Properties and Benefits of Strawberries: Strawberries not only rank as one of the most popular fruit choices ever, but they are also among the richest in antioxidants, molecules capable of slowing down the aging process by preventing oxidation at cell level. However, strawberries are surprisingly fragile fruits, highly perishable. On average, they can be kept for a maximum of two days without significant loss of vitamin C and polyphenols.
Strawberries (also known by the name of garden strawberries) are actually a hybrid of the Fragaria genus. Not only are they are rich in vitamins and minerals, but they are also a great antioxidant source, all of which are a great contribution to our health and general well being.
Strawberries may vary in colour, shape, size and even flavour, yet they preserve some famous common characteristics: juiciness, sweetness, textured flesh and strong flavour. You know you have eaten a perfect strawberry when your entire mouth smells like one. Strawberries have strong anti-inflammatory properties due to their unique combination of phytochemicals, which include: anthocyanins, flavonols, terpenoids and phenolic acids.
Professionals say that if you are suffering from chronic inflammation and you consume roughly one cup of strawberries per day, several days a week you will most definitely see an improvement in your condition. There are numerous scientific studies that suggest eating strawberries regularly (3-4 days a week) can help alleviate symptoms of chronic inflammation.
Sweet and juicy, strawberries are a delicious way to keep hydrated. In addition to this, they are full of phytochemicals with amazing anticarcinogenic properties which makes them a great ally for our cardiovascular system. Our heart and our blood vessels need protection against oxidative damage and inflammation and the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of strawberries are an excellent way of preventing highly damaging oxidation processes.
According to several studies conducted at national levels in various countries, strawberries boast incredibly high levels of vitamin C (approximately 70% of the recommended daily intake) and other important nutrients. After raspberries and grapes, strawberries have the highest content of manganese, a mineral with excellent antioxidant properties. Manganese protects cells exposed to reactive oxygen moleques called free radicals against oxidation processes.
Moreover, strawberries help reduce fats in our blood, namely LDL (bad) cholesterol. However, in order to enjoy their health benefits, studies suggest regular consumption should extend over a period of time of at least 30 to 90 days. However, this does not mean you should exclude other fruits but, on the contrary, continue to enjoy a varied diet.
Unfortunately, many of the strawberries you find in supermarkets (and lately at farmers’ markets too) are not organically grown. You can tell them apart from the naturally grown fruit by appearance, taste or smell: they are abnormally big, often deformed, they do not have a fruity smell, or any other smell for that matter, they are hard and lack flavour or are bitter. Fortunately, strawberries are fairly easy to grow, provided you have a small vegetable garden or some terrace space and a little time.
Because they are rich in vitamin C, strawberries play a crucial part in increasing longevity by reducing inflammation and strengthening the immune system. Vitamin C is a basic essential vitamin, one that our body cannot produce by itself and thus has to be provided by our diet. In this case, strawberries are an excellent choice. The small seeds at the exterior of the fruit are a decent source of fiber and help prevent and relieve constipation. Surprising recent studies have proved that strawberries contain small amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids which offer cardiovascular protection.
And here is an interesting fact: did you know that strawberries can cause mild allergic reactions such as fever or rashes? Studies believe that this reaction of the immune system is triggered by a protein that gives ripe strawberries their red colour.
As a result, a variety of white strawberries (which lack the above-mentioned protein) have been developed so everyone can enjoy the fragrant taste of the fruit. All things considered, strawberries are an excellent addition to our diet and their display of amazing health benefits should make us all reconsider their importance in our diet.