Strawberry Juice: Benefits, Uses And Recipe
Strawberry juice is a delicious and refreshing beverage that is packed with nutrients and antioxidants; while it may not be the most common fruit juice available on the market, it is definitely worth adding to your health regimen. Strawberry juice is made from strawberries, which means that most of the nutrients are maintained, with the notable exception of the dietary fiber found in these plump red berries. Strawberries are scientifically classified in the Fragaria genus, while the most popular cultivars or species are Fragaria x ananassa and the wild strawberry, Fragaria vesca. Due to its sweet flavor and juiciness, as well as the ease of cultivation and diverse uses, strawberries are some of the most popular fruits around the world.
Strawberry juice is considered a low-calorie weight loss food that can also deliver a concentrated burst of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to the body. Strawberry juice is rich in vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, manganese, copper, zinc, vitamin E, calcium, B-family vitamins, polyphenolic compounds and natural sugars, all of which can have a measurable effect on various systems in our body. The juice from this popular fruit can be consumed on its own or mixed with other fruit juices for a tart, healthy and energizing beverage at any time of day!
Benefits of Strawberry Juice
Some of the most impressive health benefits of strawberry juice include its ability to support skin health, strengthen the immune system, lower blood pressure, boost circulation, prevent birth defects, increase bone mineral density, optimize the metabolism, speed the healing process, protect vision health, prevent certain cancers and regulates blood sugar.
Skin Health: Boasting antioxidants and key vitamins, such as vitamin E and C, this juice is ideal for treating skin inflammation and irritation, while reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles, as well as age spots and blemishes. The juice can be consumed normally or applied topically for these effects.
Bone Strength: With manganese, copper, iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc, this juice can definitely help supplement your mineral intake and increase bone mineral density, lowering your risk of osteoporosis as you age.
Blood Pressure: The significant levels of potassium in strawberry juice make it excellent for lowering your blood pressure and reducing the strain on the cardiovascular system. Potassium is a vasodilator that lowers the tension on blood vessels and arteries, protecting against heart attacks, strokes and atherosclerosis.
Diabetes: Dietary fiber has the ability to regulate blood sugar levels in the body, which eliminates the spikes and drops of blood sugar that can be so dangerous for diabetic patients. If you blend your strawberry juice, rather than extracting the juice, you will benefit from the fiber.
Circulation: Strawberry juice has a significant level of iron and other key minerals that can give your circulatory system a boost, thus providing the resources and oxygen that cells and tissues in your body need to properly function.
Cancer: Vitamin C, ellagic acid, phytonutrients and folic acid can all play a key role in the body’s fight against cancer. Fortunately, strawberries have ample amounts of these active ingredients, making this delectable juice a very effective tool for lowering your cancer risk by lowering oxidative stress and preventing chronic disease.
Metabolic Activity: B-family vitamins are key players in metabolic activity, regulating everything from energy production to hormone balance and strawberry juice offers high levels of vitamin B6, folate, riboflavin, niacin and thiamine.
Healing Speed: The high levels of vitamin C and ellagic acid, along with a dense supply of minerals and vitamins, this juice can stimulate the body to start the healing process, which speeds up the recovery time following illness, injury or surgery.
How to Make Strawberry Juice
Strawberry juice is relatively easy to make at home, as this isn’t the most common option in the fruit juice category. It is important to know that strawberry juice is very potent and is usually used in a concentrated form, which means you need to add water to the syrup to produce this juice.
Some people who prefer traditional “juicing” methods will insist that there shouldn’t be any fibrous material left over from the strawberries. However, blending strawberries into a smoothie or a slightly thicker juice is an excellent way to derive even more health benefits. If you want to blend your strawberries, simply add 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 cup of water to 1 pound of chopped strawberries in the blender. To create strawberry juice concentrate, follow the instructions below.
- 2 pounds of strawberries, chopped and washed
- 2 cups of sugar
- 3-4 cups of water, filtered
Step 1 – Add the strawberries and sugar to a bowl and mix thoroughly.
Step 2 – Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
Step 3 – Pour the contents of the bowl into a saucepan over medium heat.
Step 4 – Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Step 5 – Pour the mixture through a strainer, leaving the strawberry fiber behind.
Step 6 – Press the strawberries to release as much juice as possible.
Step 7 – Store the strawberry juice in a glass jar or bottle.
Step 8 – To serve, mix 1/4 cup of this concentrated juice into a glass and then add water.
Step 9 – Stir thoroughly, adding more syrup for extra sweetness, if necessary.
Step 10 – Serve and enjoy!
Uses of Strawberry Juice
While strawberry juice is most popular as a refreshing beverage, the unique nutrient profile also makes it useful as a therapeutic or medicinal substance for the hair and skin!
Skin Cleanser: The powerful acids and vitamins found in strawberries make this juice the perfect treatment for improving skin tone and delivering antioxidant effects to inflamed areas. Mix a bit of strawberry juice with rosewater and massage it into patches of dry or irritated skin. This can help protect you against the harmful rays of the sun, while also minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and age spots.
Hair Treatment: Some people apply strawberry juice directly to their scalp for a healthy hair massage, as it is known to soothe dry skin and strengthen hair follicles, which can prevent dandruff and hair loss. This is largely due to the presence of ellagic acid, folic acid, vitamin C and other minerals found in this concentrated juice.
Side Effects of Strawberry Juice
This juice boasts some impressive health benefits but there are also some potential side effects, such as gastrointestinal issues, possible pesticide exposure and allergic reactions. However, when eaten in moderation, very few people experience negative outcome when consuming or using strawberry juice.
Stomach Problems – A number of different factors in this juice can lead to stomach issues, including too much fiber (for those who blend this strawberry beverage, rather than use traditional juicing). This can cause a backup in your gastrointestinal system, resulting in bloating, cramping, flatulence and constipation. Strawberries contain 3 grams of fiber per cup, so a large glass of strawberry juice could comprise between 10-20% of your daily fiber intake.
Allergic Reactions – Strawberries are known to possess histamines, which are the chemical compounds that trigger allergic reactions in the body. Although they are found in relatively low levels, some people do experience allergic reactions such as skin irritation, stomach upset, itchy throat or other minor allergic side effects.
Pesticide Exposure – Strawberries are some of the worst fruits when it comes to potential pesticide exposure, specifically due to the physical characteristics of the berries, with dozens of small seeds and plenty of places where pesticides can remain, even after a thorough wash. Therefore, to minimize your exposure to toxins, always choose organic strawberries that are grown without the use of pesticides.