The Nutritional and Health Benefits of Strawberries

Who can resist a succulent and saccharine rich strawberry?  Either eaten alone or added to a variety of dishes, strawberries are simply irresistible. Wild strawberries have been around since 234 BC.

Even in the pre Christian era and during the Roman period strawberries have been valued for their medicinal properties. Today there are more than 600 varieties of strawberries which are prized for their rich taste and nutritional value.

Strawberries are laden with antioxidants, essential minerals and vitamins. A cup of fresh strawberries (145gms) contains about 11gms of carbohydrates, 44gms of calories, 1gm protein, 7gms of sugar, 3.5gms of dietary fiber, 0.5gms of fat and 132gms of water.

Strawberries provide protection against a host of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular diseases and rheumatoid arthritis. Regular consumption of strawberries can also prevent macular degeneration. The magnesium and potassium rich strawberries help in reducing high blood pressure.

Strawberries contain high doses of Vitamin C and flavonoids. Strawberries are also an excellent brain food and provide superb protection for the nervous system. The high folate content of strawberries can also avert birth defects.

Strawberries contain a host of antioxidants including ellagitannins and anthocyanins. The antioxidants fight free radicals and participate in repairing the damaged tissues of the body.

People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, asthma and gout should include strawberries as part of their daily diet as they contain Anthocyanidin an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. Strawberries also provide relief to people suffering from intestinal bleeding.

Strawberries are heart healthy food as they protect the heart against strokes. Strawberries contain folate which boosts the red blood cell production and defers the onset of Alzeimers disease. The high potassium levels in strawberries also help in maintaining the electrolyte levels of the blood.

Omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, copper and host of vitamins are found in strawberries. These nutrients help in reducing blood sugar levels and inhibit cholesterol production.

Acetylsalicylic acid an active ingredient found in strawberries is present in strawberries. This element prevents the formation of blood clots and acts as an excellent blood thinner.

Inclusion of strawberries in the daily diet improves digestive health, cleans the colon, reduces constipation and helps in the general detoxification process. Strawberries also act as a natural diuretic due to the presence of high potassium levels.

The mood enhancing hormone serotonin is also released when we consume strawberries.