You already know that eating lots of vegetables and fruits is very healthy and that they must make up a large part of our diet (the half of our plate to be exact). Thus, you should eat fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, since they are often associated to a decreased risk of developing Type II diabetes, heart disease, increased blood pressure, cancer and lots of other diseases.
Strawberries (otherwise called Frigaria x ananassa) are a fruit used in countless recipes. They have a rich flavor, are low on calories and fats and can be used both in savory and sweet recipes. Lots of people add them to their yogurt to make a healthy snack or make various juices, smoothies, energy drinks or flavored water. You can also use them to make tasty jams to eat them during breakfast or use them for a cake topping. Strawberries are a great source of antioxidants, phytochemicals and have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiallergic and antihypertensive properties. The phytochemicals they contain include anthocyanin, catechin, quercetin and kaempferol.
Strawberries are ideal for vegetarians and vegans. They contain 42 calories (per 100 g), are low in fat, rich in fibers, folic acid, vitamin C and they are also a good source of manganese. They also contain many more vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts, which can help the body and boost immunity, of course if they are part of a balanced nutrition.
Let’s have a closer look on some of the most important benefits of this fruit.
As I’ve already mentioned, strawberries contain anthocyanin, catechin, quercetin and kaempferol and have antioxidant substances. These substances reduce the risk of developing heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases by inhibiting LDL oxidation (or otherwise called “bad” cholesterol), because they reduce the risk of thrombosis. In addition, there are indications that strawberry nutrients may help in boosting immunity, another important reason to make you add strawberries to our diet.
Skin and anti-ageing properties
Strawberries also have anti-ageing properties. They are perfect especially for those of you who are constantly looking to boost your skin’s health. Strawberries contain ellagic and salicylic acid which boost the skin’s health by reducing acne and removing dead cells. You could also make a homemade face cream with them too. The high in vitamin C content of strawberries helps produce collagen. In the correct quantities and when cooked properly, collagen has anti-ageing properties. There are also indications that strawberry-rich diets have positive effects on brain function, and more specifically, on reducing the ageing process of the brain.
Strawberries contain flavonoids which help protect the eye from free radicals and can help with the eye’s health. Eating strawberries will help protect the eyes from diseases (due to the high content of vitamin C – 71% of the recommended daily intake), reduce dry eyes and protect the optic nerve.
Due to a high content of fibers, strawberries have other beneficial properties as well. They improve digestion and will be beneficial for the proper function of the bowel. Especially, if you suffer from constipation, try adding the strawberries to your diet, as the may help release the symptoms.
However, none of this will help your body if you don’t have a balanced diet and way of life. To make the most of this fruit you should use it with the proper recipes. That’s why I have prepared the recipes below for you…
This article was written in collaboration with Kitchen Lab's Nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr.