Strawberries: Taste Good & Good For You

We’re heading into strawberry season and besides getting the seeds stuck in your teeth, who doesn’t love a deliciously sweet strawberry? These berries are typically consumed raw and fresh, but are also versatile being used from jams and jellies to desserts and salads. With many health benefits, such as regulating blood sugar levels and reducing inflammation, strawberries are among the healthiest fruits you can eat.

Nutrition Facts

Carbs

Because fresh strawberries mainly consist of water (91%), their total carb content is very low (less than 12 grams of carbs per 1 cup). This should not cause big spikes in blood sugar levels making them safe for people with diabetes.

Fiber

1 cup, or 8 large strawberries, will give you one day’s serving of fruit and contains 3 grams of fiber. Dietary fibers are important for digestive health because they feed the good bacteria in your gut. They are also beneficial for weight loss as fiber keeps you fuller longer and can help prevent many diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for dietary fiber in a 2,000-cal diet is 25 grams.

Vitamins and Minerals

Strawberries are loaded with vitamins and minerals. The most abundant are:

  • Vitamin C – an antioxidant to help with immunity and skin health. Strawberries have more vitamin C than oranges. With about 90 mg per cup, just ½ cup contains 54% of your RDA for vitamin C.
  • Manganese – important for many processes in the body. While there is no RDA for manganese, the recommended intake for adults is about 2 mg per serving. 1 serving of strawberries contains 0.6 mg, about 28% of the recommended intake.
  • Folate (vitamin B9) – important for normal tissue growth and cell function, especially for pregnant women and older adults. 1 serving of strawberries contains 80 mg of folate, approximately 20% of your RDA.
  • Potassium – helps regulate blood pressure, among other essential bodily functions. 1 serving of strawberries contains 254 mg of potassium, about 5% of your RDA.

Health Benefits

Eating strawberries can reduce your risk of many chronic diseases including:

  • Heart disease – according to studies, strawberry consumption can improve cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood platelet levels.
  • High Blood Sugar – helps regulate blood sugar, which helps prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • Cancer – studies suggest berries may help prevent several types of cancer through their ability to fight oxidative stress and inflammation, which has been linked to cancer formation.
  • Arthritis – studies show strawberries help reduce inflammation for people with osteoarthritis in the knee.

Allergies

Strawberry allergies are common, especially in children, but are usually well tolerated. Common symptoms include:

  • Itching or tingling in the mouth
  • Hives
  • Headaches
  • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue, or throat

Not only do strawberries taste great, but they’re also extremely healthy for you. It’s prime strawberry picking season so find a local farmer’s market and bring home a fresh batch of strawberries. Eat them raw, bake a pie, or add them to a salad – you can’t go wrong. Looking for a new way to incorporate strawberries into your diet? Try this Fish Tacos with Flavorful Strawberry-Pineapple Salsa recipe. It’s a tasty way to bring in the summer season.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categorized in: