Strawberries are now in peak season and are at their most delicious state. Whether eating them raw or dipped in chocolate, strawberries carry many surprising benefits besides being a healthy fruit. Find out what you can do to get your healthy dose of strawberries during the peak season!
Where are the Nutrients in a Strawberry?
You might say the whole fruit right–wrong! The nutrients are actually in the seeds of the strawberry. The rest is full of fiber and sugar.
Is a Strawberry a Berry?
In fact, a strawberry is not a berry at all! Without getting technical, berries usually come from one flower and one ovary. Strawberries come from one flower and multiple ovaries. Raspberries are also technically not berries. So why do we call them berries? Well, I really don’t know but I doubt the name is going to change. Just store this information for your next trivia night.
How Can Strawberries Help My Health?
First and foremost, strawberries are an antioxidant and vitamin machine with over 100% of your daily value of Vitamin C and plentiful antioxidants. Strawberries are a delicious source of fiber, which aids in digestion, and manganese, which helps in brain and nerve function and the absorption of calcium.
Antioxidants aid in the destructive properties of free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive unpaired electrons that like to attack cells in the human body. Free radicals are often responsible for wrinkles on the face as free radicals destroy lipids (a fatty acid that adds that “plump” to skin).
You cannot go anywhere these days without seeing an advertisement for a new skin cream with (fill in number here) antioxidants. As explained above, antioxidants in strawberries help stop these free radicals from doing any damage to your skin. While you won’t see an overnight change, eating strawberries as part of a healthy breakfast can help the appearance of your skin.
With the high availability of Vitamin C, strawberries have been shown to aid in the prevention of cataracts and overall eye health. Vitamin C is concentrated in eye tissues and without it, chances of eye degeneration increase drastically. Although our body is able to produce Vitamin C, it is a small amount and most of Vitamin C is absorbed through food.
Chronic inflammation is a reaction of your body’s immune system going into overdrive and not knowing when to stop. This can lead to arthritis or other autoimmune diseases. Vitamin C found in strawberries is shown to aid in producing collagen which is an important component of joint health. Collagen provides a cushion between joints so they may smoothly function. Without this, daily activities such as walking or even writing can become painful(think of going down a dry slip n’ slide on a dry stomach).
How Do I Eat Strawberries?
In order to obtain all nutrients from strawberries, they are best eaten cold. When strawberries are cooked at temperatures of 350°F (˜176°C) or higher, they lose most of their nutrients. So if you plan to use strawberries for their health benefits, try:
- Raw Strawberries (my favorite!)
- Strawberry Smoothies
- Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
- Strawberries and Cheese Cubes
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