Strawberries are a popular accessory fruit that have high nutritional quality for low calorie content! They are full of antioxidants, which help the body's cellular processes and function as an illness preventative. They have been used for centuries in art, literature and medicine - both for their health benefits and their beauty. Strawberries are full of nutritious properties that can benefit everyone - and allergen free types are available!
1. Health Benefits of Strawberries
1. Strawberries may lower your risk of heart disease!
How do strawberries lower your risk of heart disease?
Strawberries work to lower your risk of heart disease through three important factors:
1. Protecting Against “Bad” Cholesterol
“Bad” Cholesterol is also called LDL, or low-density lipoprotein. Bad cholesterol helps the buildup of plaque in the arteries, leading to atherosclerosis.
Strawberries contain anthocyanins, which is a class of flavonoids found in berries that are powerful antioxidants. A specific flavonoid in strawberries, quercetin, functions as a natural anti-inflammatory that combats atherosclerosis and protects the arteries from LDL. Quercetin has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol, as well as lower blood pressure in people at risk of cardiovascular disease.
2. Controlling Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart failure and kidney disease. Diets that are high in potassium are beneficial in fighting high blood pressure, because potassium counteracts the sodium in the body. Strawberries are relatively high in potassium, with one serving of strawberries containing 5% of the recommended daily value of potassium. Served in a fruit salad with bananas, strawberries are a great way to maintain blood pressure levels and fight hypertension.
3. Lowering Homocysteine Levels
Homocysteine is an amino acid which is important to have in your body in moderation. Too much homocysteine is linked to higher risk of heart disease, because it is thought that this amino acid, in excess, can promote atherosclerosis and blood clots. How do strawberries interfere with this amino acid? Strawberries are high in folate. One serving of strawberries contains 9% of an adult’s daily recommended intake of folate. The metabolism of folate monitors homocysteine levels by lowering hyperhomocysteinemia counts in the body. Not only that, but folate is beneficial in tons of other ways! <link to benefit>
* Strawberries are also high in fiber which supports heart health!
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Strawberries are beneficial for the heart and can contribute to lowering your risk of heart disease by monitoring your cholesterol, blood pressure and homocysteine levels.
2. Strawberries are full of antioxidants that benefit your skin, hair and nails!
How do strawberries benefit your skin?
Strawberries contain a natural antioxidant called ellagic acid which is under investigation as a skin wrinkle treatment. In studies ellagic acid has proved to fight inflammatory agents in studies, as well as prevent collagen destruction.
How do strawberries benefit your hair and nails?
Strawberries are a natural source of biotin, which is a B vitamin (and is sometimes known as vitamin H). Biotin is used in hair loss treatments, as well as for people with brittle nails. Biotin functions as a maintenance for nail and hair growth as well.
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Strawberries are full of antioxidants and biotin, which benefits your skin, hair and nails!
3. Strawberries are full of properties that prevent cancer!
How do strawberries prevent cancer?
Cancer commonly targets areas of chronic inflammation, particularly areas of oxidative stress. One of the antioxidants strawberries contain, ellagic acid, which benefits healthy skin, also is being considered as a cancer preventative. The antioxidants in strawberries are being shown to block the initiation of carcinogenesis - and in some cases stop the proliferation of cancer cells.
In one study, various strawberry phenolic compound treatments were tested against human cancer cells. The phenolic compounds in strawberries that were tested in this study included: pelargonidin, pelargonidin-3-glucoside, pelargonidin-3-rutinoside, kaempferol, quercetin, kaempferol-3-(6'-coumaroyl)glucoside, 3,4,5-trihydroxyphenyl-acrylic acid, glucose ester of ( E)- p-coumaric acid and ellagic acid. These potent antioxidants, in concentrated amounts, proved to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, including human oral, colon and prostate cells.
Another study revealed that the methanolic extract of strawberry (MESB), activated apoptosis (cell death) in tumor cell growth without any side effects.
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Strawberries are full of beneficial antioxidants that are being shown to prevent the onset of cancer, as well as end the proliferation of cancerous cells.
2. Disadvantages of Strawberries
1. Strawberries can cause allergic reactions!
Some people have allergies to strawberries, where there body has a damaging immune response to a foreign substance. Strawberry allergies are typically oral; however, some cases are due to contact. The reaction to strawberries typically mimics hay fever.
The allergen responsible for these allergic reactions is typically Fra A 1, which is involved in the ripening of fruits. Most people allergic to strawberries will also be allergic to birch, pollen and apples because of cross reactivity. Cross reactivity occurs when the proteins in one substance are like the proteins in another. As a result, the immune system sees them as the same and sends a response.
Not all is lost! There are allergy-free strawberries! White cultivars of strawberries lack Fra A 1. These strawberries are white or gold when ripe and don’t get the infamous ruby red coloration. The cultivar of strawberry called ‘Sofar’ is one white strawberry variety.
