The potentially antioxidant-rich strawberry can help improve heart health and lower your blood pressure. They can also help better your brain function, and enhance eye and skin health, arthritis, and gout. The possible polyphenolic content of strawberries may make them beneficial for improving the immune system, and reduce the signs of premature aging.
What is Strawberry?
A strawberry (Fragaria) is a sweet, red heart-shaped fruit, which is much-loved for its delicious taste and for its nutritional benefits. Native to many parts of the world, it belongs to the rose family and has a distinct aroma. Despite its name, a strawberry is not a berry from a botanical standpoint. It is an aggregate accessory fruit, which means that the fleshy part is not derived from the plant ovaries. Instead, each visible seed covering its outside is borne from one of the ovaries of the flower. The strawberry leaves are also eaten raw cooked and cooked. One can also take it as an antioxidant-rich strawberry tea.
Strawberries are seasonal fruits that grow in bushes. There are three types of strawberries:
- June-bearing strawberries
- Everbearing strawberries
- Day-neutral strawberry variety
Watch Video: 8 Reasons To Include Strawberry In Your Diet
Serving Size : Nutrient Value Water [g] 90.95 Energy 32 Energy [kJ] 136 Protein [g] 0.67 Total lipid (fat) [g] 0.3 Ash [g] 0.4 Carbohydrate, by difference [g] 7.68 Fiber, total dietary [g] 2 Sugars, total including NLEA [g] 4.89 Sucrose [g] 0.47 Glucose (dextrose) [g] 1.99 Fructose [g] 2.44 Starch [g] 0.04 Calcium, Ca [mg] 16 Iron, Fe [mg] 0.41 Magnesium, Mg [mg] 13 Phosphorus, P [mg] 24 Potassium, K [mg] 153 Sodium, Na [mg] 1 Zinc, Zn [mg] 0.14 Copper, Cu [mg] 0.05 Manganese, Mn [mg] 0.39 Selenium, Se [µg] 0.4 Fluoride, F [µg] 4.4 Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg] 58.8 Thiamin [mg] 0.02 Riboflavin [mg] 0.02 Niacin [mg] 0.39 Pantothenic acid [mg] 0.13 Vitamin B-6 [mg] 0.05 Folate, total [µg] 24 Folate, food [µg] 24 Folate, DFE [µg] 24 Choline, total [mg] 5.7 Betaine [mg] 0.2 Vitamin A, RAE [µg] 1 Carotene, beta [µg] 7 Vitamin A, IU [IU] 12 Lutein + zeaxanthin [µg] 26 Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg] 0.29 Tocopherol, beta [mg] 0.01 Tocopherol, gamma [mg] 0.08 Tocopherol, delta [mg] 0.01 Tocotrienol, alpha [mg] 0.01 Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg] 2.2 Fatty acids, total saturated [g] 0.02 16:0 [g] 0.01 18:0 [g] 0 Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g] 0.04 16:1 [g] 0 18:1 [g] 0.04 Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g] 0.16 18:2 [g] 0.09 18:3 [g] 0.07 Phytosterols [mg] 12 Tryptophan [g] 0.01 Threonine [g] 0.02 Isoleucine [g] 0.02 Leucine [g] 0.03 Lysine [g] 0.03 Methionine [g] 0 Cystine [g] 0.01 Phenylalanine [g] 0.02 Tyrosine [g] 0.02 Valine [g] 0.02 Arginine [g] 0.03 Histidine [g] 0.01 Alanine [g] 0.03 Aspartic acid [g] 0.15 Glutamic acid [g] 0.1 Glycine [g] 0.03 Proline [g] 0.02 Serine [g] 0.03 Sources include : USDA
Strawberries are packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and K, folate, potassium, manganese, and magnesium. They are low-calorie, fiber-rich, and abundant in antioxidants and polyphenols. According to the USDA, one cup of strawberries provides 3 g of fiber and 12 g of carbohydrates.
Calories in a Strawberry
According to the USDA, a 100 g serving of raw strawberries contains about 32 calories. This makes them a low-calorie food. You can eat these without worrying about any unhealthy weight gain.
Health Benefits of Strawberry
Let’s look at the most popular health benefits of strawberries in detail below.
May Improve Heart Function
Strawberries have possibly high levels of heart-healthy antioxidants such as ellagic acid and flavonoids like anthocyanin, catechin, quercetin, and kaempferol. According to one research, these phenolic compounds help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by inhibiting the formation of total and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Another Harvard Medical School study found that young and middle-aged women who had three or more servings of a half cup of strawberries or blueberries weekly were 34 percent less likely to have a heart attack. The possibly high levels of anthocyanins in the berries relax the blood vessels, helping lower blood pressure, and preventing cardiovascular problems. The high fiber content, vitamin C, and folate in strawberries form an ideal cardiac health trio. They can reduce the cholesterol in the arteries and vessels.
May Boost Brain Function
Strawberries are rich in iodine, vitamin C, and phytochemicals, which help maintain the proper functioning of the nervous system. Potassium, also in strawberries, has known to have been linked to improved cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain. Harvard research shows that higher consumption of flavonoids, particularly from blueberries and strawberries, reduced rates of cognitive decline in older people.
May Aid in Skin Care
Strawberries can protect your skin from pollutants and UV damage. A 2017 Italian study suggests that strawberry-based formulations for cosmetic purposes can protect the skin against UV-induced damage. Using strawberry masks regularly can keep the skin fresh and clean. Another study suggested that strawberries may be useful in preventing free radical-induced skin damage because of its antioxidant properties.
How to use: To make an easy face mask for glowing skin, crush 4-5 strawberries and mix the pulp with a tablespoon of honey. Apply on the face, leave it until dry, and wash off. Strawberry moisturizing lip balms also help keep lips hydrated.
