This should be an easy sell, we'd all love to eat more strawberries shouldn't we? There's some very compelling reasons to as well, as part of your balanced diet, read on ...
DISCLAIMER: This is my favourite fruit by a country mile, so I may be a little bit biased here telling you to eat more of them (and I've not been sponsored by any strawberry producers haha) ;-) Apart from tasting a-m-a-zing, they really help my osteo-arthritis so it's a win all round!
I use them in smoothies
a lot (especially when they are out of season, I drag out the ones I froze from fruit picking during the summer!) - or I just eat them by the punnet-load or use them to make Strawberry & Rhubarb Chia Jam. Some of my favourite smoothie recipes are:
Nutritional Analysis (one cup, approx 12 medium strawberries)
|of which sugars||7g|
|of which dietary fibre||3g|
|Vitamin C||149% RDA|
Hallelujah that strawberries, like many berries are relatively low-carb so even on a Paleo diet these are perfectly ok as part of your overall diet. There's not much you can pick apart from it's nutritional profile! It's a nutrient powerhouse – here are just some of the health benefits this fruit has to offer:
1. Reduces Inflammation
Strawberries are considered to be a natural inflammatory. It is capable of lowering C-reactive protein (CRP) because of the vitamin C and anthocyanin present in every fruit (CRP is a measure of body-wide inflammation linked to arthritis flares and heart disease). Studies show that women who eat more than 16 strawberries a day have lower levels of CRP as compared to those who don't, because each 100 grams of strawberries contains 58.8 mg of vitamin C and a good amount of anthocyanin. I'm not sure I'd ever eat that many, too much natural sugar but the benefits can't be ignored.
2. Lowers the Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
Strawberries are also packed with flavonoids that lowers the risks of heart disease - these are also responsible for the rich flavour and colour of strawberries that we all enjoy. Strawberries also have high fibre and folate for great heart health, they effectively reduce cholesterol.
3. An Effective Fat Burner
Aside from the flavonoids, strawberries are red because of the anthocyanins. Not only does it reduces inflammation, it also encourages the body to burn stored fat right away. In fact, based on research, eating 150 grams (or a whole cup) of strawberries on a regular basis can help you lose weight in just a short amount of time, especially if it's combined with a healthy diet and exercise.
4. Improves Memory (yay!)
The anthocyanins can also improve one's memory by 100% in less than eight weeks! A recent study by the Salk Institute show that consuming one serving of strawberries every week could have a long-lasting impact. This was supported by the study published by the Annals of Neurology. I'm still waiting for this benefit to kick in ;-)
5. Teeth Whitening
Yes … really! Strawberries have high levels of Malic Acid which is an effective teeth whitener. Mix 1 mashed strawberry with ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda, apply to teeth, leave for 5 minutes then wash off and brush teeth normally to get rid of any natural sugar residue from the Strawberry. This one I'll have to try!
6. Combats Oesophageal Cancer
Freeze-dried strawberries can actually help in preventing esophageal cancer. The antioxidants present in strawberries could protect cells from damage, and it could also disrupt the formation of cancer cells.
7. Strengthens Bones
Strawberries also contain vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium. These elements are very important for bone growth. With Osteoporosis affecting over 3 million people in the UK, this is not to be sniffed at.
8. Anti-aging Properties (double yay!)
Strawberries are also rich with biotin and this helps in building strong nails and hair. Aside from that, the antioxidant ellagic acid present in strawberries can also protect the elastic fibres of the skin and prevent it from sagging. Here's to looking 50 at 100 eh!
9. Promotes Eye Health
Believe it or not, eating three or more servings of this fruit can lower the risks of macular degeneration - an eye condition that could eventually lead to vision loss. Fortunately, by consuming strawberries on a regular basis, you can prevent this problem from happening.
10. Ideal for Weight Loss
Strawberries contain nitrates and this promotes oxygen and blood flow circulation - both of which are ideal for those who are trying to lose weight and stay healthy at the same time. Also, unlike other diet foods, you won't have to worry about the negative side effects of consuming strawberries, because there aren't any (although as a fruit you have to balance how much you're consuming under a Paleo lifestyle).
These are just some of the most common benefits that you can enjoy from eating strawberries. Now if only a fruit farm could set up next to where I live, I'd be a happy lady ;-)