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Like any other food, strawberries may cause an allergic reaction in some people due to the allergen Fra A 1; however, there are allergen-free strawberries!
3. Top 100 Strawberry Recipes
4. Strawberry Recipes in Video
Strawberries are a sweet berry that are great eaten alone or as an addition to smoothies, salads and desserts. They provide a boost of nutrients, flavor and vibrant color to dishes! They are delicious picked off the vine, or preserved for months as jam. Try some of these strawberry recipes to add some healthy, natural sweetness into your life!
5. About Strawberries
Kingdom | Plantae
Order | Rosales
Family | Rosaceae
Subfamily | Rosoideae
Genus | Fragaria
Species | F. x ananassa
What are strawberries?
Strawberries are a widely grown cultivar with a huge variety. They are cultivars of the genus Fragaria. A cultivar is a plant that has been produced by selective breeding. They are an aggregate accessory fruit, which means they are a fruit that develops from the merging of several ovaries which were originally separate in a single flower. The typical fruit develops in one ovary.
What kinds of strawberries can you buy?
There is huge variety in the strawberry family. There are over hundreds of varieties of strawberry. There are three types of strawberries in the sense of production; and if you choose to grow them it is best to choose them according to your climate and growing conditions. It is best to select fruit to buy depending on these factors, as well for maximum freshness.
6. Strawberries vs. Blueberries
Strawberries and blueberries traditionally go together in the United States- whether in salads, pies or mixed as a dessert. Besides their striking colors and patriotic appearance, the berries are nutritionally somewhat similar. Both are low in calories, strawberries at 47 calories for a cup and blueberries at 84 calories a cup - and full of antioxidants! Strawberries are a better source of Vitamin C and potassium, while blueberries are a better source of Vitamin A. That makes both of these berries immune boosting and a great choice for a healthy diet!
7. History of Strawberries
A berry chock full of antioxidants
One of the most popular berries in the world - loaded with health benefits.
Origins of the Strawberry
The modern garden strawberry we know today originated in Brittany, France in the 1750’s from an accidental cross breeding. The parents of todays modern species include a red-fruited strawberry Fragaria virginiana brought from the eastern North America to Europe in the 1600s and a white-fruited strawberry Fragaria chiloensis from Chile that was brought to France in 1714.
- Strawberries are found in Italian, Flemish and German Art and English Miniatures
- Strawberries are also mentioned in ancient Roman Literature, mainly for medicinal purposes
14th Century - French began to harvest strawberries in their gardens after cultivating them in the forests
1364 to 1380 - King Charles V of France had 1,200 strawberry plants in the royal garden during his reign
1454 - First documented botanical illustration of the strawberry appeared in Herbaries
Early 15th Century - Western European monks used the wild strawberry plant in their “illuminated manuscripts”
8. Q&A About Strawberries
How do you pronounce strawberry?
What do strawberries taste like?
Strawberries have a unique balance of sweetness and acidity. As strawberries ripen, they become more sweet, their sugar content rises and their acidic content lowers. The hormone responsible for the ripening of strawberries is called auxin.
What are strawberries related to?
Strawberries are part of the rose family. They are closely related to roses as well as other edible fruits that flower.
How many strawberries are produced in the world?
In 2011 over 4,594,539 tons of strawberries were produced in the world just for production and sales. That’s the equivalent of 12 and a half Empire State Buildings.
How long does it take strawberries to grow?
Strawberry fruit is ready for harvest typically 4-6 weeks after blooming. In total, this process should take approximately 2 to 3 months depending on a variety of factors such as type of strawberry, location of garden, time of year and soil preparation.
9. Nutritional Information
|Calorie 47||Calories from Fat 0|
|Total Fat 0.4g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Polyunsaturated fat 0.2g|
|Monounsaturated fat 0.1g|
|Sodium 1 mg||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 11g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 2.9g||11%|
|Vitamin A 0%||Vitamin C 141%|
|Calcium 2%||Iron 3%|
Allergen Fra a 1. UniProt. UniProt Consortium, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2016. <Allergen Fra a 1. UniProt>
"Food Allergies and Cross-Reactivity." Kids with Food Allergies. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, July 2015. Web. 05 Apr. 2016. <Food Allergies and Cross-Reactivity>
Gil, María I., Encarna Aguayo, and Adel A. Kader. "Quality Changes and Nutrient Retention in Fresh-Cut versus Whole Fruits during Storage." Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. ACS Publications, 12 May 2006. Web. 05 Apr. 2016. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/ab s/10.1021/jf060303y
Hummer, K. "Dive into the Strawberry Gene Pool: It's Getting Deeper!" Agricultural Research Service. United States Department of Agriculture, 01 May 1996. Web. 05 Apr. 2016. http://www.ars-grin.gov/co r/cool/fra-pool.html
Strawberry. "Strawberry Plant." Strawberry Plants .org. Strawberry Plants .org, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.
"About Us." EWG. Environmental Working Group, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2016. http://strawberryplants.org