10 facts about how strawberries can boost your health
Whether fresh or frozen, there's no denying that strawberries are healthy.
1. Why you should add more strawberries to your diet
If you're not already a fan of strawberries, you should be by now at the latest. Not only are they juicy and delicious, but they're also a true superfood. Nutrient-rich and packed with antioxidants (like vitamin C), strawberries have a few benefits and some may even surprise you. Here are 11 benefits of strawberries you won't want to miss.
2. strengthen your immune system
Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C. Most mammals - with the exception of humans - have the ability to produce vitamin C naturally, which is why it's so important to get your daily requirement. One serving contains 51.5 mg of vitamin C - about half of your daily requirement. Double one serving to one cup and get 100 percent. Vitamin C is a known immune system booster as well as a powerful, fast-acting antioxidant.
3. Maintain your healthy vision
The antioxidant properties of strawberries can also help prevent cataracts - the clouding of the lens of the eye - which can lead to blindness as we age. Our eyes need vitamin C to protect them from free radicals exposed to the sun's harsh UV rays, which can damage the protein in the lens. Vitamin C also plays an important role in strengthening the cornea and retina of the eye.
While high doses of vitamin C have been found to increase the risk of cataracts in women over the age of 65, researchers note that the risk is due to vitamin C from supplements, not vitamin C from fruits and vegetables.
4. Prevent cancer
Vitamin C is one of the antioxidants that can help prevent cancer because a healthy immune system is the body's best defense. Another phytochemical is ellagic acid, which is also found in strawberries. Ellagic acid has been shown to have anti-cancer properties as well as suppress cancer cell growth. Strawberries also contain the antioxidants lutein and zeathancins. Antioxidants are scavengers for free radicals and neutralize the potentially negative effects they can have on our cells.
5. fight your skin wrinkles
The power of vitamin C in strawberries prevents the production of collagen, which is essential to improve the elasticity and tone of the skin. Since we lose collagen as we age, eating foods rich in vitamin C can lead to healthier, younger-looking skin. But vitamin C is not the only naturally occurring wrinkle fighter found in this fruit. Researchers concluded that ellagic acid visibly prevents the destruction of collagen and the inflammatory response - two major factors in the development of wrinkles - in human skin cells after prolonged exposure to skin-damaging UV-B rays.
6. lower your cholesterol level
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in women. Fortunately, strawberries' benefits include powerful boosts to heart health. Ellagic acid and flavonoids - or phytochemicals - may have antioxidant effects that can promote heart health in several ways. One way is by counteracting the effects of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL - the bad cholesterol in the blood that causes plaque to form in the arteries. A second possibility is that they have an anti-inflammatory effect that is also good for the heart.
Adding strawberries to the diet reduces oxidative damage as well as blood lipids - both of which play a role in heart disease and diabetes. So try to include more of these cholesterol-lowering foods in your diet.
7. reduce troublesome inflammation
The antioxidants and phytochemicals found in strawberries can also help reduce joint inflammation that causes arthritis and can also lead to heart disease. One study shows that women who eat 16 or more strawberries per week are 14 percent less likely to have elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) - an indication of inflammation in the body.
8. regulate your blood pressure
Potassium can help regulate blood pressure and may even help lower hypertension by acting as a shield against the negative effects of sodium. Thanks to their impact on lowering LDL, inflammation and high blood pressure, these benefits of strawberries have earned the little fruit the title of one of the most heart-protective fruits you can eat.
9. increase your fiber intake
Fiber is a necessity for healthy digestion and strawberries naturally contain about 2 grams per serving. Problems that can result from a lack of fiber include constipation and diverticulitis - an inflammation of the intestines that affects about 50 percent of people over the age of 60. Fiber can also help fight type 2 diabetes. Fiber helps slow the breakdown of sugar (i.e., glucose) in the blood. Therefore, adults who have diabetes can add strawberries to their diet in moderation.
10. take care of a healthy body weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best defenses against type 2 diabetes and heart disease, not to mention what's important for your overall well-being. Strawberries are naturally low in calories (about 28 calories per serving), fat-free, and low in both sodium and sugar. Strawberries do contain natural sugars, but the total sugar content is fairly low at 4 grams per serving and the total carbohydrate content is equivalent to less than half a slice of bread. Triple your serving to 1.5 cups and you have a snack that is less than 100 calories and much healthier than the pre-packaged 100 calorie snacks!
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure that the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.