mashed and used in facials and masks that help tighten and brighten the skin. People can even use strawberries to whiten teeth and nails naturally instead of getting costly treatments.
A hundred grams of strawberry contains at least 90.95 grams of water and the following nutrients
- 32 kcal of energy
- 0.67 grams of protein
- 0.3 grams of total fat
- 02 grams of total saturated fatty acids
- 04 grams of total monounsaturated fatty acids
- 16 grams of total polyunsaturated fatty acids
- 68 grams of carbohydrate
- 12 mg of phytosterol
- 2 grams of dietary fiber
- 16 mg of calcium
- 41 mg of iron
- 13 mg of magnesium
- 24 mg of phosphorus
- 153 mg of potassium
- 1 mg of sodium
- 14 mg of zinc
- 02 mg of thiamin
- 02 mg of riboflavin
- 39 mg of niacin
- 24 µg of folates
- 05 mg of Vitamin B-6
- 8 mg of Vitamin C
- 1 µg of Vitamin A
- 12 IU of Vitamin A
- 29 mg of Vitamin E
- 2 µg of Vitamin K
Including Strawberry in Your Diet
It won’t be so hard to get people to eat strawberries, but the real challenge is getting the strawberries themselves.
Strawberries are seasonal fruits that grow in the Northern Hemisphere and are highly perishable. Eating strawberries fresh or plucking them straight from the plant is a treat in itself.
Here are other things you can do with strawberries.
- Make jams, relishes, and preserves.
- Infuse strawberries in liquor or spirits.
- Ferment strawberries to turn into wine.
- Use strawberry slices to infuse in water.
- Strawberry leaves can be steeped to make tea.
- Use in cakes, pies, pastries, and other desserts.
- Dehydrate strawberries to prolong their shelf life.
- Freeze strawberries as is or in juice to make icy treats.
- Eat with cereals, chia seeds, or nuts and other berries.
- Make smoothies, juice drinks, or milkshakes with them.
- Puree strawberries to feed to toddlers or to use as flavoring.
- Use pureed strawberries as a marinade to certain meat dishes.
- Use dried strawberries as a garnish or as candied snacks for kids.
- Serve unripe strawberries with honey and vinaigrette.
Strawberries are one of the best fruits to consume, and can even be preserved to keep long after its harvest season.
It makes a good breakfast, snack, and dessert, and can be incorporated into many dishes in many ways.
Strawberries are a popular ingredient in most do-it-yourself beauty treatments and in the beauty industry.
Its extracts contain powerful antioxidants that keep one looking and feeling younger and more beautiful.
Strawberries are also very good for the whole body. It has a lot of bioactive compounds that help support a body’s biological processes.
It is good for the heart, brain, digestion, and for keeping you younger and healthier inside and out.
This fruit is a popular gift to bring for friends and family. Not only can you show the person that they are on your mind, you can also show that you care for their health by sharing the benefits that can be had from the regular consumption of strawberries.
Try it at your local grocery or on your next market day.