• The Health Benefits of Strawberries

    The Health Benefits of Strawberries.

    Strawberries epitomise summer, and most people can link memories of their childhood to picking these sweet, little, red beauties in the 'Pick your own' farms, popular in the 1970's and 1980's.

    They have grown wild for thousands of years in Europe, Asia and North America and have been cultivated for many hundreds of years. Strawberries belong to the rose family of plants, which includes apples, almonds, apricots and cherries to name but a few.

    The demand for strawberries has grown over the years with sporting events, such as Wimbledon being linked to their consumption. The United States is the worlds largest producers of strawberries, other main producers include Mexico, Spain, Korea, Poland, Turkey and Egypt.

    Strawberries are packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, these antioxidants include flavonoids, phenolic acids, and tannins, 30% of the total antioxidant capacity is provided in the form of vitamin C. These powerful oxidants can help to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and the good news is that you don't have to consume a lot to start reaping the benefits. Consuming 2 - 4 cups a week will help to improve your health and lower your risk of angina, sudden cardiac death, heart failure and stroke. These benefits can been seen in as little as 10 - 30 days.

    Consuming just 1 cup of strawberries can provide about 10% of your daily recommended folate requirement, and increased intake of folate has been linked to improvements in type two diabetes. Improvements have also been documented in the regulation of insulin and blood sugar levels post consumption of strawberries.

    The numerous seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid; alpha-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid which helps to regulate inflammation in the body. This can help to protect against coronary heart disease, sudden cardiac death and heart failure, as well as offering protection against neurodegenerative diseases.

    Research suggests that consuming 1 - 2 servings of strawberries per week can reduce cognitive loss in women, that is equal to around 8 - 16 strawberries. Interestingly studies have shown new nerve generation in the hippocampus; this area of the brain is linked to learning and memory recall.

    The benefits do not stop there, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of Strawberries mean they are helpful in preventing and fighting cancer. The anthocyanins, quercetin and kaempferol found in strawberries help to suppress colon cancer cells.

    The nutrients found in Strawberries

    A closer look at some of the nutrients and their benefits.

    Vitamin C
    - Supports the immune system
    - Increases iron absorption
    - Protects cells from oxidating damage
    - Helps reduce the risk of heart disease, including coronary heart disease and stroke
    - Helps in the formation of collagen, carnitine, and catecholemines.
    - Helps prevent and fight cancer

    Manganese - Mineral

    - Supports the formation of healthy bones through absorption of calcium
    - Supports collagen production
    - Helps with the control of blood sugar
    - Contributes to the prevention of oxygen related damage and damage from ultraviolet (UV) light
    - Antioxidant, fights free radical damage. Diets low in manganese have been linked to skin problems and asthma
    - Proper functioning of the thyroid gland
    - Promotes metabolism of fats and carbohydrates

    Folate - Vitamin

    - Promotes brain development and improves functioning
    - Promotes a healthy nervous system
    - Decreases risk of various cancers, including breast cancer
    - Supports a healthy cardiovascular system
    - Helps nervous system development in the fetus
    - Assists in the production of red blood cells
    - May reduce the risk of depression

    Iodine - Trace element

    - Regulates normal functioning of the thyroid gland
    - Assists in the production of hormones
    - Helps to control the body's base metabolic rate
    - Helps in the formation of healthy skin, teeth and hair
    - Helps in the normal growth of reproductive organs
    - Helps to boost the immune system
    - Can assist in preventing and fighting cancer.

    Potassium - Mineral
    - Supports a healthy nervous system
    - Helps maintain a healthy blood pressure
    - Maintains a healthy kidney function
    - Regulates fluid balance
    - Lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease
    - Helps to improve bone and muscle health
    - Helps to reduce anxiety

    - Mineral

    - Helps protein synthesis
    - Supports the nervous system
    - Improves cellular metabolism
    - Regulates heart rhythm
    - Reduces the risk of osteoporosis
    - Reduces eclamptic seizures
    - Helps with muscle relaxation
    - Assists with bone and teeth formation
    - Regulates the body's use of calcium and other minerals
    - Helps maintain structural health of cell membranes
    - Reduces the risk of type two diabetes
    - Reduces the symptoms of asthma

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Jade26's Avatar
      Jade26 -
      I've heard that strawberries are one of the worse offenders for pesticide residues. Do the benefits outweigh these harmful effects?
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