Strawberries are in Season!
What’s small, red, and packed with more vitamin C than an orange? You guessed it, Strawberries, and guess what they are in season! Today, February 27th, is National Strawberry Day keeping up with February’s heart-shaped and red-themed month.
Strawberries thrive in the Sunshine State in the winter months. Most Florida berries are grown in Plant City, also known as the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World. This is because Florida strawberry season runs from Thanksgiving to Easter with planting beginning in October! You might not think much of the strawberries you blend into a smoothie or add to your morning oatmeal, but the small yet mighty fruit is loaded with health benefits.
Strawberries mainly consist of water (91%) and carbohydrates (7.7%). Since they are very high in water, their total carb content is very low, with fewer than 8 grams of carbs per 3.5 ounces (100 grams). Fiber comprises around 26% of the carb content of strawberries. One 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of strawberries provides 2 grams of fiber both soluble and insoluble. Dietary fibers are important to feed the friendly bacteria in your gut and improve digestive health. Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C, manganese, folate (vitamin B9), and potassium. They contain small amounts of several other vitamins and minerals.
Helps Protect the Heart
The abundance of antioxidants and polyphenols in strawberries makes them the ideal food to protect your heart from ailments. Strawberries contain anthocyanins (the antioxidants responsible for their red hue), which protect the lining of the circulatory system, thereby shielding the arteries from plaque build-up.
Anthocyanins also help relax the lining of the blood vessels and open them up, thereby lowering blood pressure. Strawberries are also rich in potassium, a nutrient that helps control blood pressure.
Strawberries are known to contain pectin, which is a type of soluble fiber that lowers the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) in the body.
Helps Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Strawberries also contain ellagic acid, and this, along with the antioxidants, helps in slowing down the digestion of starchy foods. This controls the rise in blood sugar levels posts a starchy meal. It also helps individuals with type-2 diabetes keep their blood sugar levels in check.
Strawberries have a glycemic index (GI) score of 40, which is relatively low. This means that strawberries should not lead to big spikes in blood sugar levels and are considered safe for people with diabetes.
Helps Fight Cancer
Strawberries are exceptionally good sources of vitamin C and fiber, both of which have been found to protect from cancers of the esophagus and colon. The anticancer properties of strawberries, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, can be attributed to the presence of ellagic acid. Ellagic acid acts as an anticancer agent in several ways it acts as an antioxidant, slows down the production of cancer cells, and helps the body destroy certain types of carcinogens.
Strawberries are excellent sources of vitamin C. A single serving of strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange. Vitamin C has been found to trigger immune-boosting antibodies, which ultimately enhance your body’s ability to fight infections.
Improves Brain Health
Strawberries, with their high content of antioxidants, protect the brain cells from damage due to free radicals. They also change the way the neurons in the brain communicate with each other. This ultimately leads to improved brain health.
Helps fight Inflammation
Strawberries contain quercetin, and according to a study conducted by the University of Massachusetts, intake of quercetin, along with regular exercise, can reduce atherosclerotic plaque formation. Strawberries are also rich in vitamin C, which plays a major role in preventing inflammation. This vitamin also plays a role in easing the symptoms of arthritis and gout.
Strawberries are low in calories, delicious, and healthy. They are a good source of many vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds some of which have powerful health benefits. Strawberries are an excellent addition to a healthy diet. Strawberries are versatile fruit that can be used in custards, fruit salads, baked goods, and salads. Here are some ways to use strawberries in recipes:
- Make pancakes with strawberry slices
- Slice strawberries into a kale salad with goat cheese and slivered almonds
- Top a cheesecake with whole or sliced strawberries
- Stir strawberries into plain yogurt
- Add frozen strawberries to smoothies
- Add them to salsa or guacamole for a sweet and savory dish
Check out our previous edition of Krupa's Korner!
Are frozen foods healthy? Find out the answer to this question and learn a lot more about frozen foods by reading our blog below!
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