Juicy heart-shaped strawberries are one of the most popular fruits. They are delicious and tender, with a special rich fruit aroma. People use strawberries to make favorite foods like strawberry milkshakes, strawberry cakes and strawberry smoothies.
However, beyond sweetness and flavor, strawberries are also great for you in many ways. Their nutritional value has long been recognized by nutritionists.
In this article, we will introduce 10 surprising health benefits of strawberries.
The Nutrition Of Strawberries:
In Asian countries, strawberries are called ‘The Queen of Fruits’. Compared to fruits like oranges, bananas or apples, strawberries have the most nutrients.
They are rich in vitamins and minerals. Every 100 grams of strawberry contains 35 mg of vitamin C, which is much higher than that of apples and pears.
Other nutrients are found in strawberries such as glucose, fructose, citric acid, malic acid, carotene and riboflavin.
These nutrients all have a good effect on the growth and development of children, while also being very beneficial to the health of the elderly.
Additionally, strawberries only have 54 calories in a 1 cup serving (of strawberries sliced, 166g), making them a great fruit for a weight-control diet.
10 Surprising Health Benefits Of Strawberries:
A Nutritional “Whole-in-One,” clinical research suggests that eating 8 strawberries a day may improve your heart, brain and overall health.
1. Promote brain health
Iodine, vitamin C and phytochemicals found in strawberries can help maintain the normal functioning of the nervous system, increase blood flow to the brain and improve cognitive function. [*]
Anthocyanins can also help prevent brain nerve aging, improve cognitive ability and prevent brain degeneration.
2. Prevent cancer
Strawberries contain ellagic acid, which is a natural phenolic antioxidant with high antioxidant capacity. It can repair damaged cells in your body and inhibit the spread of cancer cells. [*]
The flavonoids and proanthocyanidins found in strawberries also have a strong anti-cancer effect.
3. Promote eye health
Strawberries are a great source of carotene, which is an important substance for the synthesis of vitamin A.
A study published in the Journal of Ophthalmology Archives found that eating 3-5 servings of strawberries (80 grams each serving) a day can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by 36%.
4. Lower the risk of cardiovascular disease
Plant compounds such as flavonoids, anthocyanins, catechins, quercetin, kaempferol and ellagic acid found in strawberries can help to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and reduce the formation of bad cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease. [*]
5. Promote skin health
The high content of a variety of fruit acids, vitamins and minerals make this heart-shaped fruit ideal for promoting skin health.
All of these neutrons can help enhance the elasticity of your skin to help whiten, firm, and moisturize your skin.
6. Boost gut health
Strawberries are rich in fiber which can improve gut health. Eating 1 cup of strawberries meet 15% of the recommended daily fiber intake for adults.
Fiber can effectively increase intestinal peristalsis and reduce the occurrence of constipation, hemorrhoids and even bowel cancer.
7. May lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
This is because strawberries have a very low glycemic index.
A study has shown that eating strawberries improved glycemic control among people with diabetes.
8. Help with weight loss
As mentioned above, strawberries are very low in calories. They are also a perfect fruit for a low-carb diet. 1 cup of sliced(166g) strawberries has only 12 g of carbohydrates.
Also, strawberries can promote the production of fat-burning hormones adiponectin and leptin. Both of these can help reduce appetite, lower blood sugar, reduce weight and reduce fat.
9. Promote bone health
Potassium, vitamin K and magnesium found in strawberries are important nutrients for bone health. These antioxidants can help manage inflammation levels and prevent free radical damage.
A 2017 study showed that strawberries have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and may help fight osteoarthritis.
10. Boost your immunity
Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C which is a well-known immune enhancer and a powerful and fast-acting antioxidant.
Based on clinical evidence, here are the facts about strawberries’ immune-building properties:
Strawberries may increase the immunological response of the immunity cells T-lymphocytes and monocytes in obese people who are at greater risk for developing infections.
The red berries help support cell survival, growth and antioxidant defense.
Strawberries protect and repair DNA damage.
Strawberries display antimicrobial action.
Strawberries act as a probiotic and can positively alter the gut microbiome when eaten daily.
In a study of healthy adults, eating strawberries for short- and medium-term led to significant increases in antioxidants, folate and vitamin C in the body as well as to significant improvements in white blood cell resistance to external stress.
How To Choose The Best Strawberries?
If you cannot grow your strawberries, then buying organic fruit is always the best choice.
Organic foods tend to taste better and have more health benefits.
“Organic strawberries had significantly higher total antioxidant activity (8.5% more), ascorbic acid (9.7% more) and total phenolics (10.5% more) than conventional berries” ~ Public Library of Science.
Here’s how to choose the best ones:
- The shape: Don’t buy big, strangely shaped ones as this may be caused by the use of hormones during the planting process.
- The color: Choose the ones that are evenly red, bright in color and shiny.
- The surface: Don’t buy any with white or gray spots on the surface. A fresh strawberry should have a bright surface without damage or decay.
How To Store Strawberries?
As long as they are handled properly, strawberries can be stored in the refrigerator for a week.
However, we don’t know how long they have been in the store before they are brought home.
The following methods can keep strawberries fresh for a few more days than usual.
If you cannot eat all the strawberries within a certain time, freezing them may also help.
- Throw away the moldy strawberries immediately.
- Do not wash them before eating.
- Store them in a refrigerator or a low-temperature location.
- Freeze them.
What Are The Side Effects Of Strawberries?
Generally, this delicious fruit is safe for most healthy people.
However, don’t consume too many strawberries and avoid them if you have the following health issues.
1. Frequent diarrhea
Strawberry has a laxative effect. They can stimulate the intestines and shorten the time that stool stays in the intestines which makes diarrhea symptoms worse.
2. Suffering from urinary tract stones
Those who suffer from urinary tract stones should also avoid eating strawberries as their symptoms may get worse.
3. On blood thinners
Strawberries are counted among natural blood thinners.
Therefore, if you are on any blood-thinning medication (such as Warfarin, Rivaroxaban, or Edoxaban), excessive consumption of strawberries can lead to excessive thin blood.
Strawberry, the red heart-shaped fruit is not only delicious but also rich in essential nutrients. The next time you pick some strawberries or make your favorite dessert from them, enjoy all the amazing health benefits they offer.