Health Benefits of Strawberries
Sweet, juicy strawberries, with their vibrant red color, can brighten up the flavor and look of any meal. They are not only delicious, they are low in fat and calories, a good source of fiber and contain antioxidants, which protect the human body from cellular damage caused by free radicals.
One cup of strawberries provides 50 calories and about 3 grams of fiber, most of which is soluble fiber. Studies have shown that fiber, particularly soluble fiber, can help lower LDL or “bad cholesterol”2.
Fiber helps regulate digestion and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease through its cholesterol-lowering mechanisms. Just one cup of strawberries provides more than 100% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C for adults.Vitamin C is an important antioxidant, protecting cells from damaging free radicals.The body also uses vitamin C to make collagen, which helps heal wounds. Vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron and is a critical component of the body’s immune system3.
Strawberries + Phytonutrients:
Strawberries are loaded with phytonutrients, plant chemicals that contain protective, disease-preventing, compounds, which are being investigated for potential health benefits1. Phenolic compounds are complex organic molecules that a plant produces for protection against diseases and environmental elements. They are also responsible for a fruit’s color, flavor, and aroma.
Flavonoids are a type of phenol known to be potent antioxidants. They have also been shown in studies to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by inhibiting the oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad cholesterol”, improving blood vessel function, and decreasing the tendency for blood clotting. In addition, studies have shown that flavonoids decrease the inflammatory process in the body, which helps protect the heart4.
How to Enjoy Strawberries?:
- Add sliced strawberries to a mixed green salad.
- Layer sliced strawberries and other fruit with plain yogurt to make a parfait dessert.
- Add strawberries to a smoothie with yogurt and orange juice.
- Mix chopped strawberries with cinnamon, lemon juice, and maple syrup to use as a topping for waffles and pancakes.
- Create a coulis sauce for desserts by blending strawberries with a little bit of orange juice.
- Place sliced strawberries on toast instead of jam.
- Dip strawberries in antioxidant rich dark chocolate for a delicious and nutritious dessert.
- Enjoy the health benefits of strawberries by preparing strawberry recipes.