It’s a common staple in smoothies and the official Wimbledon fruit – strawberries are one of our favorite berries. Hailing from ancient Europe, these succulent, bright red berries are a rich source of vital nutrients such as fiber, vitamins A and C. Also, their antioxidant value helps to protect the body against the disease-inducing effects of free radicals.
In addition to vitamin content, the antioxidants found in strawberries provide the body with a range of health benefits.
Benefits of strawberries
Cancer formation has been linked to free radicals, thus eating strawberries may help to lower your risk.
These red berries contain the antioxidants ellagic acid and ellagitannins. Studies have highlighted both of their anti-cancer properties (1).
According to an animal study published in the journal Anticancer Research, strawberries were revealed to inhibit tumor formation in a hamster model of oral cancer.
Aging is a natural process but premature aging, on the other hand, is not something we’re willing to accept.
A poor diet, lack of sun protection, blue light as well as stress can age us much faster than we’d like, which is why it’s important to take the right precautions.
Strawberries are the best anti-aging food because they contain the skin-nourishing vitamins A and C. vitamin A encourages cell production and it helps to keep the skin firm. Vitamin C, on the other hand, encourages the production of collagen and it also offers protection against sun damage.
Furthermore, these berries also contain alpha-hydroxy acid – a face acid that’s regularly used in cosmetics due to its anti-aging abilities.
Being a rich source of antioxidants, strawberries are the ultimate brain food.
However, antioxidants aren’t the only thing that makes them brain food. These delicious red berries are rich in manganese and, according to one study, manganese can help to protect cognitive health by preventing the development of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s.
If you’re looking for more foods that’ll keep you sharp, follow the link for some of our favorite brain foods.
Strawberries may be sweet, but that should be of no concern to diabetics as they are number 41 on the glycemic index of food. This number is quite low thus they can help to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
One animal study found that these berries not only help to reduce the risk of Type II diabetes, but they also reduce the risk of any complications associated with the disease.
As mentioned, strawberries are rich in antioxidants and these compounds help to protect cardiovascular health.
Strawberries contain plant compound anthocyanin, and a Harvard study published in the journal Circulation found that, due to the anthocyanin content, consuming three servings a week of berries reduces the risk of heart disease by 32%. Additionally, a separate study found that anthocyanins can also help reduce the formation of blood clots associated with strokes. Also, strawberries contain potassium and this mineral, along with anthocyanin, has been proven to help lower blood pressure (2).
High levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, as well as plaque buildup, can also increase the risk of heart disease. Luckily, studies found that strawberries can lower levels of LDL cholesterol, as well as limit plaque build-up in the arteries (3).
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one serving of red berries provides 3 grams of dietary fiber – which totals up to 10% of your recommended intake (4).
Due to their fiber content, strawberries can help to prevent constipation and keep the digestive tract healthy by feeding the good bacteria in the gut.
Supports a healthy pregnancy
In addition to its various antioxidants, strawberries also contain folate.
A form of vitamin B, folate is incredibly essential for pregnant women as it helps to prevent birth defects.
Every year, the Environmental Working Group produces the Dirty Dozen – a list that cites all the fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticide residue.
Unfortunately, strawberries regularly make an appearance on this list. Therefore, it is advisable to always choose organic fresh produce when you buy these kinds of fruits.
Healthy strawberry recipes
Once you’ve made your purchase, strawberries can be used in a variety of healthy and delicious ways. If you’re all out of recipes, enjoy some of our favorites;
Want to know more?
Did you also know that strawberries can help to maintain the whites of your teeth? You can use them to remove tooth discoloration. If you’re looking for more effective home remedies for a whiter smile, click here for 5 hacks to naturally whiter teeth.