Fruits are recognized by many as one of the many foods that contain high amounts of nutrients. There are already hundreds of types of fruits known to men and most of these can offer various benefits to health. Strawberries are considered to be one of the sweetest; however, are strawberries healthy?
Health Benefits of Strawberries
Strawberries actually come in hundreds of varieties all over the world. Although strawberries can be bought any day of the year, these fruits usually ripen during late spring and the early summer. Because of its undeniable natural sweetness, strawberries are commonly included in a lot of desserts and sweet recipes. Aside from its tempting taste, strawberries are also known to contain large amounts of vitamins and nutrients. Below are some of the known benefits of strawberries.
A cup of fresh strawberries is already packed with at least 97.6 grams of vitamin C. This is in fact more than the required 90 mg per day for men and 75 mg per day for women as recommended by the institute of Medicine’s Dietary Reference Intake. As we all know, vitamin C is a very important vitamin in boosting the immune system of the body. This likewise enhances cell health and prevents or decreases the chances of hypertension. A cup of this wonderful fruits also contain 20 IU of vitamin A and approximately 43 mg of lutein, which is an important substance for eye health. Strawberries are also rich in vitamin K, which is essential for the blood. At least 40 mcg of folate and trace amounts of vitamin B6 can also be found in strawberries.
More facts on Strawberries
According to many health experts, eating an equivalent of 3 cup of strawberries a day can help reduce the cholesterol levels of the body significantly especially on obese patients. This finding is supported by the July 2010 publication in the journal Nutrition Research. Once cholesterol level is successfully lowered, this can reduce the risk of having any heart diseases. Aside from its anti cholesterol properties, strawberries are also packed with countless antioxidants. These antioxidants are very useful in the prevention of any abnormal cell growth such as cancer. According to the American Institute for Cancer research, strawberries contain ellagic acid which is a substance capable of slowing down the ability of cancer cells to multiply and reproduce in the body.
Strawberries also contain effective agents that combat stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. A serving of this fruit already contains 210 mg of potassium, which is a mineral necessary for the normal contraction of the muscles in the body including the heart. The folate component of strawberries also helps in the production of red blood cells and aid in the delay of the onset of memory loss specifically in Alzheimer’s disease.
Low Calorie Fruit
Aside from the wonderful benefits of all the nutrients of strawberries in the body, strawberries are also considered to be low calorie fruits. A cup of raw and sliced strawberries only contain 53 calories. Unthawed and unsweetened frozen strawberries that are usually used in smoothies or sorbet contain only about 52 calories. Once strawberries are thawed, it already contains 77 calories since thawed strawberries can take up less space than the frozen types. Nevertheless, frozen and sweetened strawberries will comprise of 245 calories a cup.
Tips on Eating Strawberries
Including strawberries in the diet can actually help meet the daily requirement of 1 and a half cup to 2 cups of fruits recommended by the USDA’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines for American. It is better to use fresh and raw strawberries or the unsweetened frozen berries in order to reduce the calorie content. If sweetened strawberries are preferred it is better to use zero calorie sweeteners such as stevia. Fresh strawberries can be incorporated with fruit salads as well as in non fat yogurt and cooked oatmeal. Strawberries can even be eaten as a snack or can also be added to spinach salads. It is also advisable not to eat high calorie desserts with strawberries such as strawberry cake or pies in order to limit the consumption of refined sugar and saturated fats.
These are just some of the important facts when it comes to the health benefits of strawberries. In case weight loss is desired, it is recommended that including these tasty fruits in the daily diet in order to get fast and effective results.