A strawberry (Fragaria) is a sweet, red heart-shaped fruit, which is much-loved for its delicious taste and for its nutritional benefits. Native to many parts of the world, it belongs to the rose family and has a distinct aroma. Despite its name, a strawberry is not a berry from a botanical standpoint.
It is an aggregate accessory fruit, which means that the fleshy part is not derived from the plant ovaries.
They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are beneficial for your heart and blood sugar.
These berries are also excellent sources of vitamin C and minerals like potassium and manganese.
Health Benefits of Strawberries
1. May Improve Heart Function
Strawberries have high levels of heart-healthy antioxidants such as ellagic acid and flavonoids like anthocyanin, catechin, quercetin, and kaempferol.
The abundance of antioxidants and polyphenols in strawberries makes them the ideal food to protect your heart from ailments.
These all protect the lining of the circulatory system, thereby shielding the arteries from plaque build-up and regulating the blood pressure. Additionally, the high fiber content, vitamin C, and folate in strawberries form an ideal cardiac health trio, as they effectively reduce cholesterol in the arteries and vessels.
2. May Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Strawberries are relatively low on the glycemic index, meaning they don’t cause extreme spikes in blood sugar after consumption. Strawberries also contain ellagic acid, and this, along with the antioxidants, helps in slowing down the digestion of starchy foods.
The fiber in strawberries can also help regulate blood sugar levels.
3. IMPROVES IMMUNE FUNCTIONING
Strawberries are excellent sources of vitamin C. Just one serving of strawberries offers about 150 percent of the body’s daily vitamin C requirement, which has been found to trigger immune-boosting antibodies, which ultimately enhance your body’s ability to fight infections.
4. LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE
As already mentioned, strawberries contain anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants that relax the lining of the blood vessels and open them up, thereby lowering blood pressure. Besides this strawberries are an excellent source of potassium, which counters the effects of sodium in the body and reduces blood pressure.
5. Relief from Arthritis & Gout
The antioxidants in strawberries help detoxify and reduce gout and arthritis pain. They also aid in preventing arthritis symptoms such as degeneration of muscles and tissues, drying up of the lubricating fluids in the joints, and accumulation of toxic substances and acids (such as uric acid) in the body.
6. Anticancer Potential
Flavonoids, such as anthocyanins, quercetin, and kaempferol found in strawberries act as a defensive line against the development of cancer and tumors. The anticancer properties of strawberries, can also be attributed to the presence of ellagic acid – a phytochemical that can prevent cancers of the skin, lung, bladder, and breast.
7. LOWERS RISK OF STROKE
The anti-inflammatory power of the antioxidants in strawberries helps reduce the formation of blood clots that are linked with stroke.
In addition, the potassium in strawberries acts as a vasodilator that improves the flow of blood to the brain, reducing one’s risk of stroke.
8. Eye Care
The presence of flavonoids, ellagic acid, and phenolic phytochemicals in strawberries reduces one’s risk of age-related vision problems like macular degeneration.
Also strawberries contain potassium, which helps in maintaining the correct ocular pressure.
9. Weight Loss
Strawberries boost the production of adiponectin and leptin, both of which are fat-burning hormones. They help reduce appetite, decrease blood sugar, and reduce body weight and fat, all of which promote weight loss.
10. Reduce Inflammation
Strawberries reduce elevated blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a substance produced by the liver that increases inflammation in the body.
Strawberries also contain a special anti-allergy flavonoid called fisetin, which helps the body’s immune cells control inflammatory reactions to allergens.
11. PROMOTES SKIN VITALITY
Strawberries contain salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and ellagic acid, which reduce hyperpigmentation, prevent acne, and remove dead skin cells.
Strawberries are also an excellent source of vitamin C, which is used by the body to produce collagen, a protein essential to skin health.
12. Have Anti-Aging Properties
Anthocyanins in strawberries may be useful in preventing free radical-induced skin damage.
They are also great sources of lycopene, an antioxidant that plays a prominent role in staving off the signs of aging.