One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
My family loves strawberries. We’ve actually started growing our own since strawberries keep topping the dirty dozen list. Strawberries are so good for you, but they are notoriously full of pesticides. So this is one to buy organic and wash extremely well.
A strawberry (Fragaria) is a sweet, red heart-shaped fruit, which is much loved for its delicious taste. Native to many parts of the world, it belongs to the rose family and has a distinct, fragrant aroma. Despite its name, a strawberry is not a berry botanically. It is an aggregate accessory fruit, which means that the fleshy part is not derived from the plant ovaries. Instead, each visible seed covering its outside is borne from one of the ovaries of the flower. Also, the strawberry leaves can be eaten raw, cooked, or even used to make tea.
Health Benefits of Strawberries
Improves Heart Function
Strawberries have high levels of heart-healthy antioxidants like ellagic acid and flavonoids like anthocyanin, catechin, quercetin, and kaempferol.
According to a research report by the University of Illinois, these phenolic compounds lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by inhibiting the formation of total and LDL (bad) cholesterol.They also relax the blood vessels, causing improved blood flow and preventing cardiovascular problems.
Additionally, the high fiber content, vitamin C, and folate in strawberries form an ideal cardiac health pack as they effectively reduce cholesterol in the arteries and vessels.
Strawberries contain salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and ellagic acid, which reduce hyperpigmentation, prevent acne, and remove dead skin cells. You can literally eat them and rub them on your face.
For a face mask for glowing skin, crush 4-5 strawberries and mix it with a tablespoon of honey. Apply on the face, leave it till dry, and wash off. This is such a good use for those strawberries who got pushed to the back of your refrigerator and are a day or two past ripe.
Strawberries also have anti-aging benefits! Vitamin C in strawberries boosts collagen production, tones the skin, and has an anti-aging effect. Collagen is your connective tissue that keeps your skin on your face, to put it bluntly.
Reduces High Blood Pressure
Strawberries are rich in potassium and magnesium and low in sodium. Potassium and magnesium act as vasodilators, meaning that they help reduce hypertension and the rigidity of arteries and blood vessels.This eases the flow of blood to various parts of the body and keeps them functioning at their full potential. I’m prone to high blood pressure from having Pre-eclampsia so I like to sneak a few servings of strawberries in a week.
Vitamin C present in strawberry boosts the immune system and helps in curing common cough and cold.A single serving has approximately 150% of your daily requirement of vitamin C! So skip the OJ, grab a cup of berries!
Prevents Birth Defects
Folic acid in strawberries is a necessary nutrient, especially during pregnancy, as it helps in preventing birth defects. It is also important for ensuring optimal health during pregnancy. So for all my friends trying to conceive right now, add a few extra strawberries into your diet. It’s important!
So while strawberries have got a bad rap the last few years, there is still a healthy way to enjoy such a wonderful fruit. Farmer’s Markets or growing your own are great options. Eat the strawberries, your body will thank you!