The health benefits of strawberries are numerous. They contain several vitamins and minerals that help boost immunity and help in the recovery of major illnesses.
Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits on the market, thanks to their sweet flavor and vibrant red color. If you opt to cultivate the plants at home, they are also simple to maintain. While the delicious berries are often associated with summer, the peak strawberry season varies by region and kind.
Despite this, we can’t help but include strawberry recipes in our weekly menus, especially during the summer. They are an excellent source of antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals. They are one of the most important fruits in the Mediterranean diet.
Nutritional value of Strawberries:
Nutritional composition of strawberries per 100 g serving according to USDA [Ref]
|Type||Nutrient||Per 100 g|
|Total fat||0.30 g|
|Dietary fiber||2.0 g|
|Vitamins||Vitamin C||58.8 mg|
|Pantothenic acid||0.125 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.047 mg|
|Vitamin A||1 mg|
|Lutein þ zeaxanthine||26 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.29 mg|
|Vitamin K, phylloquinone||2.2 mg|
Antioxidants in Strawberries:
The strawberry (Fragaria ananassa) is a rich source of bioactive compounds because of its high levels of antioxidant substances. Some of them are:
- Anthocyanins: Anthocyanins are the most abundant substances found in strawberries. Anthocyanins are well-known plant pigments for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies suggest that 150-600 mg of anthocyanins are present in fresh strawberries.[Ref]
- Ellagitannins: These are different combinations of products of gallic acid and hexahydroxydiphenic acid with glucose. These compounds exhibit anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and cardioprotective properties.[Ref]
- Phenolic components: Other phenolic compounds include the flavanols Quercetin and Kaempferol
- Vitamin C: Strawberries contain an abundant amount of antioxidant Vitamin C
Health Benefits of Strawberries:
Strawberry has a variety of nutritional and bioactive chemicals that have been linked to a variety of health-promoting and disease-preventive properties. Some of the health benefits of strawberries are:
Antioxidant Properties of strawberries:
The principal health benefit that strawberries provide is their antioxidant abilities. Antioxidant substances help to get rid of free radicals that play important role in the pathogenesis of many diseases.
Strawberry bioactive constituents showed a wide range of beneficial effects as natural antioxidants in laboratory studies (in vitro and in vivo experimental models), including decreased reactive oxygen species (ROS) concentration, chelating metal ions, neutralizing or scavenging free radicals, improved mitochondrial functionality, and inhibition of DNA damage and lipid peroxidation. [Ref]
A research study on strawberries suggested that strawberry consumption improved plasma antioxidant activity and decreased plasma protein damage. [Ref]
Another study conducted on the consumption of strawberries in healthy subjects suggested that strawberries increased erythrocyte resistance to hemolysis, improved plasma antioxidant status, and diminished mortality rate of cells. [Ref]
Anti-inflammatory properties of strawberries:
Inflammation is a physiological process that protects the body from various sorts of stressors, yet disruption of the inflammatory mechanism can cause irreparable tissue damage and disease progression. Many chronic conditions such as CVD, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer are associated with inflammation. Strawberries have a potentially beneficial effect against inflammation.
A study suggested that Meal-induced inflammatory and fibrinolytic factors were inhibited by consuming strawberry drinks or antioxidant and polyphenolic-rich foods on a regular basis. Results showed that the strawberry beverage dramatically reduced IL-1 and plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1, and slightly suppressed blood IL-6. [Ref]
Cardioprotective health benefits of Strawberries:
Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of death all over the world. Factors such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, high serum LDL, and Triglyceride levels are the main contributors to the development of CVD. Phenolic compounds found in berries are known to reduce cardiovascular risk. Numerous studies suggest that strawberry consumption reduced the risk of CVD directly or by eliminating the potential risk factor.
One prospective study looked at the link between dietary flavonoid consumption and the risk of myocardial infarction (MI) in young and middle-aged women. When comparing those who ingested at least 3 servings per week to those who did not, high consumption of anthocyanins found in blueberries and strawberries was linked to a lower risk of MI. [Ref]
Another study suggested that In healthy participants, one month of anthocyanin-rich strawberry supplementation improved lipid profiles by dramatically lowering Triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), and total cholesterol (TC) levels. In healthy people, strawberry consumption increased antihemolytic properties, antioxidant status, and platelet function. [Ref]
Anticancer health benefits of strawberries:
Strawberries have shown various anticancer and gene-protective properties. It is beneficial in the prevention of esophageal cancer and head and neck cancer.
A 5-year prospective cohort study demonstrated a remarkable association between high intake of Rosaceae botanical subgroup fruits, such as strawberries, and a protective effect against human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), compared to lower intake groups and fruits from other botanical groups.[Ref]
In another study after a nitrate and amine-rich meal, strawberries significantly reduced excretion of the carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in urine by 70%, indicating prevention of nitrosation of carcinogenic precursors. [Ref]
In patients with esophageal dysplastic lesions, dietary intake of lyophilized strawberry reduced the advancement of precancerous lesions by suppressing the activation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). [Ref]
Neuroprotective health benefits of Strawberries:
Neurodegenerative illnesses are a serious public health concern today, and aging is a key risk factor for many diseases. Consumption of antioxidants and bioactive chemicals has been linked to a lower risk of neurological diseases, including aging.
Plant phenols (phenolic acids, flavonoids, and terpenes) appear to have a potential influence on neurodegenerative disorders. High dietary antioxidant consumption appears to be directly engaged in neurological function improvement. [Ref]
One study looked into the link between long-term strawberry consumption and cognitive decline, finding that among older persons, higher strawberry consumption was associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline. [Ref]
Glycemic control and Anti-diabetic Properties of Strawberries:
Strawberries have a low glycemic index. These are one of the fruits included in the diabetic exchange list. Strawberry consumption has been shown to maintain blood glucose levels and prevent hyperglycemia.
Several studies in cellular and animal models of obesity and diabetes have shown that strawberry supplementation, or purified anthocyanin treatment, can normalize blood glucose levels while inhibiting glucose uptake and transport.[Ref]
It has also been demonstrated that strawberry extract may constrain the activity of carbohydrate and lipid digestive enzymes such as α- glucosidase and α-amylase, as well as pancreatic lipase activity and angiotensin I-converting enzyme, which may be related to the therapeutic management of hypertension and hyperglycemia, the main metabolic syndrome features.[Ref]
Healthy ways of eating strawberries:
Strawberries can be eaten in a number of ways. Some of the ways that are quick, easy, and enhance its nutritive value include:
- Strawberry fruit salad
- Strawberry in yogurt
- Strawberry juice or milkshake
- Strawberry and oatmeal bars
- Strawberry, chia seeds, and banana bread
- Strawberry and nuts smoothie
- Strawberry, peanut butter, and banana pancakes
- Green smoothie (strawberry, kale, cucumber, and banana)