13 Health Benefits of Strawberries

13 Health Benefits of Strawberries

 

Strawberries are AWESOME! Strawberry smoothies are way AWESOMER!

I love’em. Sweet and juicy! I like them straight off the bush, fresh, in pie, angel food cake covered in strawberries, with whipped cream, dipped in chocolate, in a fruit salad (I usually eat the strawberries first; who doesn’t, right?).

Most of all I love ice cold strawberry smoothies.

Strawberries are just plain good just about any way you eat them! Unless of course you have an allergy; then I hate to say it, but you’re missing out on one of the best foods in the whole wide world.

The USDA has this to say about strawberries:

“…Sweet, juicy strawberries not only taste good, they’re also full of nutrition. Low in calories and carbohydrates, the raw fruit is a good source of fiber potassium, iron, and vitamin C…”

Which made me look into the health benefits of eating strawberries as a regular part of my diet. Let’s face it, I’d love to eat strawberries year round!

If you were to eat 1 cup of whole raw strawberries they would pack a whole bunch of vitamin C in a tiny 144 gram serving.

I don’t know about you, but one cup of strawberries is NOT enough for me. I usually eat a pint by myself. Shh… Don’t tell anyone.

(By the way, strawberries are approximately 91% water by volume)

Tons of Major Vitamins and Minerals

Strawberries are chock-full-o vitamins and minerals. Here is a list of them by weight, per serving.

1 Cup of Pureed Raw Strawberries (232 grams)

    • Calories = 74
    • Water = 211g
    • Vitamin C = 136.4mg
    • Protein = 1.55g
    • Fiber = 4.6g
    • Folate = 56µg
    • Carbohydrates = 17.82g
    • Cholesterol = 0mg
    • Calcium = 37mg
    • Magnesium = 30mg
    • Sodium = 2mg
    • Potassium = 355mg
    • Sugars = 11.34g

Energy Booster

Strawberry smoothies also give you a good boost of natural sugars, and calories that can increase your energy levels in a healthy way, unlike energy drinks which use caffeine and processed refined sugar, corn syrups, and other yucky chemical stuff you can’t even pronounce.

Good For Your Immune System

Strawberries are high in Vitamin C,  which boosts your immune system, and helps prevent cell damage.

This from NIH.gov

“…Supplementation of vitamin C was found to improve components of the human immune system such as antimicrobial and natural killer cell activities, lymphocyte proliferation, chemotaxis, and delayed-type hypersensitivity…” ~US National Library of MedicineNational Institutes of Health

May Help Prevent Cancer

We all know a good diet and exercise is the best way to stay healthy. It makes sense that adding certain vitamins and minerals to your diet on a regular basis is a good thing. Case in point, strawberries and their Vitamin C benefits also may including inhibiting cancer, and preventing it altogether by lower risk factors.

Vitamin C is thought by some to enhance the immune system by stimulating the activities of natural killer cells (a type of white blood cell) and anti-cancer agents. ~ Cancer.org

“…Some claim that the vitamin can prevent a variety of cancers from developing, including lung, prostate, bladder, breast, cervical, intestinal, esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, and salivary gland cancers, as well as leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Vitamin C is also said to prevent tumors from spreading, help the body heal after cancer surgery, enhance the effects of certain anti-cancer drugs, and reduce the toxic effects of other drugs used in chemotherapy…”

Shortens The Common Cold

When I get sick, I know orange juice is usually the first thing I reach for (besides my pillow). But Strawberries might be another alternative when you’re sick. Especially is you have a sore throat and can’t drink orange juice. I know the citric acid in orange juice hurts my throat a bit, but an ice cold strawberry smoothie might just go down a bit easier and cool my throat a bit more.

“…adequate intakes of vitamin C and zinc ameliorate symptoms and shorten the duration of respiratory tract infections including the common cold…” ~NIH.gov

Helps Fight Malaria and Pneumonia

The Vitamin C in Strawberries (when combined with zinc) could help fight Malaria and Pneumonia. Malaria, Pneumonia, an Diarrhea are life threating illnesses that can be treated to reduce the effects of the diseases with Vitamin C when combined with zinc.

…Furthermore, vitamin C and zinc reduce the incidence and improve the outcome of pneumonia, malaria, and diarrhea infections, especially in children in developing countries…” ~US National Library of MedicineNational Institutes of Health

Strawberries Have ZERO Cholesterol

Not that you would really have to worry about cholesterol anyway because you eat healthy, right? But you’ll be happy to know that strawberries do not contain cholesterol. If you want some, try eating some eggs. Not sure if strawberries will lower your cholesterol or not, but you won’t be adding to your numbers.

Strawberries Help Fight Arthritis

People who suffer from arthritis might find that having a strawberry smoothie or  a cup (or pint) of whole raw strawberries, might just help alleviate their arthritis pain.

“…Strawberries can satisfy your sweet tooth while fighting arthritis symptoms…”

~ Arthritistoday.org – Strawberries Ease Inflammation

Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease or Stroke

“…“…Not only are strawberries juicy and delicious, they also may lower blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a signal of inflammation in the body. High CRP levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke…” ~ Arthritistoday.org

“…C-reactive protein is produced by the liver. The level of CRP rises when there is inflammation throughout the body…” ~U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health | C-reactive protein

Help Fight Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis

It may be possible to lessen inflammation and the frequency of Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis flares. If Strawberries can in fact lower CRP in your blood, and CRP can in fact cause inflammation that could lead to a flare, then it’s possible that it could also lower the frequency or severity of a Lupus flare.

“…[strawberries] may lower blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a signal of inflammation in the body.… [CRP] levels often spike when people with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus have a flare, as well…”  ~ Arthritistoday.org

“…A positive test [High CRP Levels] means you have inflammation in the body. This may be due to a variety of different conditions, including:

  • Cancer
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Heart attack
  • Infection
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Lupus
  • Pneumococcal pneumonia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Tuberculosis

This list is not all inclusive.

~ U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health | C-reactive protein

Helps Babies Development During Pregnancy & Helps Prevent Birth Defects

Strawberries are a good source of folate (or folic acid; the synthetic version of the naturally occurring B vitamin) Folic acid can help in the development of healthy baby, namely the brain, skull and spine. And it may also prevent spina bifida and other birth defects.

“…Folate and folic acid are forms of a water-soluble B vitamin. Folate occurs naturally in food, and folic acid is the synthetic form of this vitamin…” ~ Mayo Clinic | Folate

“…Folic acid is a pregnancy superhero! Taking a prenatal vitamin with the recommended 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid before and during pregnancy can help prevent birth defects of your baby’s brain and spinal cord…” ~ WebMD | Folic Acid and Pregnancy

Strawberries Are a No Fat Food

Everyone I know loves strawberries, and they also watch their weight. Strawberries are a great no fat snack!

All this talk about strawberries has made me hungry…

Strawberries

Fun Facts About Strawberries:

  • ƒ Over 80% of the strawberries produced in the United Sates are grown in California.

  • They produce over 1 billion pounds of strawberries a year! 

  •  There are more than 600 varieties of strawberries, each with their own size, shape, and color. 

  • ƒ Strawberries grown best when the days are warm and sunny and the nights are cool.

  • ƒ Strawberries are picked by hand because they are very fragile and bruise easily. 

  • ƒ The peak season for fresh strawberries is between April and October. 

  • ƒ Strawberries are a great source of Vitamin C, folic acid and fiber.

  • Just 8 strawberries provide 160% of the vitamin C you need for a whole day!

 Strawberry Smoothie Recipe

Strawberry Smoothie Recipe