Health Benefits of Eating Strawberries
This bright red heart shaped fruit is much loved not by just by young ones but by grown ups too. These little fruits don’t just taste good but jam packed with health benefits too.
Nutritional Value of Strawberries : Strawberries are low in calories (32 cal/100 g) and fats but rich source of health-promoting phytonutrients like powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and K, folate, potassium, manganese, and magnesium. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one cup of strawberries provides 3 g of fiber and 12 g of carbohydrates.
12 Best Health Benefits of Eating Strawberry
As a great source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, eating strawberries can benefit our health in the following ways :
- Powerful Antioxidants: The main health benefit if eating strawberries is due to its antioxidant content. Strawberries have significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals called ‘Anthocyanins’ and ellagic acid. The red color of Strawberries is due to these anthocyanins only. These Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants. Apart from Anthocyanins they contain other powerful antioxidants, Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Scientific studies show that consumption of these berries may have potential health benefits against cancer, aging, inflammation and neurological diseases.
What are Anti-oxidants?
Antioxidants are one of the body’s first lines of defense, reducing free radical damage that leads to inflammation and chronic disease development. Antioxidants “donate” electrons to unstable free radicals that are missing electrons. This means that free radicals do not go looking to take electrons from nearby healthy cells, which will then be destroyed. Antioxidants slow the occurrence of oxidative stress from taking place, which is responsible for the aging process and formation of most diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and neurological disorders.
- Protect Against Cancer: Research shows that one of the most important health benefits of eating strawberries is the ability to fight against cancer. Strawberries are rich in powerful antioxidants like vitamin C, folate, anthocyanins, quercetin, and kaempferol. Together they form a strong line of defense to fight cancer and tumor growth.
- Protect Against Heart Diseases: Oxidative damage has been linked to an increased risk of experiencing a heart attack, stroke or other forms of coronary heart disease. The antioxidants in strawberries also offers protection against various heart disease by inhibiting “bad” LDL-cholesterol oxidation, plaque buildup in arteries, improving blood vessel function and preventing the formation of blood clots. In addition, the potassium in strawberries acts as a vasodilator that improves the flow of blood to the brain, reducing one’s risk of stroke.
- Protect Against Skin Aging: The vitamin C in strawberries helps in collagen production. This collagen is a protein essential to skin health and improve skin elasticity. Vitamin C also helps in improving skin properties, including hydration, sebum production, lower levels of wrinkles and discoloration, a reduced risk for skin cancer, and photoaging
- Improve Immunity: Strawberries contain Vitamin C and one serving of strawberries offers about 150 percent of the body’s daily vitamin C requirement. This vitamin is essential for helping the body fight off infection and disease, from the common cold to the flu. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals that damage healthy DNA.
- Lowers Blood Pressure: Strawberries are an excellent source of potassium which counters the effects of sodium in the body and reduces blood pressure. Increasing potassium and decreasing sodium in the diet are among the most important dietary changes a person can make to reduce their risk of high blood pressure.
- Promote Eye Health: The presence of flavonoids, ellagic acid, and phenolic phytochemicals in strawberries reduces one’s risk of age-related vision problems like macular degeneration. These antioxidants support eye-health, help maintain good eye vision and fight or slow age-related vision problems like cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Help in Detoxification: Antioxidants present in strawberries neutralize and eliminate toxins that induce excessive free radical damage, inflammation and digestive disorders. The high fiber content in strawberry keep the digestive system in good health by preventing constipation, balancing the pH level of the gut and reducing inflammation in the gut digestive disorders.
- Promote Brain Health: Rich flavonoid content in strawberry helps improve by brain health by protecting from oxidative damage and brain aging. Research has also found that strawberry slower down the rates of cognitive decline in older adults and protect from inflammation in the brain, loss of memory, and diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Also, Potassium found in strawberry has been linked to an improved cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain. Manganese found in strawberry help prevent neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.
- Regulate Blood Sugar: Making strawberries a part of a balanced diet can reduce one’s risk of diabetes or improve existing diabetes symptoms as they have relatively low on the glycemic index (meaning they don’t cause extreme spikes in blood sugar after eating. The dietary fiber provided by strawberries also helps regulate glucose, too.
- Promote Joint Health: Free radicals contribute to the inflammation and deterioration of the muscles and tissues of the body. The antioxidants in strawberries help detoxify the body and reduce inflammation. They also aid in preventing arthritis symptoms such as degeneration of muscles and tissues, drying up of the lubricating fluids in the joints, and accumulation of toxic substances and acids (such as uric acid) in the body.
- Support Pregnancy: Strawberries contain folic acid which is a necessary nutrient, especially during pregnancy. Consuming strawberry may help in ensuring optimal health during pregnancy and prevent certain birth defects, including spina bifida. Strawberries also contain other minerals like copper and Iron which support good health. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is essential for red blood cell formation.
No doubt strawberries are packed with lot of health benefits but it’s advisable to eat organic strawberries as bugs and rodents like them too. To avoid this, all berries are heavily sprayed with chemicals during harvesting and can have high pesticide content. Therefore, to reduce too much chemical exposure always look for organic strawberries.