Why You Must Have Strawberry
“A recommended quantity of strawberries a day keeps the doctor away.” Strawberries (Fragaria Ananssa) are small red juicy and sweet fruits that are heart-shaped and are said to be good for the heart too although, some strawberries have sour tastes they remain mouth-watering. This fruit was first bred in France in the 1750s.
The strawberry is the most popular berry fruit in the world. Other berry fruits that are not as popular as the strawberry are; raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry. Did you know a strawberry provides more vitamin C than an orange? Yes. The strawberry packs a high punch of vitamins, fiber, and especially, a high level of antioxidants in it, which is beneficial for the body. This fruit can be eaten raw or can be used in a variety of products and dishes. Are you about to include strawberries in your diet? This article tells you everything and anything you need to know about strawberries.
Health Benefits of Strawberry
Regulates Blood Sugar
Strawberries aid in the slowing down of glucose digestion. Strawberry has a high level of carb and a low glycemic index. This means they would unlikely cause sharp sugar spikes when consumed by a diabetes patient. When carbs are digested in the body, they are broken down into simple sugar and are further released into the bloodstream. This process enables them to regulate the blood sugar level. These strawberries also reduce the spikes in glucose and insulin, thus, preventing diabetes. An imbalance in the regulation of blood sugar leads to obesity and diabetes.
Improves the Heart
Have you heard the saying, “your heart will thank you?” A high level of anthocyanidins is found in strawberries. These anthocyanidins reduce the risk of heart attacks and heart diseases. They also increase HDL (good) cholesterol in the heart. Take eight pieces of strawberry fruits a day and see your heart thank you.
Improves the Brain
Strawberry has a high content of antioxidants, which protects the brain cells from damage. These antioxidants also change the communication of neurons with each other in the brain. Thereby leading to a healthy brain. Strawberries, again, can delay the decline of memory due to the presence of flavonoids in them. The consumption of berry has also been said to reduce the risk of brain diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. What they do is to reduce the accumulation of the toxic proteins that causes these diseases.
Improves Eyesight and Vision
Helps in Weight Loss
Hope you know that you have to cut down on your sugar and sweet foods to lose weight. Well, you can take strawberries and still lose weight. The ellagic acid and antioxidants help in weight loss as it has anti-inflammatory properties which unblock the weight-reducing hormones. Strawberry also increases the production of adiponectin, which increases the body’s metabolism and suppresses the appetite.
Boost the Immune System
As stated earlier, strawberries are rich in vitamin C, and vitamin C sets off the immune-boosting antibodies that enable the body to fight infections. Vitamin C also increases the concentration of immunoglobin, which is an antibody, in the body.
Help Fight Cancer
Cancer is a health condition where cells in one part of the body begin to grow abnormally. The ellagic acid in strawberries prevents skin, lung, breast, and bladder cancer. Therefore, this acid acts as an anticancer agent by slowing down the production of cancer cells and helping the body destroy some types of carcinogens (the substance that causes cancer).
Whitens the Teeth
Thanks to the malic acid property in strawberry. This helps in whitening the teeth. All you have to do is mash a strawberry, mix it with a spoon of baking powder, and spread it onto your toothbrush and rinse off after use. Repeat this process daily for a sparkly white tooth.
Strawberry has a high content of fiber, which we all know helps your digestive system. Aside from this, strawberries mainly consist of 90% water, thus enhancing bowel movements and preventing constipation.
Supports a Healthy Pregnancy
Berries are a great source of folic acid and folate food. Folate is vital during pregnancy, as it prevents neural tube defects. From a cup of raw strawberries, you can get 40 micrograms of folate. This folate also improves the mother’s health.
A soluble fiber known as pectin is contained in strawberries, which reduces LDL (bad cholesterol) in the body.
Prevents Hair Loss
This benefit is thanks to vitamin C in strawberries. Vitamin C encourages iron absorption and also promotes hair growth. The magnesium in this fruit can also treat dandruff. Again, strawberry contains silica properties, which can slow down baldness and improve hair growth.
High Sperm Count
The vitamin C and antioxidants in strawberries help both the heart and arteries; thus, enhancing circulation, resulting in a high sperm count.
These are more than a lot of benefits derived from taking strawberries, right?
How to Incorporate Strawberry in Your Diet
So you might be wondering how you could include strawberry into your diet. Easy! The excellent part about strawberry is that it can be eaten raw and used as preservatives and flavoring in different foods or products. Here are some easy ways to incorporate strawberry into your diet;
Eat it Raw
Strawberry can be enjoyed raw, just like any other fleshy fruit. Make sure to wash the body before eating. Every part of the strawberry is edible. So enjoy!
Are you a big fan of smoothies? Rather than taking simple smoothies, blend 3 or 4 strawberries in a blending machine and be sure to add a little water in it. Pour this content into your smoothie and drink.
Strawberry chicken salad
They are not only suitable for drinks but can also be used for the main dishes. This combination is a mouth-watering one which gives the chicken a fantastic flavor.
Strawberries give an amazing flavor to most foods, including your tea. Just add tea and a cup of strawberries into boiling water, cook for 5 minutes, and then leave to cool. Strain the tea, add sugar and ice cubes. Your strawberry ice tea is ready for consumption.
Have you tasted a strawberry jam? The taste is one you would never forget. Strawberry jam could be taken with bread or as topping on your cakes and ice cream.
Basically, there are so many recipes and ways to include strawberries in your diet. They could also serve as toppings on your pizza and desserts. Below I’ll give an exclusive recipe on how to make a strawberry cake.
Okay so here is a natural step to make a strawberry cake
- Cake mix (for an easy and faster step)
- Fresh strawberry puree
- Mix the strawberries into a food processor to get your strawberry puree.
- Add your strawberry puree to your cake mix batter.
- Add strawberry gelatin to the dough for a flavor boost.
- Add melted butter into your batter for texture.
- Pour your dough into a greased baking pan and place it in the oven over medium heat.
- Leave for 30 minutes till it bakes.
- Take it out your strawberry cake from the oven and allow to cool.
- Now your strawberry cake is ready and can be enjoyed as a dessert.
Effects of Strawberry
So we have seen the benefits of consuming strawberries, but everything has an effect. So what are the implications of taking berries?
Strawberry allergy is widely prevalent among children. Strawberries are said to contain a protein that causes a condition known as a pollen food allergy. This protein causing allergy is said to be the anthocyanins. These allergies include; itching of the mouth, throat tightness, hives (the skin becomes red and sore), and headaches, and breathing problems.
Goitrogens are found in strawberries and can interfere with the thyroid gland particularly, in people with thyroid problems.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Problems
Earlier, it was mentioned that strawberries are healthy for pregnant women, and this still stands. This fruit should, however, be taken in moderation to prevent any side effects in pregnant women.
There is a good chance of strawberries increasing the risk of bruising and might also slow down blood clotting, thus, preventing an open wound from healing on time. Although this is yet to be proven.
Strawberries are delicious, great antioxidants that can be added to one’s diet. Strawberries are good sources of potassium and vitamin C, which helps the heart by reducing cardiovascular diseases and improving blood pressure.