11 Surprising Health Benefits of Strawberry

Strawberry health benefits include enhancing cognitive function, treating diabetes, promote heart function, reduces hypertension, help prevent allergies and asthma, improves eyesight, strengthens the immune system, helps prevent cancer, help prevent birth defects, help treat arthritis and gout, and help improve skin quality.

What is Strawberry?

Strawberry is amongst some of the most loved fruits on the planet, possessing a unique tangy sweet taste that draws people to want them.

In terms of nomenclature, Strawberries have different suffixes for every variety, but they all share a common scientific name, which is Fragaria. For instance, Fragaria vesca is the scientific name for wild strawberry; Fragaria orientalis for the Siberian strawberry; and Fragaria ananassa for the garden strawberry. There are approximately 600 varieties of strawberries worldwide.

The history of the strawberry dates back to ancient Rome, but it was the French who first cultivated the strawberry from the woods to the garden during the 17th century. At present, strawberries are cultivated globally for its fruit, but primarily in cooler temperate zones. The fruit features a pleasant aroma, a scarlet color, a juicy texture, and a sweet yet mildly sour taste. Strawberries are consumed in great amounts as fruit and as an ingredient in numerous processed foods such as ice creams, candies, juices, milk shakes, etc. Likewise, strawberries are used in perfumes, lipsticks, and lotions among others.

Contrary to popular belief, the strawberry is not a berry. Nonetheless, the strawberry, just like other fruits, has a wealth of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Nutrition Info of Strawberry (per 100 g)

Energy 32 Calories
Carbohydrates 7.7 g
Protein 0.67 g – 0.1% RDA
Total Fat 0.30 g – 1% RDA
Dietary Fiber 2g – 5% RDA
Folate 24 µg – 6% RDA
Niacin 0.386 mg – 2.5% RDA
Pantothenic acid 0.125 mg – 2.5% RDA
Pyridoxine 0.047 mg – 3.5% RDA
Riboflavin 0.022 mg – 2% RDA
Vitamin A 12 IU – 0.5% RDA
Vitamin C 58.8 mg – 98% RDA
Vitamin E 0.29 mg – 2% RDA
Vitamin K 2.2 µg – 2% RDA
Potassium 153 mg – 3% RDA
Calcium 16 mg – 1.6% RDA
Iron 0.41 mg – 5% RDA
Magnesium 13 mg – 3% RDA
Manganese 0.386 mg – 17% RDA
Zinc 0.14 mg – 1% RDA
Carotene-ß 7 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 26 µg

11 Surprising Health Benefits of Strawberry

Strawberry health benefits

1. Strawberries Enhance Cognitive Function

Loss of memory and control of muscle activity, which are due to natural aging, are commonly anticipated in senior citizens. However, free radicals can cause premature aging of the brain and nervous system in younger adults. Free radicals, a harmful byproduct of cell metabolism, generate a phenomenon called oxidative stress that deteriorates nerves.

Fortunately, strawberries are rich in vitamin C and phytochemicals that help reinvigorate the nervous system. Moreover, strawberries are also an excellent source of iodine that is beneficial for the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.

Likewise, potassium, which is also found in modest quantities in strawberries, has been linked to improved cognitive function by encouraging blood flow to the brain.

Recent studies on students suggest that high intake of potassium and fisetin, the flavonol that gives the strawberry its scarlet color, enhances memory and may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease in the long run.

2. Strawberries Benefit Diabetics

Strawberries may be sweet, but this fruit is actually a beneficial treat to diabetic patients. The Strawberry has a low glycemic index and high fiber, which makes it a smart fruit choice.

In 2011, researchers found out how eating 37 strawberries a day can effectively minimize diabetic complications including kidney disease and neuropathy. We know 37 may seem like a massive number, so consume whatever you are comfortable with- every little bit helps.

3. Strawberries Protect the Heart

According to Dr. Aedin Cassidy from the Norwich Medical School in the UK, at least three servings of strawberries per week can preserve heart function and keep your heart healthy.

Likewise, a Harvard study found out that anthocyanins, a group of flavonoids present in strawberries, reduce the risk of heart attacks by 32%.

In addition, the flavonoid quercetin, which is also present in strawberries, possesses anti-inflammatory qualities that help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.

