Strawberries: Great Sources of Antioxidants and Vitamin C

By September 23, 2012Fruits

StrawberriesStrawberries are one of the most attractive, popular, and glamorized fruits available today. Their bright red color, enchanting aroma, and wonderfully subtle and sweet taste have made them a heavily sought-after fruit in most parts of the world. They are primarily eaten raw, although they can also be added to foods and beverages to provide that ever-pleasing strawberry flavor. Pies, milkshakes, ice creams, milks, and yogurts are just some foods that routinely feature strawberries as a central ingredient.

List of Health Benefits

Excellent source of fiber – One cup of strawberries provides you with approximately 15% of your recommended daily amount of dietary fiber, an important plant food that promotes regularity. This benefit, coupled with the fact that one cup of strawberries contains less than 50 calories, means that strawberries are also a great weight loss food.

Great source of antioxidants – Strawberries contain several elements called phenols, including very important phenols called anthocyanins. Although medical research has proved that anthocyanins cannot be digested or absorbed by our digestive systems, the anthocyanins in strawberries still provide us with antioxidant properties, since they have the ability to dramatically increase the body’s natural levels of uric acid (which itself acts as an antioxidant that can eliminate free radical damage).

Natural substitute to painkillers – One amazing fact about strawberries is that they are rich in anti-inflammatory properties that can inhibit the production of an inflammation-causing enzyme known as cyclooxygenase. Synthetic painkillers like Ibuprofen do the same thing, but, unlike strawberries, they can cause unpleasant side effects like stomach pains and ulcers. Indeed, one cup of strawberries per day has the potential to reduce the intensity of various inflammation-induced conditions such as arthritis and asthma.

Fight cancer – The aforementioned anti-inflammatory and antioxidant elements of strawberries, as well as certain nutrients present in the fruits (specifically, folate and two flavonoids called kaempferol and quercetin), have been linked to the prevention of cancerous tumors. Therefore, including more strawberries in your diet could potentially decrease your chances of getting cancer.

Vitamin C content – One cup of strawberries contains about 140% of your daily recommended allowance of vitamin C, a multifunctional vitamin that aids your heart, your immune system, and also staves off potential eye disorders like cataracts and macular degeneration. In fact, health researchers have noted that strawberries are a better source of vitamin C than vitamin C supplements themselves, since artificial vitamin C supplements can – ironically – increase the risk of certain conditions like cataracts.

Benefits the bones – Strawberries are high in vitamin K and and an important trace mineral called magnesium, which both help to increase bone strength and density. Therefore, strawberries are a great choice for people whom are suffering from poor bone health.

Prevent inflammation of the heart – Strawberries contain high levels of manganese. Manganese, apart from serving as a general antioxidant, has the ability to minimize cellular level inflammation, something that can prevent many heart-related problems.

Fresh Strawberries Are Best

It’s no secret that today’s whole food market is saturated with strawberry syrups, powders, and flavoring products. However, we must understand that the production of any processed food means that there is a good chance that the food’s original chemical composition has been altered, leading to a loss of essential vitamins and minerals. Therefore, we highly recommend that you favor strawberries that are fresh and preferably organic. If fresh strawberries are not available in your area, frozen strawberries are the next best choice.