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What are the health benefits of strawberries just may surprise you as it did me. Most of us are familiar with strawberries and find it hard to resist those perfectly ripe, delicious berries but do we understand how good for us they really are.
Growing up I had always been told they are good for me but I was certainly shocked when I learned all the health benefits from a simple strawberry.
Wow, what a super food and so versatile too.
It can be part of a side dish, part of an entree or as a dessert.
The recipes that can be created with strawberries is limited only by imagination.
Let’s dive in and learn about the incredible health advantages of incorporating strawberries into your diet on a regular basis.
Strawberries are quite full of Vitamin C, even more than what is in oranges.
I usually think of oranges or orange juice when I want to increase my Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is important for strong immune system function.
Simply eating 8 strawberries will deliver more Vitamin C than 1 orange.
I don’t know about you but this kind of shocked me.
Strawberries contain antioxidant properties that can help prevent the development of cataracts ( the clouding of the eye lens). Cataracts often leads to blindness in old age.
The Vitamin C contained in strawberries can actually help strengthen the retina and cornea.
Our eyes also need Vitamin C which can help protect the eyes from UV rays.
Delay Skin Aging
Some of us have spent tons of money on various creams and moisturizers in the hopes of delaying the telltale signs of aging such as sagging skin and wrinkles.
Simply mix some mashed strawberries with honey and apply it to the face every morning. Leave the mask on for 15 minutes then wash with cold water. If you prefer, rosewater could be used in place of honey.
Strawberries contain antioxidants that can protect your body and delay the signs of aging.
They also contain salicylic acid and pelagic acid which have been known to reduce dark spots (hyper pigmentation) as well as removing dead skin cells and tightening the skin pores reducing acne breakouts.
The Vitamin C in strawberries can cleanse the skin and help keep it healthy improving tone and soothing irritated skin.
May Help Prevent Hair Loss
Make a strawberry paste of:
- 2 strawberries
- 1 Tbsp Extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp honey
Apply it to your clean scalp and leave on for 20 minutes. Then wash your hair in cold water.
The vitamin C in strawberries encourages iron absorption and promotes hair growth. It can also treat dandruff and repair split ends.
There is some belief that the silica within strawberries can slow down baldness and increase hair growth. Keep in mind I have not come across any studies to prove this belief.
Best Health magazine states that strawberries contain heart-health boosters which is important because heart disease is one of the leading causes of death among Canadian women
They state that the phytochemicals and pelagic acid within the fruit balances the effects of LDL (bad cholesterol).
Strawberries also have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce blood lipids which benefits the heart.
Strawberries contain powerful antioxidants that are able to relax the lining of the blood vessels, keeping them opened up which reduces blood pressure.
They also contain potassium which is known to help control blood pressure.
Maintaining a healthy blood pressure can significantly lower the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Indulging in strawberries while pregnant may be beneficial to both you and the baby.
Strawberries are rich in folic acid which helps generate new cells.
Folic acid is important in pregnancy because it aids in the development of the fetus.
Other foods containing folic acid include:
- cooked lentils
If you are unsure if you are getting enough folic acid talk with your doctor about a supplement.
The malic acid in strawberries can be an effective astringent, removing discoloration from the teeth. This means it acts as a natural tooth whitener.
Simply crush a strawberry and mix it with baking soda until you have created a smooth blend. Spread the mixture on your teeth with a soft toothbrush and leave for 5 minutes. Brush thoroughly with toothpaste and rinse.
Don’t do this too often though as it may damage the enamel on the teeth.
The pelagic acid and antioxidants contained in strawberries help slow the digestion of starchy foods. This helps control the inevitable blood sugar spike post meal. It may also help Type 2 diabetics maintain targeted blood glucose levels.
Strawberries have a low glycemic index meaning they are unlikely to cause sharp blood sugar spikes.
They are a favourite snack for our grandson any time.
Slows Cognitive Decline
Reader’s Digest claims strawberries can actually slow cognitive aging (natural memory decline).
Apparently eating strawberries twice weekly can delay cognitive decline by two years.
The antioxidant properties in the strawberries reduces the oxidation stress and inflammation of the brain.
Strawberries are also high in iodine which regulates brain function and potassium which increases blood flow to the brain.
Source of Fibre
We often hear a lot about the importance of fibre in our diet.
