Strawberries health benefits are outstanding! Fresh summer strawberries are one of the greatest, refreshing and tasty treats on the planet. Since ancient Roman times, wild strawberries have been popular and used for various medicinal purposes such as alleviating fever, inflammation, gout, bad breath, and kidney stones.
Today, there are more than 600 varieties of strawberries. The slightly tart, sweet berries rank among the best 10 vegetables and fruits in antioxidant capacity 1 . Their deep and rich hue supplies their abundant flavonoid content, a matter of research in numerous studies supporting the strawberries health benefits and their consumption on a regular basis 2 .
Strawberries Health Benefits
The health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables of all kinds, including strawberries, are endless. As plant food consumption goes up every day, the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease goes down 3 .
High vegetable and fruit intake are also related to healthy hair and skin, lower weight, and increased energy. Increasing consumption of vegetables and fruits significantly decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality – and strawberries and some other berries are on the top of that. Here are the most impressive health benefits of strawberries:
- Reduce Risk of Stroke
Strawberries have a great content of antioxidants anthocyanin, kaempferol, and quercetin. These potent antioxidants have all been proven to reduce the formation of harmful blood clots linked to strokes and heart attacks. Strawberries have also a high potassium content, which has also been associated with a reduced risk of stroke 4 .
- Protect against Cancer
As we mentioned above, strawberries contain potent antioxidants which work against free radicals, decreasing inflammation in the body, and inhibiting tumor growth 5 .
- Decrease High Blood Pressure
Due to their high potassium content, these sweet fruits are recommended to people with high blood pressure to help negate the impact of sodium in the human’s body. Moreover, a low potassium intake is an as great risk factor in developing high blood pressure just like high sodium intake 6 .
In accordance with the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, less than 2 percent of US adults take the daily 4700 mg recommendation for potassium 7 .
Also worth mentioning, a high potassium intake is linked with a 20 percent reduced risk of dying from all causes.
- Minimize Constipation
Consuming foods that are high in fiber and water content like grapes, cantaloupe, strawberries, and watermelon can aid to keep your hydrated and your bowel movements regular. Strawberries are rich in fiber that can help to minimize constipation and add bulk to your stool.
- Alleviate Symptoms of Asthma and Allergies
Due to the anti-inflammatory effects of quercetin, eating strawberries can help to alleviate symptoms of many allergies, including, watery eyes, hives, and runny nose, though there have been to human research done to support this theory. A few studies have proven that the incidence of asthma is lower with a high intake of some essential nutrients, especially Vitamin C 8 .
- Regulate Diabetes
These little red, delicious fruits high in fiber are a low glycemic index food, which helps to control blood sugar and keep it normal by avoiding extreme lows and highs. Strawberries are an ideal fruit choice for diabetics due to their low glycemic index.
Researchers found that consuming about 37 strawberries a day could significantly decrease diabetic complications, such as neuropathy and kidney disease 9 . The research showed that a flavonoid contained in great quantity in strawberries, known as fisetin, supported survival of neurons grown in culture and increase memory in healthy mice, along with prevention of both brain and kidney complications in diabetic mice 10
- Good for Pregnant Women
Adequate intake of folic acid is important for pregnant women to protect against neural tube defects in babies 11 .
- Help with Depression
Folate from strawberries can help with depression by evading an excess of homocysteine formation in the body that can prevent blood and some other nutrients from reaching your brain. Homocysteine inhibits the production of the feel-good hormones dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which regulate not just mood, but appetite and sleep as well 12 .
- Have Anti-Aging Properties
Strawberries health benefits don’t stop here. These tasty fruits are filled with biotin that helps build strong nails and hair 13 . Plus, they contain the antioxidant ellagic acid that protects the elastic fiber in the skin in order to prevent sagging 14 .
- Lower Cardiovascular Disease
Flavonoids that are responsible for the flavor and color of strawberries can lower the risk for heart disease 15 .
- Good for Weight Loss
As we mentioned before, strawberries are high in fiber but low in calories. One cup contains about 53 calories. The compound nitrate found in these marvelous fruits promotes oxygen and blood flow in the body, which is perfect for weight loss. Regular consumption of strawberries can significantly decrease obesity.
- Promote Eye Health
Eating 3-4 servings of berries, especially strawberries can lower the risks of macular degeneration, which is a condition that results in vision loss. Eat strawberries regularly in order to improve your vision and prevent vision loss.
