9 nutritional benefits of strawberries
It is strawberries season. The heart-shaped silhouette of the strawberry is the first clue that this fruit is good for you. These potent little packages protect your heart, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and guard against cancer.
Packed with vitamins, fiber, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols, strawberries are a sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie food. They are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and are a good source of manganese and potassium. Just one serving/about eight strawberries provides more vitamin C than an orange.
High fruit and vegetable intake is also associated with healthy skin and hair, increased energy, and lower weight. Increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables significantly decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality.
(1) Heart Disease: Regular consumption of anthocyanins, a class of flavonoids found in berries, can reduce the risk of a heart attack by 32% in young and middle-aged women, according to a research study.
(2) Stroke: The antioxidants in strawberries have all been shown to reduce the formation of harmful blood clots associated with strokes. High potassium intakes have also been linked with a reduced risk of stroke.
(3) Cancer: As mentioned above, strawberries contain powerful antioxidants that work against free radicals, inhibiting tumor growth and decreasing inflammation in the body.
(4) Blood Pressure: Due to their high potassium content, strawberries are recommended to those with high blood pressure to help negate the effects of sodium in the body. A low potassium intake is just as big of a risk factor in developing high blood pressure as a high sodium intake.
(5) Constipation: Eating foods that are high in water content and fiber like strawberries, grapes, watermelon and cantaloupe can help to keep you hydrated and your bowel movements regular. Fiber is essential for minimizing constipation and adding bulk to the stool.
(6) Allergies and Asthma: Consuming strawberries may help to alleviate symptoms of allergies including runny nose, watery eyes and hives, although there have been no human studies done to prove this theory. Several studies have shown that the incidence of asthma is lower with a high intake of certain nutrients, vitamin C being at the top of the list.
(7) Diabetes: Strawberries are a low glycemic index food and high in fiber, which helps to regulate blood sugar and keep it stable by avoiding extreme highs and lows.
(8) Pregnancy: Adequate folic acid intake is essential for pregnant women to protect against neural tube defects in infants.
(9) Depression: Folate may also help with depression by preventing an excess of homocysteine from forming in the body, which can prevent blood and other nutrients from reaching the brain....