8 Proven Health Benefits of Strawberries

What are strawberries?

The strawberry, Fragaria, is a member of the rose (rosaceae) family, and one of the most popular berry fruits in the world. There are more than 10 species of Fragaria that differ in flavour, size and texture, yet they all have the same characteristic heart shape and red seeded flesh. They are not actually fruits, as they carry their seeds on the outside and develop runners, which produce roots that go on to create clone plants. About seven fresh berries count as one of your five-a-day.

Nutritional benefits of strawberries

An 80g serving of strawberries provides:

  • 26Kcal/101KJ
  • 0.5g protein
  • 0.4g fat
  • 4.9g carbohydrates
  • 13.0g fibre
  • 136mg potassium
  • 49mcg folate
  • 46mg vit C

Carbs

Fresh strawberries are very high in water, so their total carb content is very low — fewer than 8 grams of carbs per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).

The net digestible carb content is fewer than 6 grams in the same serving size.

Most of these berries’ carbs come from simple sugars — such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose — but they also contain a decent amount of fiber.

Strawberries have a glycemic index (GI) score of 40, which is relatively low.

This means that strawberries should not lead to big spikes in blood sugar levels and are considered safe for people with diabetes.

Fiber

Fiber comprises around 26% of the carb content of strawberries.

One 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving provides 2 grams of fiber — both soluble and insoluble.

Dietary fibers are important to feed the friendly bacteria in your gut and improve digestive health. They are also useful for weight loss and can help prevent many diseases

Vitamins and minerals

The most abundant vitamins and minerals in strawberries are:

  • Vitamin C. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant necessary for immune and skin health.
  • Manganese. Frequently found in high amounts in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, this trace element is important for many processes in your body.
  • Folate (vitamin B9). One of the B vitamins, folate is important for normal tissue growth and cell function — and fundamental for pregnant women and older adults.
  • Potassium. This mineral is involved in many essential body functions, such as regulating blood pressure.

To a lesser extent, strawberries also provide iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins B6, K, and E.

Other plant compounds

Strawberries are loaded with antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds, including:

  • Pelargonidin. The main anthocyanin in strawberries, this compound is responsible for the bright red color.
  • Ellagic acid. Found in high amounts is ellagic acid is a polyphenol antioxidant that may have many health benefits.
  • Ellagitannins. Related to ellagic acid, ellagitannins are converted to ellagic acid in your gut.
  • Procyanidins. These are antioxidants commonly found in strawberry flesh and seeds that may have beneficial health effects 

Read more: https://www.healthevoke.com/6-health-benefits-of-pomegranates/

8 Proven Health Beneifts of Strawberries are:

May Protect The Heart

One of the benefits of eating strawberries is improved heart health. The abundance of antioxidants and polyphenols in strawberries makes them the ideal food to protect your heart from ailments. They contain anthocyanins (the antioxidants responsible for their red hue), which protect the lining of the circulatory system, thereby shielding the arteries from plaque build-up and regulating the blood pressure 

May Help Fight Cancer

They are exceptionally good sources of vitamin C and fiber, both of which have been found to protect from cancers of the esophagus and colon. The anticancer properties of strawberries, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, can be attributed to the presence of ellagic acid – a phytochemical that can prevent cancers of the skin, lung, bladder, and breast

Ellagic acid acts as an anticancer agent in several ways – it acts as an antioxidant, slows down the production of cancer cells, and helps the body destroy certain types of carcinogens.

Enhances brain function

They contain compounds that improve brain health, such as anthocyanins, which have been shown to protect the brain against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline. Eating brain health-boosting foods can also reduce the risk of certain chronic brain-related diseases

Supports eye health

Strawberries contain antioxidants like vitamin C and other nutrients that are beneficial for maintaining good vision. Regular consumption can help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and promote healthy eyes.

Regulates blood sugar levels

Despite their sweetness, strawberries have a low glycemic index, meaning they do not cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. This makes them suitable for people with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood sugar levels.

May support gut health

They are a rich source of polyphenols and fibre, both of which have prebiotic properties which means they provide a fuel source for the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. By regularly including strawberries in the diet you may promote an increase in the beneficial Bifidobacteria.

They can help you lose weight

Strawberries high fiber content helps control cravings; plus, they’re super low in calories. “At only about 150 calories, they’re a nutrient-rich, fiber-rich snack that helps with weight loss,” says Caspero. That said, they’re low in protein so it’s a good idea to pair strawberries with a serving of protein or healthy fat, like plain yogurt or hard cheese, to bump up the filling factor.

Perhaps the most impressive nutritional aspect of strawberries is their incredible vitamin C content—a single serving contains 144 percent of your daily value.

Supports healthy digestion

Strawberries are a good source of dietary fibre, which promotes healthy digestion and prevents constipation. Consuming regularly can support regular bowel movements and improve overall gut health.

Although strawberries are good for health, it’s important to note that individual results may vary, and it’s always advisable to consult a healthcare professional for personalised advice on dietary choice.

Are strawberries safe for everyone to eat?

Although most of us can enjoy strawberries without a problem, they are a common allergen, especially for young children. If you have allergies to birch pollen or apples, you are more likely to develop a secondary food allergy to strawberries. If this is relevant, you should avoid them.

Strawberries, along with fruits including apples, peaches, avocados and blueberries contain natural chemicals called salicylates. Some people are sensitive to these compounds and may experience an allergic reaction including skin rash and swelling.

They also contain goitrogens, compounds that may interfere with thyroid function, so those with a thyroid condition should minimize their intake. Lastly, they are high in histamine, which means those with a histamine intolerance may need to moderate their intake.

Overall, are strawberries good for you?

Sweet and juicy strawberries bring a lot to the table. They contain compounds which have a protective effect and may reduce the growth of cancer cells, as well as reducing the risk of anti-inflammatory diseases, such as heart disease. They are sweet but low-GI and low in calories. Instead of spiking blood sugar levels, strawberries could help to slow down the digestion of glucose and reduce insulin spikes, making them a healthy choice for those with type-2 diabetes.

If you are concerned about food allergies or have any other concerns, please consult your GP or registered dietician for guidance.

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