10 Surprising Health Benefit of Strawberries
Fresh & frozen both are good for health.
Why we should add more strawberries to our diet:
Strawberries are juicy, summery & delicious, it is nutrient-rich & packed with antioxidants (like vitamin C), the benefits of strawberries are endless, & some will even surprise you. (Wrinkle-prevention? Yes please!). Here are 10 strawberry benefits you don’t want to miss out on.
1) Boosting immunity:
“Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C,” says Toronto-based registered dietitian Madeleine Edwards. Most mammals – except for humans – have the ability to produce vitamin C naturally, which is why it’s so important to get your daily requirement. “One serving contains 51.5 mg of vitamin C about half of your daily requirement,” Edwards says. “Double a serving to one cup & get 100 percent.”
2) Maintaining healthy vision:
The antioxidant properties in strawberries may also help to prevent cataracts, the clouding over of the eye lens, which can lead to blindness in older age. Our eyes require vitamin C to protect them from exposure to free-radicals from the sun’s harsh UV rays, which can damage the protein in the lens. Vitamin C also plays an important role in strengthening the eye’s cornea & retina.
While high doses of vitamin C have been found to increase the risk of cataracts in women over 65, researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm note that the risk pertains to vitamin C obtained from supplements, not the vitamin C from fruits & vegetables.
3) Prevent cancer:
Vitamin C is one of the antioxidants that can help with cancer prevention, since a healthy immune system is the body’s best defense. A phytochemical called ellagic acid also found in strawberries is another. “Ellagic acid has been shown to yield anti-cancer properties like suppressing cancer cell growth,” says Edwards. “Strawberries also contain antioxidants lutein & zeathancins. Antioxidants are scavengers to free-radicals & neutralize the potentially negative effect they can have on our cells,” she says.
4) Prevent wrinkles:
The power of vitamin C in strawberries continues, as it is vital to the production of collagen, which helps to improve skin’s elasticity & resilience. Since we lose collagen as we age, eating foods rich in vitamin C may result in healthier, younger-looking skin. But vitamin C isn’t the only naturally-occurring wrinkle fighter found in this fruit. Researchers at Hallym University in the Republic of Korea concluded that ellagic acid visibly prevented collagen destruction & inflammatory response two major factors in the development of wrinkles in human skin cells, after continued exposure to skin-damaging UV-B rays.
5) Keep Lower your cholesterol:
According to the Heart & Stroke Foundation, heart disease is one of the leading causes of death among Canadian women. Luckily, the benefits of strawberries include powerful heart-health boosters. “Ellagic acid & flavonoids or phytochemical can provide an antioxidant effect that can benefit heart health in various ways,” explains Edwards. “One way includes counteracting the effect of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL bad cholesterol in the blood, which causes plaque to build up in arteries. A second way is that they provide an anti-inflammatory effect, which is also good for the heart.”
Researchers at the Clinical Nutrition & Risk Factor Modification Center in Toronto studied the benefits of strawberries on a cholesterol-lowering diet & concluded that adding them to the diet reduced oxidative damage, as well as blood lipids both of which play a role in heart disease & diabetes.
6) Reducing inflammation:
The antioxidants & phytochemicals found in strawberries may also help to reduce inflammation of the joints, which may cause arthritis & can also lead to heart disease. A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health shows that women who eat 16 or more strawberries per week are 14 percent less likely to have elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) an indication of inflammation in the body.
7) Helping pre-natal health:
Folate is a B-vitamin recommended for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive, and strawberries are a good source with 21 mg per serving. Folate is necessary in the early stages of pregnancy to help in the development of the baby’s brain, skull and spinal cord, & the folic acid in strawberries may help to prevent certain birth defects, such as spina bifida.
8) Fibre intake Booster:
Fibre is a necessity for healthy digestion, & strawberries naturally contain about 2 g per serving. Problems that can arise from lack of fibre include constipation & diverticulitis an inflammation of the intestines, which affects approximately 50 percent of people over 60. Fibre can also aid in fighting type 2 diabetes. “Fibre helps slow the absorption of sugars (i.e., glucose) in the blood,” says Edwards. “As a result, adults who are managing diabetes can enjoy strawberries in moderation in their diet.”
9) Controling blood pressure:
Potassium is yet another heart healthy nutrient, & with 134 mg per serving, strawberries are considered a “medium source,” according to Alberta Health Services. Potassium can help regulate blood pressure and may even help to lower high blood pressure by acting as a buffer against the negative effects of sodium. Thanks to their impact on the reduction of LDL, inflammation and high blood pressure, these benefits of strawberries have earned the tiny fruit the title as one of the most heart-healthy fruits you can eat.
10) Aid in Weight loss:
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best defenses against type 2 diabetes & heart disease, not to mention just plain good for your overall well-being. “Strawberries are naturally low in calories (around 28 calories per serving), fat-free & low in both sodium & sugar,” says Edwards. “Strawberries do contain natural sugars, though total sugars are fairly low with 4 grams per serving & the total carbohydrate content is equivalent to less than a half slice of bread. Triple your serving to 1.5 cups & you will have a snack that’s less than 100 calories & much healthier than those pre-packaged 100-calorie snacks!”