The strawberry is called ‘the queen of fruits’ in Asian countries because it’s packed with health benefits.
These juicy heart-shaped delights have much more to offer beyond sweetness and flavor. I consider them a powerfood.
I love strawberries. I’m so happy when strawberries are finally in season and growing in my garden. They rarely make it to the fridge since I eat them as soon as I pick them.
10 Health Benefits of Strawberries
1. Helps burn stored fat
The red coloring contains anthocyanins, which stimulate the burning of stored fat. When a group of animals was fed a high-fat diet along with anthocyanins, they gained 24 percent less weight than the animals eating the high-fat diet without added anthocyanins. (The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry)
2. Boost short term memory
The anthocyanins boost short term memory by 100 percent in eight weeks. (The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry)
3. Low in Calories – High in Fiber
One cup contains only 54 calories.
4. Ease Inflammation
Strawberries lower blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a signal of inflammation in the body. In a study, women who ate 16 or more strawberries per week were 14 percent less likely to have elevated levels of CRP. (Harvard School of Public Health.)
5. Lower cardiovascular disease
Flavonoids — which are responsible for the colour and flavour of strawberries — lower the risk for heart disease.
6. Promote bone health
Strawberries contain potassium, vitamin K and magnesium which are important for bone health.
7. Prevent oesophageal cancer
Studies show freeze-dried strawberry powder may help prevent human oesophageal cancer.
8. Anti-aging properties
Strawberries are filled with biotin, which helps build strong hair and nails. They also contain the antioxidant ellagic acid, which protects the elastic fibers in our skin to prevent sagging.
9. Good for weight loss
The compound nitrate found promotes blood flow and oxygen in our body, which is great for weight loss.
10. Promote eye health
Eating three or more servings of fruit like strawberries may lower the risk of macular degeneration, a condition resulting in vision loss. (Archives of Ophthalmology)
Next page: Nutrition, History and Fascinating Facts of Strawberries.
Strawberries are considered one of the healthiest fruits. They are packed with antioxidants, lower blood pressure and protect your heart. Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, they are also sodium, cholesterol and fat free.
There are 54 calories in 1 cup of strawberries (sliced, 166g) which is 1/3 the amount of calories in a banana.
Read more about Strawberry Nutrition and Calories
We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel. – Golda Meir
Cautions for some people:
Oxalates which are commonly found in animals, plants, human beings and of course, strawberries. When oxalates become too concentrated in our body fluids they are crystalized, causing serious health problems.
People with existing and untreated gallbladder or kidney problems may want to avoid having strawberries. Research shows that oxalates may interfere with the absorption of calcium in our body. But more in-depth research is needed to prove this.
History of Strawberries
Strawberries have grown wild throughout the world for a long time.
- 234 B.C – There’s evidence that strawberries grew wild in Italy.
- 1300 – France began cultivating strawberries for use as a medicinal herb.
- 1400 – European monks start using strawberries for their illuminated manuscripts.
- 1500s – Cultivation of the strawberry became more common. People began using it for its supposed medicinal properties.
- 1588 – Strawberries were discovered in Virginia by the first Europeans when their ships landed there.
- 1643 – Early settlers in Massachusetts enjoyed eating strawberries grown by local American Indians who cultivated strawberries.
- Late 18th century – First garden strawberry was grown in France.
- 1835 – First American strawberries were cultivated.
- 1900’s – California began growing strawberries and now produces 80 percent of the strawberries in the U.S., amounting to one billion pounds of strawberries a year!
Fun and Interesting Facts about Strawberries
- Folklore states that if you split a double strawberry in half and share it with the opposite sex, you’ll soon fall in love.
- There are more than 600 varieties of strawberries that differ in flavor, size and texture.
- Strawberry designs are carved in medieval stone masons as the sign of perfection and righteousness. These designs are often carved on altars or around the top pillars in cathedrals and churches.
- The strawberry was a symbol for Venus, the Goddess of Love, because it’s often heart-shaped and has a rich, red color.
- Madame Tallien, known as the pronounced figure at the court of Emperor Napoleon, was popular for bathing in the strawberry juice of 22 pounds of strawberries.
- Legend has been told that strawberries were named by English children who picked, strung it on grass straws and sold them as “straws of berries.”
- Strawberries belong to the family of rose, along with apples and plums.
- Strawberries are not classified as berries. Blueberries and raspberries have seeds inside while strawberries have their seeds outside.
- Strawberries were once thought to be an aphrodisiac and were served in soups to newlyweds in 13th century France.
- Ancient Romans used strawberries to alleviate symptoms of fainting, fevers, throat infections, kidney stones, halitosis, attacks of gout, and diseases of the blood, liver and spleen.
- At Wimbledon each year, strawberries and cream are eaten between tennis matches by properly attired English.
How to Buy Strawberries
Buy ORANIC STRAWBERRIES! If I cannot find or afford organic strawberries I eat another fruit instead.
Do not buy inorganic strawberries. Nearly 60 different pesticides have been found on strawberries. Strawberries are always one of the top EWG’s Dirty Dozen Foods. The abundant fungus on strawberries prompts farmers to spray, and pesticide residue remains on berries sold even at farmers markets. Strawberries are the most chemically intensive crop in California.
Now, here is what to look for once you have found organic strawberries.
For full nutrition and flavour buy fresh strawberries. They need to be firm, plump, have a deep red color, and have green caps and with a light fragrance.
Strawberries, once picked, do not ripen further so do not pick those that are dull in color or have green or yellow patches because they will be sour.
Small strawberries are sweeter and more flavorful. Eat your strawberries as soon as possible.
If buying strawberries in a pack, check the package to make sure that there are no signs of mold. Even if there is one molded strawberry do not buy them. Research has shown that molds are linked to health problems, and even cancer. Fruits and vegetables with high moisture content can be contaminated below the surface.
How to Store Strawberries
It’s best to consume strawberries as soon as you harvest or purchase them. Keeping them in the refrigerator will not improve their quality.
- They should be kept in a room temperature for a few hours. Anthocyanin, which is responsible for the red color of strawberries, is heat sensitive. This is the reason strawberries brown in warm temperatures.
- Unwashed strawberries should be stored loosely, cover with plastic wrap and should be placed on the coldest part of your refrigerator for about two days maximum as they lose nutrients quickly.
- Only wash strawberries when ready to consume as they easily perish. To wash strawberries, place them in a colander and rinse them under running cold water. Do not soak them for they will lose their color and flavor. Do not remove their caps until after you have washed the berries
- If you want frozen strawberries; wash them gently, let them dry and remove the caps. Place them on a cookie sheet and freeze. Place them in a ziplock bag once frozen. Make sure to suck out all the air and seal. You may keep them in your freezer up to six months.
How to grow strawberries
Every June and July when strawberries appear in the gardens and the farmers markets of Canada, I am reminded of when I grew a large patch in England. One year I picked 30 pounds. Now, I have a little strawberry patch in my garden that I have been eating strawberries every day for two weeks.
Learn how to grow your own strawberries: How To Grow Strawberries
How to Enjoy Strawberries
As if you need to be told!
It’s easiest to simply wash and eat them. Yum!
Or, put them in fruit salads.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes:
Strawberry Jam Sugar and pectin free.
Strawberry Crumble Sugar free, gluten free and dairy free
Strawberry MilkShake A classic!
Strawberry Peach Green Smoothie This is a great snack or breakfast.