- Reduce Bad Cholesterol and Triglycerides
According to a research from MNT news based on the strawberries health benefits, bad cholesterol and triglycerides can be decreased by strawberry consumption 16 . A group of volunteers ate 500 grams (17, 637 oz.) of strawberries per day for one month to see whether it improved their blood parameters in some way. Finally, of this unusual treatment, their levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol reduced significantly, as stated by the analyses conducted by Spanish and Italian scientists 17 .
How to Enjoy Strawberries
- Put some sliced strawberries to mixed green salads.
- Make a parfait dessert by adding sliced strawberries and some other fruit into a plain yogurt.
- Make a delicious and refreshing smoothie by blending some strawberries, plain yogurt, and orange juice.
- Mix chopped strawberries with lemon juice, maple syrup, and cinnamon, to use as a topping for pancakes and waffles.
- Make a coulis sauce for desserts by blending some little amount of orange juice with strawberries.
- Instead of jam, place a few sliced strawberries on toast. Here are some great ideas for making healthy and tasty toast: LINK
- Dip some strawberries in antioxidant-rich dark chocolate (containing at least 75% of cocoa) for a delicious, romantic and nutritious dessert.
Your Health Tuber. Victoria – Advice
Every June and July strawberries appear in our garden. In the article, you can see a photo from the first strawberries from our garden. We have a little strawberry patch in the garden. We didn’t use any pesticides or other chemicals on the strawberries, therefore, maybe they are little, but at least they are organic and healthy. So, they rarely make it to the fridge since we eat them as soon as we pick them.
As a nutritionist and Your Health Tuber, my advice it to buy organic strawberries, if you can afford it. Don’t let the big, perfectly shaped strawberries from the supermarket to fool you – they are certainly not organic. Grow your own strawberry plants if possible – of course. Many environmental factors affect quality and taste of strawberries. Strawberries that come from California are thought to be the tastiest. My general advice would be to smell the strawberries first before you decide to buy them. The smell can tell you a lot about their freshness and origin – just smell them and you will know! 🙂
Strawberries are rich in the essential nutrients fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and folic acid. One cup of fresh strawberries contains only 53 calories and 160% of the daily recommendations for vitamin C.
Portion Size: 1 cup (166 grams) of sliced fresh strawberries 18
- Calories: 53
- Protein: 1,2 gram
- Dietary Fiber: 3.84 grams
- Carbohydrates: 11. 67 grams
- Magnesium: 16.63 mg
- Iron: 0.64 mg
- Calcium: 23.25 mg
- Potassium: 44.83 mg
- Phosphorus: 31.56 mg
- Selenium: 1.17 mg
- Vitamin A: 44.83 IU
- Vitamin C: 94.15 mg
- Folate: 29.40 mcg
This highly nutritional fruit also contain the powerful antioxidants ellagic acid, anthocyanin, kaempferol, and quercetin, which all have been proven to have protective effects against some forms of cancer.
Risks and Precautions
The Environmental Working Group publishes a list every year of vegetables and fruits with the highest levels of pesticide residue, well known as the Dirty Dozen. This year, strawberries are highest on the list of produce that the EWG suggests that you should buy the organic version in order to ensure lower risks of pesticide exposure.
If you cannot afford organic, do not fret; the health benefit of consuming conventionally grown food (non-organic) far offsets the risk of not consuming that particular food at all.
Beta-blockers, which is a type of medicine most commonly prescribed for cardiovascular disease, could cause potassium levels to rise in the blood. Thus, high potassium foods need to be consumed in moderation when taking some kind of beta-blocker.
Consuming too much potassium could be harmful to people whose kidneys aren’t fully functional. In the case where your kidneys cannot remove excess potassium from the blood, it can be fatal.
According to the University of Harvard, you should consume strawberries and blueberries regularly. Why just strawberries and blueberries? Because these berries are mostly rich in chemical compounds known as anthocyanins. Research states that anthocyanin has several effects on our body. It can lower blood pressure, and make blood vessels more elastic. Do not leave the produce aisle without any berries in your shopping cart. Start your day with berries in your cereal, yogurt, smoothie, or oatmeal. Strawberries health benefits are incredible! This delicious berries can help you lose weight and decrease the risk of many terrible diseases.