May Aid in Eye Care
Eating strawberries can prevent eye conditions like dry eyes, degeneration of the optic nerves, macular degeneration, vision defects, and increased susceptibility to infections. A paper exploring nutritional solutions for age-related eye diseases recommended strawberries for their possibly rich vitamin C content. Published in the journal, Clinical Interventions in Aging, it found that vitamin C provided the eye with vital antioxidant protection.
Another study, published in the journal Nutrients in 2018, termed vitamin C as an essential nutrient in repairing the tissues in the eye. It reviewed different studies to conclude that vitamin C-rich foods like strawberry could prevent glaucoma.
May Aid in Managing Diabetes
Eating strawberries may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as strawberries have a low glycemic index, which a study published in the British Medical Journal confirmed. Another study funded by The Canadian Institutes of Health Research showed that eating strawberries improved glycemic control among people with diabetes. Another research shows that it can help in managing hyperglycemia-linked type 2 diabetes.
May Boost Immunity
Vitamin C, present in strawberries and many other types of fruits, helps boost the immune system and helps in curing common cough and cold. One cup of strawberries can meet your daily requirement of vitamin C.
May Provide Relief from Arthritis & Gout
The Arthritis Foundation recommends eating strawberries as they are abundant in antioxidants and detoxifiers, which help reduce gout and arthritis pain. They also aid in preventing arthritis symptoms such as degeneration of muscles and tissues, drying up of the lubricating fluids in the joints, and accumulation of toxic substances and acids (such as uric acid) in the body.
May Aid in Weight Loss
Strawberries are popular among people who want to lose weight. Not only are they delicious, they can also help you lose weight. According to the book 25 Fat Burning Juice Recipes, strawberries boost the production of adiponectin and leptin, both of which are fat-burning hormones. They may help reduce appetite, decrease blood sugar, and reduce body weight and fat, all of which promote weight loss. Also, strawberry lemonade sparkling water is a natural way of flavoring water and increasing liquid intake, which also helps in shedding pounds.
May Help in Preventing Birth Defects
Folic acid is a necessary nutrient, especially during pregnancy, as it helps in preventing birth defects. Strawberries are a good source for folic acid. 250 gm of strawberry can meet 30 percent of your daily folate intake.
May Aid in Improving Bone Health
A 2017 research study shows that strawberries have possibly analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and may help fight osteoarthritis. This US study was conducted on obese adults with evidence of knee osteoarthritis. Only a quarter cup of berries can provide the needed antioxidants to help manage inflammation levels and prevent free radical damage. Also, manganese, vitamins C and K, and potassium help improve bone health.
May Help Prevent Constipation
Due to their fiber content, strawberries help boost digestion and prevent constipation. They can be particularly good for children. Stanford Children Health recommends strawberries for constipation in children because of their moderate fiber content.
Other Health Benefits
Strawberries are also useful in some other ways:
May Aid in Improving Hair Health: The rich variety of antioxidants, ellagic acid, and vitamins help battle hair loss, moisturize the hair, and prevent dandruff. For glossy hair, mix 5-6 crushed strawberries with 1 tablespoon of yogurt. Massage this into damp hair and rinse off after 10-15 minutes. Shampoo as usual. This works as a natural hair conditioner.
Can Act As Teeth whitener: Strawberries contain malic acid which acts as a natural teeth whitening agent. Strawberry sugar-free gum is also a popular option. Mix the crushed fruit with baking soda until blended and put it on your teeth. Leave it on for 5 minutes and lightly use a toothbrush to whiten the teeth.
Reduce Puffy Eyes: Strawberries help reduce the appearance of puffy eyes. For a quick fix, place slices of the fruit on your eyelids and relax for ten minutes.
How to Select and Store?
Nothing beats fresh strawberries plucked from the bush and eaten raw! Here’s how to choose the best ones:
- Select organic, locally grown strawberries, as they are safe to eat and have a sweet flavor.
- When you choose strawberries, look for the ones that are red and fragrant.
- The imported variety is available all year round.
- They are highly perishable and should be eaten in a couple of days.
- You can refrigerate them for a week, or freeze them for up to six months.
- You can also buy freeze-dried strawberries and use them in smoothies.
Note: Strawberries have the highest level of pesticides, according to the USDA, so buy the fruits wisely (organic and locally-grown is best!)
Strawberries are often eaten raw or added to fruit salads and custards. You can also easily consume strawberry juice, which can be prepared at home.
Due to its extraordinarily rich flavor, taste, and color, the fruit essence is used in tablets, medicines, protein bars, protein shakes, and supplements. The fragrant fruit is rich in antioxidants and is a popular flavoring in lotions, face washes, children’s toothpaste, body oils, and shampoos too.
You can include strawberries in your diet in many ways. Here are some of our suggestions:
- In a No-Bake Strawberry Cream Pie Recipe
- Use the leaves and fruit in Strawberry Tea
- This Classic Swiss Roll Recipe uses strawberry jam
- So does this Delicious Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Recipe
- Try our Fresh Strawberry Juice Recipe
- Finally, don’t forget the classic Strawberries and Cream
Strawberry Side Effects
Word of caution: Strawberries are considered safe for oral consumption. There is insufficient evidence to show us the side effects of the fruit. However, you may want to watch your consumption if you are on blood thinners. Strawberries are counted among natural blood thinners. Eating an excess amount of strawberries when on medication can result in excessive blood thinning. Too much of a good thing can be counter-productive. So, avoid eating more than a cup.
Strawberries and all the associated foods that contain strawberries are delicious. Next time you are looking for something sweet, bite into some juicy strawberries, and enjoy all of their many benefits!