6 Ways Strawberries Can Benefit Your Health

6 Ways Strawberries Can Benefit Your Health

According to several surveys, strawberries are the sixth most popular fruit in the United States. The average person consumes a little over five pounds of strawberries per year, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That shouldn’t be a surprise, considering that strawberries are juicy, sweet, refreshing, and above all else, nutritious.

Strawberries belong to the world of berries, and there are more than 10 species of strawberry. They come in different shapes, sizes, textures, colors, and flavors, but the most popular variety is the red classic. Scientists state that strawberries are not true fruits because they carry their seeds on the outside and develop runners. Those produce roots that go down to create a cone plant.

Strawberry Nutritional Data

Although you can find strawberries in the grocery store year round, they are in season during the spring and summer months. Strawberries are at their juiciest in those months, but they are delicious whenever you enjoy them. They are also more affordable when in season, as is the case for all seasonal produce items. In regards to the nutritional data of strawberries, you could say that they are nutritional powerhouses. Take a look at the following data for a one cup serving of halved strawberries. 

  • Calories: 49
  • Carbohydrates: 11.7 grams (g)
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Fat: 0.5 g
  • Protein: 1 g 
  • Sugars: 7.4 g
  • Magnesium: 19.8 milligrams (mg)
  • Vitamin C: 89.4 mg
  • Sodium: 1.5 mg
  • Potassium: 233 mg

In addition to that nutritional data, strawberries exhibit an impressive antioxidant profile, which is why they have their reddish hue. Continue reading to learn more about the ways that strawberries can benefit your health

May Ease Arthritis Symptoms

According to many reports and studies, strawberries demonstrate an ability to reduce inflammation in people suffering from osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is an inflammatory condition that can cause serious pain during flare-ups. Studies suggest that consuming a 50-gram beverage of reconstituted, freeze-dried strawberries daily for 12 weeks improved quality of life for osteoarthritis patients. Health experts attribute those abilities to the bioactive compounds, many of which are anti-inflammatory, in strawberries.

Vitamin C Superstars

Of the many antioxidants that exist in strawberries, vitamin C may be one of the most potent. One cup of sliced strawberries provides more than 100% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C. Health experts state that vitamin C is essential for overall health, especially for optimal immune function. One review found that vitamin C enhances the immune system’s ability to fight off pathogens. Although vitamin C doesn’t prevent illness, it may reduce how long a cold lasts if you consume it regularly. 

May Lower Cholesterol Levels

The body requires cholesterol for certain bodily functions, but excess cholesterol can threaten heart health. High cholesterol doesn’t have any symptoms until it’s too late, so a blood test is necessary to determine levels. High cholesterol is quite common, affecting about 12% of American adults over the age of 20. Data shows that eating strawberries may improve cholesterol markers of heart disease for at-risk adults. One study showed that strawberries significantly lowered cholesterol levels. A separate meta-analysis found that strawberries improved total cholesterol levels. 

May Have Prebiotic Activity

You’ve heard of probiotics, but prebiotics are lesser known yet equally as important for gut health. New research suggests that strawberries exhibit potent prebiotic activity. An animal study found that supplementing with strawberries increased the presence of beneficial gut bacteria in mice. The polyphenols in strawberries, then, may have prebiotic activity that may boost the growth of probiotic microbes in the gut. Other research found a link between the anthocyanins in strawberries and prebiotic properties, suggesting a two-way relationship between gut microbiota and anthocyanins. 

Super Sources Of Antioxidants

In addition to vitamin C, strawberries contain other potent antioxidants. In fact, one review found that strawberries were among the top antioxidant-rich berries, in addition to blueberries, black currants, and blackberries. Antioxidants are compounds that have the ability to reduce oxidative stress, which increases the risk of cellular aging and illness. A 2017 review found that oxidative stress can increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. Other studies found that the antioxidants in strawberries protect bodily cells from oxidative stress on a mitochondrial level. Finally, the antioxidants in strawberries may even help fend off certain types of cancer.

May Support Cognitive Function

Cognitive decline is marked by memory loss or confusion and it happens to an estimated 11.2% of American adults. Cognitive decline also affects more men than women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some research indicates that strawberries may support brain health and keep neurons firing in a healthy way. The flavonoids and vitamin C in strawberries may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to one study. Long-term intake of anthocyanins and flavonoids is also associated with lower risks of dementia in American adults.



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