Benefits of Strawberry Fruit
The strawberry belongs to the family Rosaceae and genus Fragaria, however, it is scientifically known as Fragaria x ananassa. This berry fruit originated from North America and was later introduced into Europe in the 18th century. Strawberries grow on plants that generally have one or more runners that trail along the ground and root at nodes.
The strawberry fruit is a composite of the swollen receptacle and the pale yellow achenes. Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits in the world due to their sweet, soft texture along with their unique taste making them great for desserts or simply as a snack.
Health benefits of strawberries:
1) Source of Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and its main dietary source is fruits and vegetables. Strawberries contain high levels of vitamin C and one cup provides 85 percent of your daily recommended intake. Antioxidants help to prevent free radical damage that can lead to chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other conditions.
2) Source of Folate:
Folate is essential for a baby’s development during pregnancy and this vitamin is also necessary for a healthy nervous system. A single serving of strawberries provides about 18 percent of your daily folate needs, which is especially important for women who could become pregnant as it helps prevent birth defects in babies.
3) Source of Fiber:
Strawberries contain high levels of dietary fiber, which is important for your digestive health. Fiber can also help you to feel fuller for longer making it great for weight loss. Fiber may also reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels.
4) Source of Manganese:
Manganese is an essential nutrient that is important for bone development and it is also involved in energy metabolism. A single serving of strawberries contains about 23 percent of the recommended daily intake.
5) Source of Potassium:
Potassium is an essential nutrient that can help to maintain healthy blood pressure levels by counteracting sodium levels. Low potassium levels may lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. A single serving of strawberries offers 10 percent of your daily intake.
6) Source of Vitamin K:
Vitamin K is important for blood clotting, strong bones, and it may also help to reduce the risk of cancer by preventing abnormal cell growth in the body. One serving contains 32 percent of your daily vitamin K needs.
7) Source of Antioxidants:
Strawberries are a good source of antioxidants, which help to protect your cells from damage by free radicals. Free radicals can cause chronic disease and inflammation so it is important to keep them in check. The high levels of vitamin C found in strawberries help the body to absorb iron more efficiently.
8) Source of Flavonoids:
Flavonoids are important for heart health as they can help to reduce inflammation and lower cholesterol. All fruits and vegetables contain flavonoids, however, strawberries are one of the best sources.
9) Source of Phytonutrients:
Phytonutrients are beneficial to plant chemicals that offer many health benefits. Strawberries are a good source of phenolic acids which have been found to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.
10) Source of Resveratrol:
Resveratrol is found in the skin of red grapes and dark chocolate. However, strawberries contain resveratrol too along with other phytonutrients that offer the same benefits. The resveratrol in strawberries can help to reduce inflammation and prevent cell damage which is helpful for heart health.
11) May Help with Heart Health:
Strawberries are rich in potassium, folate, fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, manganese, flavonoids and they also contain phytonutrients. All of these beneficial nutrients may play a role in heart health by helping to reduce inflammation and lower cholesterol which lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.
12) May Help with Digestion:
High fiber foods such as strawberries can help to improve digestion, prevent constipation, diarrhea, bloating, flatulence and indigestion.
13) Benefits for the Skin:
The antioxidants and phytonutrients found in strawberries can help to improve skin health. They are also high in vitamin C which is essential for collagen production in the body, which aids in wound healing and skin repair. The high levels of vitamin C can also provide protection from sun damage by helping to produce the pigment melanin, which helps to protect against ultraviolet radiation.
14) May Reduce Symptoms of Asthma:
A study found that children who ate more than two servings of strawberries a week had a 57 percent lower risk of developing asthma symptoms. Strawberries are high in vitamin C and flavonoids, both of which have been shown to be beneficial for asthma symptoms.
15) Promote Healthy Bones and Teeth:
The high content of vitamin C found in strawberries helps the body to absorb more iron which gives you more energy and keeps your immune system healthy. Vitamin C also has antioxidant properties that help to protect the cells from damage caused by free radicals. Strawberries are rich in manganese, which is important for bone development, and they also contain copper which is necessary for forming collagen.
16) May Help with Pregnancy-Related Symptoms:
Strawberries are high in folate which helps to reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. They can also help to prevent morning sickness and protect against birth defects. The high content of antioxidants may also help to protect against free radicals which can harm the growing fetus.
17) Good for Weight Loss:
Strawberries are low in calories and carbohydrates, they are filling and have a low glycemic index so they can be beneficial for weight loss as they keep you feeling full for longer.
18) Improve Your Vision:
Strawberries are high in vitamin C which is important for the health of your eyes. The antioxidants and vitamin A can help to protect cells from damage caused by UV radiation, toxins, and free radicals that may play a role in the development of cataracts and macular degeneration. They also contain lutein which is a carotenoid that helps to protect the retina.
19) Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels:
The high fiber content in strawberries can help to promote healthy blood sugar levels and prevent insulin resistance which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The high levels of antioxidants may also play a role in blood sugar regulation as they are known to slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
20) Improve Cholesterol Levels:
Strawberries are low in saturated fat and cholesterol, they are a good source of fiber which can reduce blood cholesterol levels by binding with bile acids. The high content of antioxidants helps to lower LDL oxidation which lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.
21) Can Help to Prevent Cancer:
The high content of antioxidants, vitamin C, and phytonutrients makes strawberries a powerful cancer-fighting food. Studies have shown that individuals who eat more foods containing lycopene such as strawberries have a lower risk of developing lung cancer. Strawberries are also high in ellagic acid which is thought to block the formation of cancer cells and help to stop the spread of existing cells through the body.
22) Fight Infections:
Strawberries are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and phytonutrients that all help to boost the immune system. The high content of selenium can also help to protect against viral infections. Strawberries have been used traditionally as a remedy for colds and flu.
23) May Reduce the Risk of Cataracts and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD):
Strawberries are rich in lutein, an antioxidant that helps to protect eye cells from damage caused by UV radiation, toxins, and free radicals which may contribute to poor vision or cataracts.
They also contain high levels of vitamin C which have been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts in women. The antioxidants and high levels of vitamin A can also help to protect against age-related macular degeneration.
24) Decrease Pain Associated with Menstrual Cramps:
Strawberries are thought to reduce pain associated with menstrual cramps due to the high content of magnesium and B6 vitamin. Strawberries may provide relief from the pain and discomfort of menstruation and can be eaten as a healthy alternative to sugary foods that can lead to further health problems such as diabetes.
25) Help with Oral Health:
Strawberries contain salicylic acid which is one of the main ingredients in aspirin. The high content of antioxidants can help to prevent plaque buildup and reduce the risk of gum disease.
Strawberries may be able to kill certain periodontal pathogens so they can be used in combination with other natural ingredients such as coconut oil to make homemade toothpaste, mouthwash, or simply eaten by themselves.
26) Increase Iron Absorption:
Eating foods rich in vitamin C alongside foods high in iron helps with the absorption of iron by the body. Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C and phytonutrients such as ellagic acid that can help to fight free radicals which may increase your risk of developing anemia.