We all know strawberries are delicious, but they are also nutritious, and ideally should be a part of everyone’s daily diet. You’ll enjoy some health advantages by eating strawberries regularly, and the best part is strawberries are one of the most delicious fruits.
Strawberries contain a range of nutrients, with vitamin C heading the group. They also contain significant levels of phytonutrients and antioxidants, which fight free radicals. These antioxidant properties are believed to be linked to what makes the strawberry bright red.
So what are these weird free radicals? Free radicals are elements that can damage cells, and they are thought to contribute to the formation of many kinds of cancer.
In addition to vitamin C, strawberries also provide an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese, as well as folic acid, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, copper, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Strawberries are among the most versatile of fresh fruits. Unfortunately, they are quite perishable as well. So purchase fresh strawberries only a few days before they are to be eaten. When strawberries are in season locally this is rarely a problem. But at other times of the year, it may be necessary to make due with frozen strawberries, which lose much if not all of their nutrition.
At the produce section choose strawberries that are plump firm and free of mold and have a deep red color. Unlike other fruits, strawberries do not continue to ripen after they are picked, so be sure to choose the ripest, reddest strawberries, as they will provide the best taste and the highest nutrient density. Many people find that medium sized strawberries are sweeter and more flavorful than larger ones. When buying pre-packaged strawberries, be sure that the berries have not been packed too tightly, as this could cause them to be crushed or otherwise damaged.
Handle strawberries properly and store them well after they have been purchased. Like all fruit, strawberries should be washed thoroughly prior to eating or storage. Any strawberries that show signs of mold should be discarded at once, as they will contaminate the remaining strawberries. The strawberries should be placed in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap, and kept in the refrigerator. Fresh strawberries will keep in the fridge for a few days.
Researchers have found that strawberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related declines in brain function.
The health benefits of strawberry include the following:
- Eye Care: The primary reasons for almost all the problems of eyes are free radicals and deficiency of certain nutrients. With the growing age and lack of these protective nutrients, the harmful oxidants or free radicals cast heavy damage on our eyes, such as drying up of eyes, degeneration of optical nerves, Macular degeneration, vision defects and make them prone to infections too. The anti oxidants such as vitamin-C, Flavonoids, Phenolic Phytochemicals and Elagic Acid, present in strawberries can help avoid this situation to a great extent. One more factor is ocular pressure, i.e. the pressure of the eyes. Any disturbance in it is also harmful for the eyes. Here too, strawberries are helpful as they contain potassium, which help maintain right pressure.
- Arthritis and Gout: The degeneration of muscles and tissues, drying up of the fluid which help mobility of the joints and accumulation of toxic substances and acids (such as uric acid) in the body are some of the ill effects of free radicals present in our body, which are primarily responsible for Arthritis and Gout. Strawberries, with their team of anti oxidants and detoxifiers, can effectively help push away such health hazards forever. It is a famous saying in India that a serving of any fruit a day will remove the rust from the joints. It is very true for strawberries.
- Cancer: Vitamin-C, Folate and Anthocyanin, Quercetin and Kaempferol (few of the many Flavonoids in strawberries which possess excellent anti oxidant and anti carcinogenic properties) together form an excellent team to fight cancer and tumor. A daily intake of strawberries is seen to have remarkably brought down the growth of cancerous cells.
- Brain Function: It is a very common observation that old people tend to lose their memory and control over their activities, limbs etc. This is because of aging of their brain and the nervous system. Actually, the free radicals, the agents very much responsible for aging, have a very adverse effect on these systems. Due to them, the brain tissues start degenerating and the nerves get weaker. Strawberries can help you out. The vitamin-C and the phytochemicals in them neutralize the effect of these oxidants and also rejuvenate the system. One more thing, strawberries are rich in iodine too, which is very helpful for proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.
- High Blood Pressure: Strawberries are very good in potassium and magnesium content, both of which are very effective in lowering high blood pressure caused by sodium.
- Heart Diseases: High fiber, Folate, no fats and high anti oxidants such as vitamin-C and those phytochemicals (Flavonoids) together form an ideal cardiac health pack, as they effectively reduce cholesterol. Some of the members of the vitamin-B family present in strawberries also strengthen the cardiac muscles and help better functioning of the heart.
- Other Benefits: Folate is known to protect from birth-defects. Vitamin-C effectively prevents from infections and cold. The phytonutrients also have anti inflammatory properties. Wait! I forgot to tell you about the best benefit. The strawberry preserve tastes just awesome.