The amazing 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 beneficial for improving the immune system, preventing various types of cancers, and for reducing 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. Native to many parts of the world, it belongs to the rose family and has a distinct, fragrant aroma. Despite its name, a strawberry is not a berry botanically. 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. Also, the strawberry leaves can be eaten raw, cooked, or even used to make tea.
Strawberries grow in bushes and are seasonal fruits that also boost your health. There are three types:
- June-bearing strawberry
- Everbearing strawberry
- Day-neutral strawberry variety
Watch Video: 8 Reasons To Include Strawberry In Your Diet
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.
Strawberries are packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and K, folate, potassium, manganese, and magnesium. They are low-calorie, fiber-rich fruits, which are abundant in antioxidants and polyphenols. A cup of strawberries contains only 49 calories, provides 3g of fiber, and 12g of carbohydrates.
Health Benefits of Strawberry
Let’s look at the most popular health benefits of strawberries in detail below.
Improves Heart Function
Strawberries have high levels of heart-healthy antioxidants like ellagic acid and flavonoids like anthocyanin, catechin, quercetin, and kaempferol. According to a research report by Susan Hannum, Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois, these phenolic compounds lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by inhibiting the formation of total and LDL (bad) cholesterol. They also relax the blood vessels, causing improved blood flow and preventing cardiovascular problems. Additionally, the high fiber content, vitamin C, and folate in strawberries form an ideal cardiac health pack as they effectively reduce cholesterol in the arteries and vessels.
Strawberries contain salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and ellagic acid, which reduce hyperpigmentation, prevent acne, and remove dead skin cells. For a face mask for glowing skin, crush 4-5 strawberries and mix it with a tablespoon of honey. Apply on the face, leave it till dry, and wash off. Strawberry moisturizing lip balms also help keep lips hydrated.
Vitamin C in strawberries boosts collagen production, tones the skin, and has an anti-aging effect. Also, a study published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry showed that its extract is abundant in anthocyanins and protects against ultraviolet radiation. Using regularly can keep the skin fresh and clean.
Eating strawberries can prevent eye conditions like dry eyes, degeneration of the optic nerves, macular degeneration, vision defects, and increased susceptibility to infections. Studies done by experts from Tufts University and Cambridge University showed that antioxidants in strawberries, such as flavonoids, phenolic phytochemicals, and ellagic acid, can help avoid almost all eye problems because they protect against free radical scavenging activity.
One more condition strawberries can fix is the disturbance in ocular pressure, the pressure within the eyes, which can be harmful. They also contain potassium, which helps in maintaining the correct pressure.
Reduces High Blood Pressure
Strawberries are rich in potassium and magnesium and low in sodium. Potassium and magnesium act as vasodilators, meaning that they help reduce hypertension and the rigidity of arteries and blood vessels. This eases the flow of blood to various parts of the body and keeps them functioning at their full potential.
Vitamin C, folate, anthocyanins, quercetin, and kaempferol are just a few of the many flavonoids in strawberries that act as excellent antioxidants. 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. A study done by experts from the Division of Oncology, The Ohio State University showed that showed results to prevent esophageal cancer.
Vitamin C present in strawberry boosts the immune system and helps in curing common cough and cold. A single serving has approximately 150% of your daily requirement of vitamin C!
Treats Arthritis & Gout
Strawberries are abundant in antioxidants and detoxifiers, which help reduce arthritis and gout pain. They also aid in preventing arthritic 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.
Boosts Brain Function
Strawberries are rich in iodine, vitamin C, and phytochemicals, which help maintain the proper functioning of the nervous system. Potassium, in strawberries, also has been linked to an improved cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain. Furthermore, a research by a team of researchers led by Harvard Medical School on older women showed that higher consumption of blueberries and strawberries, rich in anthocyanins and other flavonoids, is linked with a slower progression of cognitive decline.
Strawberries boost the production of the adiponectin and leptin, both of which are fat-burning hormones. They help reduce appetite, decrease glucose, and reduce body weight and fat, all of which promote weight loss. Also, is a natural way of flavoring water and increasing liquid intake, which also helps in shedding pounds.
Prevents Birth Defects
Folic acid in strawberries is a necessary nutrient, especially during pregnancy, as it helps in preventing birth defects. It is also important for ensuring optimal health during pregnancy.
Strawberries reduce elevated blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a substance produced by the liver that increases inflammation in the body. A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health showed that women who ate more than 16 strawberries in a week are 14% less likely to have elevated C-reactive protein levels.
The anti-inflammatory power of the antioxidants in strawberries helps reduce the formation of blood clots that are linked with stroke.
Studies done by the Harvard School of Public Health show that eating strawberries, which have a low glycemic index, can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, another study funded by The Canadian Institutes of Health Research showed that eating strawberries improved glycemic control among diabetics.
The rich variety of antioxidants, ellagic acid, and vitamins help battle hair loss, moisturize the hair, and prevent dandruff.
For glossy hair, you can 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.
Strawberries contain malic acid, a natural teeth whitening agent. 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. is a popular option.
Treats 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, wholesome 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 and use it in smoothies.
Note: Strawberries have the highest level of pesticides, according to the USDA.
Strawberry Side Effects
Excessive consumption of strawberries can cause:
- Diarrhea and gas
- Liver disease
- Yellow skin (jaundice)
- Pain and swelling (inflammation) of the lining of the respiratory tract
- Gout, arthritis
- Nervous tension
- Water retention (edema)
- Kidney ailments, kidney stones
- Allergic reactions
So be careful of not having more a cupful of these fruits in a sitting.
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!