It is difficult to resist eating fresh strawberries because they are extraordinarily juicy and delicious. People also use them to make jams, ice creams, chocolate, baked goods, jellies, confections, squashes and many other things for the same reasons. However, these heart-shaped delights have so much to offer beyond their rich flavor and sweetness. Besides containing high levels of antioxidants, strawberries are packed with dietary fiber, minerals and vitamins that contribute to our overall health. These include vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, manganese, iodine, magnesium, potassium, calcium and carbohydrates. Together, these nutrients are responsible for the numerous health benefits of strawberries. Let us explore some of them in great detail:
Boosts Immune System
The immune system is our first line of defense against diseases, harmful microorganisms and a wide range of damaging conditions that affect our bodies. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant and immunity booster. Therefore, incorporating strawberries in your diet can go along way to strengthen your immunity, and make you less vulnerable to various infections like coughs and common colds.
According to webmd.com, a single serving of strawberries has 51.5mg of vitamin C, which is approximately one half of what you need daily. That means if you can eat 2 servings per day, you will be able to easily meet your daily requirement of vitamin C.
Good For Weight Loss
Strawberries are also low calorie fruits that are sodium-free, cholesterol-free and fat-free. They also contain natural sugars and carbohydrates in very low quantities. However, what makes them great for weight loss is their high fiber content. High dietary fiber promotes healthy digestion, and makes you feel full faster. This of course, will make you eat lesser amount of food than you usually do, leading to weight loss.
Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the world. Fortunately, strawberries are among the best heart-healthy fruits you can eat. They contain high amounts of antioxidants, fiber, folate and zero fats, all of which work together to effectively counteract the effects of bad cholesterol in the blood and strengthen the cardiac muscles, leading to a better functioning heart. In addition, they are rich in phytochemicals that help to ease inflammation in the body, leading to better heart health.
Promotes Pre-Natal Health
Folate is very important during the initial stages of a pregnancy, as it helps the baby’s brain, spinal cord and skull to develop properly. Lack of enough folic acid may lead to birth defects like spina bifida. Because of this, health experts often recommend that pregnant women or those who are trying to conceive eat foods rich in folate. Strawberries are an excellent source of folate containing 21 mcg per serving.
Improves Brain Function
Loss of memory is very common in older people. This is due to either premature or natural aging of the brain and the nervous system. The activity of free radicals causes the tissues of the brain to degenerate and nerves to weaken as you grow older. Luckily there are super foods that can help you prevent such untimely conditions. Strawberries contain vitamin C and phytochemicals that neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals, and rejuvenate the brain system. They also contain high levels of potassium and iodine, both of which regulate the proper functioning of the nervous system and brain, and enhance memory and concentration abilities.
Keeps Wrinkles At Bay
Vitamin C in strawberries is also vital in the production of collagen, which improves the skin’s resilience and elasticity. These delicious red fruits also contain a phytochemical called ellagic acid that helps to protect the skin’ elastic fibers and prevents sagging. With all these benefits, it makes sense to consider incorporate strawberries in your daily diet if you want to keep wrinkles at bay and maintain a healthy and younger-looking skin.
Helps Fight Cancer
Vitamin C, folate, ellagic acid and anthocyanins are just a few of the flavonoids present in strawberries that have anti-carcinogenic properties. They work together to form an excellent line of defense against tumor growth and cancer. Taking strawberries daily helps to considerably lower the presence and metastasis of cancer cells in the body.
The next time you feel like eating something sweet, don’t go for cakes, cookies and other unhealthy foods. Grab a handful of juicy strawberries and enjoy all the above benefits and much more. Speaking of juicy, this sweet fruit is a superb addition to any type of juicing recipe, especially green juice recipes. Below is just one of the many juicing ideas that you can create using strawberries to improve your overall health.