Strawberries have been around since ancient times, but the way we know them now actually started in the 1700’s. It was then that strawberries were grown in gardens, and their popularity quickly expanded. Now, the strawberry is the most popular fruit according to large online polls, ahead of grapes, watermelons and bananas. When you find the right one, there’s nothing more satisfying than biting into a juicy strawberry with a lot of flavor.
The best part is, not only do strawberries taste great, but you also know that eating them is going to be good for your health. However, you might not know exactly what type of health benefits that you’re getting from eating strawberries. Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of America’s favorite fruit, and see what those specific benefits are. There’s a good chance you’re already eating strawberries, and seeing these benefits might make you want to eat them more often.
Nutrition of Strawberries
Cutting strawberries into halves, you can get quite a bit from just a one cup serving. For starters, there is actually protein to be found in strawberries, which is actually quite rare for most fruits. On top of that, you are getting 12 percent of your daily recommended fiber intake with each serving. When it comes to vitamins, vitamin C really stands out for strawberries as they give you 149 percent of your recommended value.
Though other vitamin counts aren’t quite as abundant, strawberries are still a good source of folate, vitamin B6, vitamin K and niacin. Then you have the minerals, including 29 percent of your recommended manganese intake. Other minerals include potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, copper and phosphorus. The levels aren’t exceptionally high, but they are good building blocks for overall health.
Perhaps the biggest benefit that you can get from eating strawberries is for the improvement in your heart health. Strawberries contain a good amount of fiber, folate and vitamin C, which are all essential for a healthy cardiovascular system. There is also no fat, and strawberries can help you lower the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol in your blood stream. All this while strengthening the heart muscle itself for more efficient flow.
The minerals in strawberries can also help you bring down your blood pressure, especially the potassium. Strawberries contain flavonoids, which have been shown to lower your blood pressure and reduce your chances of heart disease. There have been extensive studies on the strawberry’s effect on cardiovascular health, and there have been some tremendous benefits as a result.
One problem that has popped up consistently with a diet that’s made up of a lot of processed foods is gout. Gout happens when there is a buildup of uric acid in the body, and it can cause extreme pain in the feet. Eating more strawberries is a good way of preventing a gout flare up, as they contain plenty of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Eventually, eating foods like strawberries will clear these toxins out of your body.
Gout isn’t the only common pain that can be prevented with more strawberries. Those that suffer from joint pain or arthritis should be eating more strawberries, as well. Those some anti-inflammatory properties will ease the pain, making your overall quality of life much better.
As you could tell from the nutrition content of strawberries, they are very high in vitamin C. This is the biggest vitamin that can help to boost your immune system. People that eat three servings of fruits per day are more likely to have high vitamin C content, which allows them to avoid things like the common cold or make it much easier to get through.
The immune boost is going to help keep those diseases away, while the antioxidant properties of strawberries will prevent chronic diseases. While fighting off free radicals, you are lowering your chance of cancer (and can even help treat cancer) by eating more strawberries. Since you only need one serving to get your daily dose of vitamin C, strawberries are a quick, easy and delicious way to increase your lifespan.
If you’re one of those people that is constantly getting a craving for sweets, you know how hard it can be to stick to a diet. While strawberries do have some natural sugars, it’s going to be much better to eat a strawberry than to eat processed junk food that’s packed with sugar. Not only that, you will be saving yourself a lot of calories since each serving of strawberries has fewer than 50 calories.
If you like the sweet taste of cola, having one can per day can account for 150 calories. That serving of strawberries is going to save you a bit more than 100 calories each day. In the long run, that is going to save you 10 pounds of fat per year. Strawberries also have better overall nutritional value than junk food, with some fiber that will help improve your digestive system and boost your metabolism. Strawberries are the ultimate weapon for someone on a diet that eats (or drinks) too many sweets.
Eating just about any fruit or vegetable is going to work wonders for your eye health in the long run. Strawberries are no exception, and can help you avoid problems such as cataracts or macular degeneration. In fact, strawberries are one of the better fruits for your eyes, as they contain flavonoids that ease the pressure in your eyes. Fighting off free radicals and keeping your eyes moist are important for your long term vision, and strawberries are among the best at helping to ensure it happens.
Summing it Up
Strawberries have a lot of wonderful benefits, are relatively cheap and taste delicious. So are there any drawbacks from eating these red berries? In the world of fruits, strawberries have one of the higher sugar contents. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since they are also among the sweetest fruits. While the amount of sugar in strawberries isn’t going to do harm, it can leave you feeling a bit fatigued if you eat too many and have a sugar crash.
Other than that, the only thing you need to look out for is perhaps a rare allergy. There aren’t many people that are allergic to strawberries, so you should be safe for the most part. Strawberries make for a great part of your diet, and some people choose to eat them on a daily basis. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, as the health benefits are fantastic. One downfall is that certain types of the year make for better and cheaper strawberries, so this summer, you will have a chance to catch the best strawberries of the year. So no matter if you’re eating them with a meal or as a snack by themselves, enjoy strawberries to your heart’s content.