The health benefits of strawberry include improved eye care, proper brain function, relief from high blood pressure, arthritis, gout, and various cardiovascular diseases. The polyphenolic and antioxidant content of strawberries makes them good for improving the immune system, preventing various types of cancers and for reducing the signs of premature aging.
What is Strawberry?
Strawberries have a common scientific name of Fragaria, and there are different suffixes for different varieties, such as Fragaria vesca for wild strawberry, and Fragaria orientalis for strawberries found in Siberia, among others. Strawberries grow in bushes and are delicious seasonal fruits that also boost your health. Strawberries are often associated with a European fruit; however, they are popular throughout the world.
Strawberries are often eaten raw directly or by adding them to fruit salads, custards, and various other recipes. They are also extensively used in processed food items, including ice creams, jams, jellies, squashes, syrups, confections, baked goods, chocolates, and even in medicines due to their extraordinarily rich flavor, taste, and color. But nothing beats fresh strawberries plucked from the bush and eaten raw!
Nutritional Value of Strawberry
We know that fruits, particularly berries and those with exotic colors are rich in antioxidants, which means that they are huge boosters of your health. Strawberries are no exception to this rule; in addition to antioxidants and polyphenols, they have many other nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to the overall health benefits of these berries. These nutrients include vitamin C, folate, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, and magnesium.
Health Benefits of Strawberry
Let’s explore a bit more about these potential health benefits of strawberries in detail below.
The primary reason for almost all problems related to the eye is the presence of free radicals caused due to deficiency of certain nutrients. With increased age and a lack of these protective nutrients, free radicals can cause heavy damage to the eyes. One may witness dry eyes, degeneration of the optic nerves, macular degeneration, vision defects, and increased susceptibility to infections.
Antioxidants such as flavonoids, phenolic phytochemicals, and ellagic acid, all of which are present in strawberries, can help avoid these situations to a large extent. One more condition strawberries can fix is the disturbance in ocular pressure, the pressure within the eyes. Any disturbance in this pressure can be harmful to the eyes. Strawberries are helpful because they contain potassium, which helps in maintaining the correct pressure.
The immune system is our body’s first line of defense against infections, microbial action, and a variety of other potentially dangerous conditions. Vitamin C present in strawberry boosts the immune system and helps in curing common cough and cold. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, which means that it neutralizes free radicals, the harmful byproducts of cellular metabolism that are constantly created in our body. These free radicals are responsible for mutating the DNA of healthy cells into cancerous cells and are subsequently responsible for a number of diseases, including heart disease and various cancers. A single serving of strawberries has approximately 150% of your daily requirement of vitamin C, isn’t that incredible!
Treats Arthritis and Gout
Degeneration of muscles and tissues, drying up of the fluid which helps increased mobility of the joints, and accumulation of toxic substances and acids (such as uric acid) in the body are some of the ill effects of free radicals. These are the primary causes of arthritis and gout. As mentioned earlier, strawberries are abundant in antioxidants and detoxifiers, which help in treating these conditions.
It is said that a serving of fruits every day will remove the “rust” from joints. This old adage is definitely true for strawberries since it has powerful anti-inflammatory ability to ease inflammation and associated pain from these types of conditions.
Vitamin C, folate, anthocyanins, quercetin, and kaempferol are just a few of the many flavonoids in strawberries which possess excellent antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties. Together, they form an excellent line of defense to fight cancer and tumor growth. Daily intake of strawberries is connected to a drastic reduction in the presence and metastasis of cancer cells.
Boosts Brain Function
Unfortunately, it is very common for old people to begin losing their memory and control over certain activities, muscles, and limbs. This is due to either the natural or premature aging of their brain and nervous system. Actually, free radicals are the agents responsible for signs of aging because they have an adverse effect on both of these systems. Due to the activity of free radicals, the brain tissues start degenerating and the nerves become weaker. Luckily, strawberries can help you avoid these untimely conditions in life.
Vitamin C and phytochemicals in strawberries neutralize the effects of these oxidants and rejuvenate the system. Furthermore, strawberries are rich in iodine as well, which is very helpful for regulating the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system. Potassium, which is found in significant quantities in strawberries, also has been linked to an improved cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain. Research on students has shown that when high levels of potassium are consumed, memory and recall abilities seem to be strengthened in test-taking. There is a good reason why bananas and strawberries are considered “brain food”!
Strawberries are rich in potassium and magnesium content, both of which are effective in lowering high blood pressure caused by sodium and various other risk factors. Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it reduces hypertension and the rigidity of arteries and blood vessels; thereby, it lowers blood pressure, eases the flow of blood to various parts of the body, and keeps them functioning at their full potential.
Improves Heart Function
High fiber content, folate, no fats, and high levels of antioxidants such as vitamin C and phytochemicals form an ideal cardiac health pack, as they effectively reduce cholesterol in the arteries and vessels. Some members of the vitamin B family present in strawberries also strengthen the cardiac muscles and lead to better functioning of the heart.
Prevents Birth Defects
Folic acid is a necessary nutrient, especially during pregnancy. Strawberries are a good source of folic acid and help in preventing birth defects.
Strawberries are rich in antioxidant properties and help to reduce inflammation.
Perhaps most importantly, strawberries and all of the associated foods that contain strawberries are delicious as well. Next time you are looking for something sweet, bite into some juicy strawberries and enjoy the benefits they have in store for you!