That is because it feeds the healthy gut bacteria and can help lower blood sugars and keep your bowels functioning regularly.
Strawberries contain 2 grams of fibre per 100-grams or 3 grams per cup.
This is very high considering the low calorie count of strawberries
Contributes to Weight Loss
According to StyleCraze, the antioxidants and pelagic acid in strawberries can help unblock hormones that make you lean aiding in weight loss and healthy weight management.
They state the anthocyanins work to increase the hormone adiponectin that boosts metabolism and suppresses appetite.
They also claim it may induce fat burn.
A balanced diet and regular exercise will also help if losing weight is your goal.
Reduce Risk of Cancer
We have already learned that strawberries are a good source of Vitamin C and fibre.
Both of these have been found to offer protection from esophagus and colon cancers.
The American Institute for Cancer Research states that the anti-cancer properties of strawberries comes from the presence of pelagic acid which is a phytochemical that is known to prevent skin, lung, bladder and breast cancer.
The pelagic acid prevents cancer by slowing the growth of cancer cells and helping the body destroy certain carcinogens.
Boost Male Fertility
The antioxidants in strawberries benefits both your heart and arteries which in turn enhances circulation.
Good blood circulation is important for a healthy active sex life.
The Vitamin C in strawberries can improve or raise the sperm count improving male fertility.
Possible Side Effects
While Pregnant or Breastfeeding – consuming normal portions of strawberries is safe and beneficial during pregnancy or while pregnancy. It is unclear, due to lack of research if they were consumed in excess. It is best to just consume moderate amounts.
It is possible that strawberries may prolong bleeding and could increase the risk of bruising in certain individuals. If you will be undergoing surgery, avoid eating strawberries for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery. Strawberries may interfere with blood clotting. There is limited research in this area so results are not conclusive.
My Favourite Strawberry Recipes
Strawberry Spinach Salad
1 C Spinach 1/2 C olive oil
1 C Strawberries 1/3 C balsamic vinegar
1/4 C Toasted Pecans 2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 C Feta Cheese 1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 Red Onion salt & pepper to taste
- Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, salt & pepper until fully combined and set aside.
- Combine rest of ingredients and toss.
- Toss with dressing and serve or plate salad and serve dressing on the side.
This recipe makes 4 servings and each serving contains 553 calories and 16 grams net carbs for those Type 1 diabetics who need to carb count for insulin dosage.
1 C skim milk (or your favourite dairy free milk, I love almond milk)
1 C strawberries (fresh or frozen)
cinnamon or vanilla
Toss all ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth. If you are not fond of bananas you could also use other fruits that taste great with strawberries such as:
If I am using fresh fruit I usually cut back little on the milk and add ice cubes, I really like my smoothies cold and thick.
This recipe makes 2 servings and one serving contains 22.3 grams net carbs for our Type 1 diabetics who need to count carbs for insulin dosing. It also contains 139 calories.
1/4 C canola oil 2 tsp baking powder
1/2 C milk 1/2 C white sugar
1 egg 1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt 1 C chopped strawberries
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place paper liners in muffin tin.
- Combine milk, oil and egg in a small bowl and beat lightly. In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Toss in chopped strawberries and stir to coat with flour. Pour in milk mixture and stir together.
- Fill muffin cups. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes or until the top bounces back from the touch. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pans.
This recipe makes 12 muffins and each muffin contains 153 calories and 23.3 grams of net carbs which is important for our insulin dependent friends and family members.
Just what are the Health Benefits of Strawberries is a topic I never fully understood.
I mean I had always been told they are good for me but I never fully grasped it until now.
This research has really opened my eyes to just what a super food strawberries really are.
Seriously these little popular gems can:
- boost our immune system
- protect our eyes
- delay skin aging
- prevent hair loss
- lower cholesterol
- lower blood pressure
- aid in pregnancy
- slow cognitive decline
- protect teeth
- reduce risk of diabetes
- helps lose weight
- decreases risk of certain cancers
- excellent source of fibre
- aids with male fertility
I don’t know about you but me and my family will be eating a lot of strawberries.
I love how versatile they are too. There are so many recipes you can use strawberries in or even use them as a garnish for other recipes.
I shared a few of my favourite recipes along with basic nutritional information for the diabetics.
Thanks for dropping by. What are your favourite strawberry recipes. Feel free to share them in the comment section below. I look forward to trying new ideas. Take care.
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