Whether fresh or frozen, there’s no denying that strawberries are a popular fruit—but they also pack a healthy punch. Keep reading to learn some surprising health benefits of strawberries.
Most mammals—except for humans—have the ability to produce vitamin C naturally, which is why it’s so important to get your daily requirement. One serving of strawberries contains 51.5 mg of vitamin C—about half of your daily requirement. Double a serving to one cup and get 100 percent.” Vitamin C is a well-known immunity booster, as well as a powerful, fast-working antioxidant. A 2010 UCLA study discovered that the antioxidant power in strawberries becomes “bioavailable” or “ready to work in the blood” after eating the fruit for just a few weeks.
The antioxidant properties in strawberries may also help to prevent cataracts—the clouding over of the eye lens—which can lead to blindness in older age. Our eyes require vitamin C to protect them from exposure to free-radicals from the sun’s harsh UV rays, which can damage the protein in the lens. Vitamin C also plays an important role in strengthening the eye’s cornea and retina. While high doses of vitamin C have been found to increase the risk of cataracts in women over 65, researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm note that the risk pertains to vitamin C obtained from supplements, not the vitamin C from fruits and vegetables.
Other health benefits of strawberries are:
Vitamin C is one of the antioxidants that can help with cancer prevention, since a healthy immune system is the body’s best defense. A phytochemical called ellagic acid—also found in strawberries—is another. Ellagic acid has been shown to yield anti-cancer properties like suppressing cancer cell growth. “Strawberries also contain antioxidants lutein and zeathancins. Antioxidants are scavengers to free-radicals and neutralize the potentially negative effect they can have on our cells.
Strawberries fight bad cholesterol:
They provide an anti-inflammatory effect, which is also good for the heart. Researchers at the clinical nutrition and risk modification center in Toronto studied the effect of strawberries on a cholesterol-lowering diet and concluded that adding strawberries to the diet reduced oxidative damage, as well as blood lipids—both of which play a role in heart disease and diabetes.
Strawberries regulate blood pressure:
Potassium is yet another heart healthy nutrient, and with 134 mg per serving, strawberries are considered a “medium source,”
Potassium can help regulate blood pressure and may even help to lower high blood pressure by acting as a buffer against the negative effects of sodium. With their impact on the reduction of LDL, inflammation and high blood pressure, strawberries have earned the title of one of the most heart-healthy fruits you can eat.
Fiber is a necessity for healthy digestion, and strawberries naturally contain about 2 g per serving. Problems that can arise from lack of fiber include constipation and diverticulitis—an inflammation of the intestines—which affects approximately 50 percent of people over 60. Fiber can also aid in fighting type 2diabetes. Fiber helps slow the absorption of sugars (i.e. glucose) in the blood. As a result, adults who are managing diabetes can enjoy strawberries—in moderation—in their diet.
Strawberries are naturally low calorie (around 28 kCal per serving), fat-free and low in both sodium and sugar. Strawberries do contain natural sugars—though total sugars are fairly low with 4 grams per serving—and the total carbohydrate content is equivalent to less than a half slice of bread.