Strawberries are nature's heartfelt gift to our health. Coincidentally, or not, they are also heart-shaped. That kind of explains why it appears on every romantic meal.
Asides the romantic connotations that these fruits have, they are also useful in protecting your heart by lowering your blood pressure, increasing HDL (the good cholesterol) levels in your body and preventing cancer.
They're also an excellent source of vitamin C. Just one serving, which is about 8 strawberries, has more Vitamin C than what you can find in an orange. Additionally, they are rich in fibre, vitamins, manganese and also contain decent amounts of folate (vitamin B9) and potassium.
Strawberries are very rich in antioxidants and plant compounds such as polyphenols, which may have benefits for heart health and blood sugar control. As a matter of fact, they are among the top 20 fruits with antioxidant properties.
If you're looking to lose weight or just live healthy, strawberries can be an excellent addition to your diet as they are packed with vitamins. They are also sodium-free, cholesterol-free, fat-free, low-calorie food that can either be consumed raw and fresh or can be used in a variety of jellies, jam, and desserts.
Strawberries consist mainly of water (91%) and carbohydrates (7.7%). They contain only minor amounts of fat (0.3%) and protein (0.7%).
In 100 grams of strawberries, you will find:
There are less than 8 grams of carbs in 100 grams of strawberries, making their carb content very low. The net digestible carb content of that 8g in the same serving size is about 6g.
The carbs come from simple sugars (like glucose, sucrose, and fructose) and fibre. The glycemic index in strawberries is relatively low (about 40).
What this means is that strawberries should not lead to a spike in blood sugar levels and are safe enough for people with diabetes.
Fibre makes up around 26% of the total carb content of strawberries. Every 100 gram of strawberries contains 2 grams of both soluble and insoluble fibre.
Fibres are essential in feeding the friendly bacteria in your intestines and improving your digestive health. They are also crucial in weight loss and can help prevent some diseases.
Most of the vitamins and minerals present in strawberries are:
To a lesser extent, strawberries are also sources of magnesium, iron, phosphorus, copper, and vitamins B6, E, and K.
Strawberries have been associated with a reduced risk of many chronic diseases, including heart diseases, diabetes, and cancer.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Studies have found that anthocyanins, a compound present in strawberries, improves heart health.
Strawberries may also:
When you eat carbs, your body breaks them down into simple sugars that can be absorbed into your blood. The body also produces a regulatory hormone called insulin that regulates blood sugar.
High sugar diets and imbalance in blood sugar regulation can increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Strawberries can slow down glucose digestion and reduce the levels of both glucose and insulin in the body after consuming a carb-rich meal. This makes strawberries valuable to reducing type 2 diabetes.
Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are often linked to the formation of cancer cells. Strawberries may be useful in preventing different cancer diseases through their ability to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.
With all of these health benefits, strawberries are definitely a welcome addition to any diet.
Strawberries very quickly grow mould when stored. If you would like to keep them for longer, bath them in 1 cup of vinegar and 3 cups of water before you put them in the fridge. Doing this kills the mould spores and bacteria that turn them fuzzy.