The interest in the potential health benefits of fruits has been steadily increasing among researchers and consumers alike. Strawberries are a rich source of several antioxidants, polyphenolic compounds, vitamins, and nutrients, which are implicated in various health benefits and disease-preventative effects. We’re going to discuss the benefits of eating strawberries and why these juicy, red, refreshing fruits should be in your diet.
What Is Strawberry
A strawberry is a red, heart-shaped fruit, bursting with natural sweetness, and packed full of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. Native to many regions throughout the world, the strawberry belongs to the rose (Rosaceae) family. Strawberries have a profoundly remarkable nutritional profile, packed full of powerful bioactive compounds, vitamins, and minerals. Strawberries contain antioxidants, or polyphenols, such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid, and procyanidins, which have been linked to several health benefits, including anti-aging, and reducing the risk of chronic disease.
In addition to their polyphenolic and antioxidant properties, strawberries are rich in vitamin C, manganese, folate, and potassium. They consist mainly of water (91%), contain 7% carbohydrates, and contain 1% protein. They’re also low in calories and rich in fiber, which makes them an ideal snack for maintaining a healthy weight.
100g of raw strawberries contains:
- Calories: 32
- Water: 91%
- Protein: 0.7 grams
- Carbs: 7.7 grams
- Sugar: 4.9 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
- Vitamin C 58.8mg 98% of the DV
- Folate 80mg 20% of the DV
5 Strawberry Benefits For Overall Health And Wellness
- Strawberries Benefit Your Heart
Research has consistently proven that diets rich in fruits and vegetables are correlated with a lower risk of chronic disease. Strawberries are abundant in bioactive compounds, such as ellagic acid, and certain flavonoids: anthocyanin, catechin, quercetin, and kaempferol. These compounds in strawberries have potent antioxidant power. Antioxidants help lower the risk of cardiovascular events by inhibiting LDL-cholesterol oxidation, promoting plaque stability, improving vascular endothelial function, and decreasing the tendency for thrombosis.
A Harvard study found that young to middle-aged women who had three or more servings of half a cup of berries, including strawberries and blueberries were 34% less likely to have a heart attack than were women who ate less than three servings.
Researchers believe that the antioxidant benefits linked to heart health are largely due to anthocyanins, a subset of a group of bioactive chemicals called flavonoids.
Nearly 30% of the carbohydrate content found in strawberries comes in the form of fiber. Fiber has been shown to help reduce HDL cholesterol and improve total cholesterol, improving cardiovascular health. Add some strawberries to your Cheerios, and voila! Cholesterol-reducing magnificence.
- Strawberries Benefit Cognitive Function
Another health benefit of strawberries is that they are believed to improve cognitive function, due to their rich antioxidant properties. From 1995 to 2001, researchers involved in the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, measured cognitive performance in 16,010 participants and found that greater intakes of blueberries and strawberries were associated with slower rates of cognitive decline. Further supporting evidence also found that greater intakes of anthocyanins and total flavonoids were associated with slower rates of cognitive decline.
- Strawberries Benefit Weight Loss
Consuming more fruits and vegetables can help reduce obesity due to decreasing fat accumulation. Strawberries are extremely water-dense and low in calories, which can help increase satiety. Ever noticed that after eating 5-8 large strawberries, you start to get full? Adding more strawberries to your diet, can help control cravings since they're naturally sweet and increase feelings of fullness, helping achieve a caloric deficit, which is crucial for weight loss.
In a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, study participants consumed strawberry powder for three weeks and revealed altered lipid profiles by reducing plasma concentrations of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and increasing low-density lipoproteins (LDL).
- Strawberries Benefit Immunity
Strawberries benefit immune health due to their rich and valuable micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They contain nearly 100% of your daily value of vitamin C, which has been shown to fight bacterial infections and protect the body against free radical damage.
Several studies have shown that vitamin C does exhibit a therapeutic effect on the duration as well as the severity of the common cold. Including more fruit and vegetables in your diet, can help produce better immunity with the addition of key vitamins and minerals.
- Strawberries Benefit Eye Health
Research has shown that antioxidants and vitamin C are crucial to better eye health. Eating strawberries has been found to help prevent dry eyes, degeneration of the optic nerves, and age-related diseases such as macular degeneration. A study published in Clinical Interventions in Aging found that vitamin C provided the eye with vital antioxidant protection, in addition to other nutrients such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
A study published in the journal Nutrients found that vitamin C exhibits a protective effect on your eyes. Foods rich in vitamins C and A, such as strawberries, could help prevent glaucoma and are essential in repairing the tissues of the eye.
Strawberry Benefits: Takeaway
Like most fruits, strawberries are delicious and provide a remarkable variety of health benefits that can reduce the risk for chronic and age-related disease. Antioxidants, especially the anthocyanins found in strawberries, have been linked to better overall health and wellness. Water dense and low in calories, strawberries are the ideal snack to help you maintain and lose weight. The next time you’re at the store, grab some strawberries. Throw them in your smoothie, salad, overnight oats, or protein shake to get an extra burst of essential vitamins and nutrients.