Benefits of Strawberries
You probably know that strawberries are good for you, but do you really know why? Well they have a lot to offer, and that’s why we’re here to make sure you know the health benefits of strawberries and why this food is a great superfood. This little red berry was once a wild fruit that was cultivated as a farm crop by early French cultures. It’s not clear where the quirk name came from, but there are some interesting theories. Historians think it could be because foragers strung them on straw to bring to market or that the seeds on the outside resemble bits of straw. Another theory believes ‘straw’ evolved from the word ‘strew’ because of the way the berry bushes look strewn about the ground.
Strawberries can vary in taste depending on where they’re grown. The best strawberries are the ones grown close to home. They’ll taste better, and they won’t have to be preserved to keep their flavor. Like your strawberries more tart or on the sweeter side? Try going strawberry picking. It’s always fun to go pick your own, and strawberry picking has become a seasonal tradition in the U.S. Why is that? Beyond just being fun, picking your own strawberries is the best way to get the freshest, tastiest, juiciest berries. Plus, you save on the cost of picking and packaging that marks up strawberry prices in the grocery store.
What’s so great about this berry? Start by taking a peek at the nutrition that the strawberry offers:
- Calories: 32
- Water: 91%
- Protein: 0.7 g
- Carbs: 7.7 g
- Sugar: 4.9 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Fat: 0.3 g
- Saturated: 0.02 g
- Monounsaturated: 0.04 g
- Polyunsaturated: 0.16 g
- Omega-3: 0.07 g
- Omega-6: 0.09 g
Health Benefits of Strawberries:
Strawberries are high in flavonoids called ‘anthocyanins’, which have an antioxidant effect. In fact, there are 25 different types of anthocyanins in strawberries, and they are actually what give the berry its bright red color. From a health perspective, consumption of berries with anthocyanins has been shown to improve cardiac health by lowering blood pressure and making blood vessels more elastic. Harvard Medical School recommends eating a cup of berries at least three times per week, after studying the eating habits of 93,600 women between the ages of 25 to 42 and noting that women who did not eat berries had a higher risk of heart attack.
Strawberries may reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, due to how it may slow down the carb digestion. This helps reduce spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. Related to sugar digestion, we also know that the powerful strawberry is a great source of polyphenols, which prevent the breakdown of starch in the mouth and limit the amount of sugars that can stick to your teeth and cause cavities.
While your mind might first think ‘Oranges’ when it comes to Vitamin C, Strawberries are actually another great source of this water-soluble vitamin. You likely already know that Vitamin C is good for your immune system, but did you also know it’s great for your skin, too? And blood vessels? And bones? And teeth? And collagen? Plus, it helps your body absorb folate and iron, which are also crucial to your bodily functions. Doctors and dieticians always recommend consuming Vitamin C on a regular basis because it’s a vitamin that your body can’t store. We excrete any of it we don’t use, which is another reason to make strawberries part of your food routine. And when compared to oranges ounce-by-ounce, they can actually provide more Vitamin C at fewer calories.
One of the most surprising health benefits of strawberries is that they are a cancer-fighting food. Studies are starting to show a connection between strawberries and tumor growth of certain cancers. Strawberry extracts were shown to slow lung tumor growth in mice, and a Chinese study showed that freeze-dried strawberry may prevent esophageal cancer, as well. More research is needed on this subject, but current research has shown some exciting results. And there are theories that this berry can protect against other cancers like oral, breast, and cervical.
Ever think about why strawberries are such a big part of Valentine’s Day? Well many cultures consider the strawberry a natural aphrodisiac, especially when dipped in chocolate. This belief is so strong that they are even the symbol of Venus in Rome, and are given as gifts to newlyweds in some countries.
Start adding strawberries to your diet three times a week, and you’ll definitely feel a boost from this berry. Shop Strawberry Shortcake Chia Bars now!
- Strawberry Nutrition: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/strawberries#section3
- Anthocyanins: https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/eat-blueberries-and-strawberries-three-times-per-week
- Behind the Name: https://www.almanac.com/fact/why-are-strawberries-called-strawberriesr-historians-arent#
- Eating Healthy: https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/stawberries-vitamin-c-oranges-3225.html
- Cancer Fighting: http://www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/foodsthatfightcancer_berries.html
- Sourcing Berries: https://www.npr.org/2012/05/17/152944880/bigger-means-better-not-with-strawberries