The significant amounts of polyphenols found in strawberries also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by inhibiting platelet formation and reduce blood pressure by means of its anti-inflammatory mechanisms. This makes strawberries a very important fruit for promoting heart health.

4. Strawberries Reduce Hypertension

Strawberries contain significant amounts of potassium and magnesium, both of which are efficient in lowering high blood pressure that is instigated by sodium. Potassium, a vasodilator, reduces high blood pressure as well as the rigidity of blood vessels; hence, allowing uninterrupted distribution of blood all throughout the body. 

5. Strawberry Can Help Prevent Allergies and Asthma

Since strawberries contain quercetin, a flavonoid which make up the fruit’s anti-inflammatory properties, consuming strawberries can help relieve allergy related symptoms such as runny nose, watery eyes, and hives.

Likewise, the incidence of asthma can be greatly reduced with a high intake of vitamin C, which is abundant in strawberry. Strawberries contain bioflavonoids, which have been studied as having beneficial effects on reducing frequency of asthmatic attacks, and their severity.  

6. Strawberry Improve Eyesight

A majority of eye-related problems are brought on by the generation of free radicals. Old age and a deficit of protective nutrients enable free radicals to cause serious damages to the eyes such as degeneration of the optic nerve, increased vulnerability to eye infections, and macular degeneration among others.

Strawberries are abundant in Ellagic acid, flavonoids, and phenolic phytochemicals that help prevent such problems to a large degree. Moreover, strawberries also contain potassium that helps to regulate ocular pressure.

7. Strawberry Strengthen The Immune System

Your immune system is your first line of defense against pathogenic assault and other potentially harmful conditions. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and strengthens your immune system’s response against infections such as the common cold.

8. Strawberry Help Prevent Cancer

Free radicals are constantly produced in the body as a byproduct of cellular metabolism. These harmful byproducts are responsible for mutating healthy cells into cancerous cells. A serving of strawberries will do you a world of good.

Strawberries contain vitamin C, anthocyanins, kaempferol, folate, and quercetin to name a few. Together, these flavonoids make up the antioxidant and anticarcinogenic qualities of the strawberry. A daily serving of the fruit can help strengthen your response against oxidation and inhibit tumor growth. Studies apparently suggest that regular intake of strawberries is connected with a drastic reduction in metastasis of cancer cells as well, probably helping to boost treatment being concurrently administered.

9. Strawberries Help Prevent Birth Defects

Adequate folic acid intake is crucial during pregnancy. Strawberries are an excellent source of natural folate, which helps prevent neural tube defects in infants.

Likewise, folate also prevents postpartum depression in new mothers. Postpartum depression, also known as postnatal depression, is a type of mood disorder that occurs after childbirth. Symptoms of PPD include low energy, extreme sadness, irritability, anxiety, and in extreme cases, dementia. Folate prevents the formation of excess homocysteine in the body, which is known to disrupt the production of the happy hormones serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

10. Help Treat Arthritis and Gout

Free radicals cause degeneration of muscles and tissues, decrease mobility of joints, and accumulation of toxic substances such as uric acid in the body. These phenomena are the primary causes of arthritis and gout.

Nonetheless, strawberries are rich in antioxidants that help treat these conditions. In addition, strawberries have anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate pain associated with arthritis. 

11. Strawberry Help Improve Skin Quality

Vitamin C, which is abundant in strawberries, inhibits free radical activity that may lead to premature skin aging such as fine lines, dullness, and sagging skin. Strawberries contain Ellagic acid, an antioxidant that promotes collagen production and provides UV protection; hence, keeping skin smooth and supple.

Conclusion

Fruits in general are rich in antioxidants, and strawberries are no exception to this rule. Strawberries, also known as, ‘the queen of fruits’ in Asia, is among the top 10 fruits with the highest antioxidant content. Although the strawberry is a popular flavor or ingredient in a plethora of prepared foods, it is best eaten raw if you wish to make most of its health benefits.

A constant serving of strawberries a day is an effective tool in prevention of numerous ailments including arthritis, hypertension, and influenza to name a few. It is also beneficial in pregnancy and diabetes management. Don’t miss out on all this super fruit has to offer, with delicious taste as a pleasant bonus!