Angela, due to food sensitivities, has a great appreciation for food and its effect on the body. She strives to learn about healthy living.
Strawberries are one of the most loved fruits, due to its sweet taste and being so easy to eat and grow. Although there are over 600 varieties of strawberries across the world, they all provide the same great benefits to the body. It helps that they are great in many desserts, including ice cream, pie, and covered in chocolate. Although they give the best benefit fresh and raw. 3/4 of a cup of raw strawberries fulfills nearly all your vitamin C needs for the day and is high in antioxidants that give great benefits as well. Here are the top 10 ways that strawberries help us remain healthy.
1. Strawberries Protect the Heart
Strawberries contain flavonoids, which are excellent at reducing the risk of heart attacks by 32 percent. One particular flavonoid, quercetin, is especially useful as an anti-inflammatory agent. Quercetin reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, which, according to animal studies, protects your body against the damage caused by bad cholesterol.
They also contain a large number of polyphenols, which is believed to reduce the chance of getting cardiovascular disease. Some believe, including Dr. Aedin Cassidy from the Norwich Medical School in the UK, that three servings a week is enough to protect your heart from heart disease and keep it functioning well.
There is also evidence that strawberries lower homocysteine levels in the blood, which is an amino acid that is known to damage the inner lining of arteries.
2. Strawberries Improve Blood Pressure
This delicious fruit is also high in potassium, which helps reduce high blood pressure. Potassium reduces the effects of sodium in the body, although too much potassium can have ill effects as well. Unfortunately, only two percent of adults in America get enough potassium. Those who do eat enough potassium are believed to have a 20 percent less chance of dying from any cause.
3. Strawberries Preserve Eye Health and Sight
Strawberries also are great for eyes, due to its ability to reduce free radicals. Free radicals can increase the chances of getting eye infections, developing macular degeneration, and causing damage to the optic nerve. Fortunately, this sweet berry has plenty of flavonoids, Ellagic acid, and phenolic phytochemicals that help reduce these free radicals. The potassium in strawberries also helps regulate ocular pressure, preserving eye health.
4. Strawberries Strengthen the Immune System
Unlike most foods, as little as 3/4 of a cup of halved strawberries contain enough vitamin C for an entire day. Vitamin C helps to strengthen the immune system against colds and cases of the flu. This vitamin also prevents free radicals from wreaking havoc. Without free radicals, it naturally boosts the immune system.
5. Strawberries Reduces Risk of Cancer
Another great benefit is that strawberries neutralize free radicals. By neutralizing free radicals, it inhibits the growth of tumors and decreases inflammation in the body, which ultimately helps protect us from cancer. Free radicals often are responsible for mutating otherwise healthy cells, which can begin the formation of cancerous cells.
Many of the flavonoids found in strawberries also help prevent cancer, such as vitamin C, folate, quercetin, and many others. These antioxidants act as anticarcinogenic agents. By eating this fruit daily, you are reducing the chance of tumor growth. Some believe that eating a regular diet of strawberries will lessen the odds of cancer metastisizing, which may help boost cancer treatment.
6. Strawberries Are Great for Pregnancy
Strawberries are great to eat while you are pregnant due to being a great source of folic acid, which is essential in brain development in the unborn baby. Having plenty of natural folates also helps prevent postpartum depression in mothers. The reason for this is because folate prevents the formation of excess homocysteine in the body. Homocysteine disrupts the production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which are hormones that help maintain a good mood.
This delicious berry also increases good cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, and is packed with vitamins, which are all great for the mother and child.
7. Strawberries Reduce Complications of Diabetes
Often when one thinks of diabetes, they think of staying away from anything sweet. Strawberries, although very sweet, are beneficial to those with diabetes due to its high fiber content and low glycemic index, which helps prevent both highs and lows in sugar levels.
In 2011, researchers did a study where diabetic patients ate 37 strawberries a day. They found that it was effective in minimizing kidney disease and neuropathy in these patients, which was a result of the flavonoids found in the fruit, which assist in neuron growth and kidney health.
8. Strawberries Enhance Brain Health
Strawberries are great for mental health. Not only does it prevent blood clots, which can result in strokes, but it also contains many of the antioxidants as well as high potassium levels, which some believe, reduces the risk of strokes.
As stated earlier, it also reduces free radicals, which are known for causing premature aging of the brain and nervous system. Vitamin C revives the nervous system along with phytochemicals found in strawberries. This fruit is also a great source of iodine, which plays a part in protecting the brain and nervous system.
Potassium increases blood flow to the brain, improving cognitive functioning, enhancing memory, and even helping prevent Alzheimer's disease.
9. Strawberries Improve Skin Issues
As pointed out countless times, vitamin C inhibits free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for premature aging of the skin, including sagging skin, fine lines, and an overall look of dullness. Strawberries also contain Ellagic acid, which promotes collagen production and protects against UV rays. Collagen helps the skin look vibrant and young-looking.
10. Strawberries Help Control Asthma Effects
Strawberries are a great anti-inflammatory agent, which protects the body from many inflammatory diseases such as asthma. Some of the qualities that give an anti-inflammatory boost are quercetin and vitamin C. Strawberries also contain bioflavonoid that reduces the frequency of asthma attacks as well as the severity of such attacks.
Strawberries are an excellent source for proper health due to its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. In Asia, they refer to it as 'the queen of fruits' because it is among the top ten fruits with the highest antioxidant levels. It helps with the management of diabetes, asthma, and many other inflammatory diseases, as well as helps prevent cancer, strokes, and heart attacks. Overall, this fruit should be eaten frequently, especially raw, to help one live a healthy lifestyle.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Angela Michelle Schultz
Tori Leumas on July 09, 2019:
I love strawberries. They're my favorite fruit. I eat them as often as I can. It's so great that they have such amazing health benefits!
Dianna Mendez on April 08, 2019:
I am going to increase my intake of strawberries after reading about these wonderful benefits. I used to have a patch at my old home up north. I am going to look into growing a container of them for my backyard.
Dina AH from United States on April 01, 2019:
As we finally are in the spring season, I can finally get back into making myself smoothies. A lot of my smoothies feature strawberries. I just love them. And, it's a less expensive way to incorporate these wonderful fruits into my diet. Do you have a favorite way of eating strawberries? I have seen them included in salads, which may be the next experiment for me to try out.
PS: I geeked out when I saw the first graphic of this post. It was so clever that you showed serving size for strawberries and other dietary information about them within one graphic. Plus, I stare at these dietary information charts so much that the familiarity of seeing one of them here made me smile. Wonderful work!