The strawberry (Fragaria ananassa) originated in Europe in the 18th century. It is a hybrid of two wild strawberry species from North America and Chile. Strawberries are bright red, juicy, and sweet. They’re an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese amd also contai decent amounts of folate (vitamin B9) and potassium.
Strawberries are very rich in antioxidants and plant compounds, which may have benefits for heart health and blood sugar control.
The heart-shaped silhouette of the strawberry is the 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 good source of manganese and potassium. Just one serving – about eight strawberries – provides more vitamin C than an orange.
This member of the rose family isn’t really a fruit of a berry but the enlarged receptacle of the flower. Choose medium-sized berries that are firm, plump, and deep red; once picked, they don’t ripen further. First cultivated in ancient Rome, strawberries are now the most popular berry fruit in the world. In provincial France, they were regarded as an aphrodisiac. These red gems may be good for your heart in more ways than one.
Fruits and vegetables of all types, including strawberries, offer many health benefits. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that consuming 400 grams (g) of fruit and vegetables a day can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF STRAWBERRIES
Strawberries provide a range of potential benefits and can support the body’s defences against a variety of diseases. There are more than 600 of strawberry.
● preventing heart disease
Strawberries might have a preventive effect against heart disease due to their high polyphenol content. Polyphenols are plant compounds that are good for the body.
A 2019 report advises that the anthocyanins in strawberries has linked to lower risk of type of heart attack known as myocardial infarction.
The flavonoid quercetin, which is also present in strawberries, is a natural anti-inflammatory that appears to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
The fiber and potassium content in strawnerries also support heart health.
In one 2011 study, participants who consumed 4,069 milligrams (mg) of potassium per day had a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease when co,pared to those who consumed about 1,000 mg of porassium per day.
● Preventing Stroke
A 2016 meta-analysis included studies that had assessed the antioxidants quercetin, kaempferol, and anthocyanin.
This meta-analysis looked at the link between those antioxidants that were present in strawberries and stroke risk. If found that they moderately reduced the risk of stroke after the study authors took into account cardiovascular risk factors.
However, the authors advise caution over taking the study results too literally, as they looked at the overall impoact of flavonoids rather than the participants’ direct response to doses.
● Cancer Prevention
Cancer prevention is a disease characterized by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. Cancer formation and progression is often linked to oxidative stress and chonic inflammation.
A number of studies suggest that berries may help prevent several types of cancer through their ability to fight oxidative stress and inflammation. Strawberries have been shown to inhibit tumor formation in animals with mouth cancer and in human liver cancer cells.
The protective effects of strawberries may be driven by ellagic acid and ellagitannins, which have been shown to stop the growth of cancer cells.
The powerful antioxidants in strawberries may work against free radicals, according to a 2016 review. The review suggests that this factor could inhibit tumor growth and decrease inflammation in the body.
While no fruit acts as direct treatment for cancer, strawberries, and similar fruits might help reduce the risk of some people developing the disease.
More human research is needed to improve the understanding of the effects of strawberries on cancer before any solid conclusion can be reached.
● Blood pressure
Due to their high potassium content. Strawberries might provide benefits for people who have a raised risk of high blood pressure by helping to offset thr effects of sodium in the body.
Low potassium intake is just as important a risk factor for high blood pressure as high sodium intake.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), fewer than 2% of American adults meet the daily 4,700-mg recommendation for potassium. Strawberries are a sweet, filling way to help people consume more potassium in their diet.
Eating foods such as strawberries, grapes, watermelon, and cantaloupe that are high in water content and fiber can help hydrate the body and maintain regular bowel movements.
Fiber is essential for minimizing constipation and adding bulk to the stool.
Blood Sugar Regulation
When carbs are digested, your body breaks them down into simple sugars and releases them into your bloodstream.
Your body then starts secreting insulin, which tells your cells to pick up the sugar from your bloodstream and use it for fuel or storage.
Imbalances in blood sugar regulation and high-sugar diets are associated with an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Strawberries seem to slow down glucose digestion and reduce spikes in both glucose and insulin following a carb-rich meal, compared to a carb-rich meal without strawberries.
Thus, strawberries may be particularly useful for preventing metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Strawberries are a healthful fruit choice for people with diabetes. The substancial fiber content of the berries also helps to regulate blood sugar and keep it stable by avoiding extreme highs and lows.
Fiber can improve satiety, helping people feel fuller for longer after eating. This can reduce urges to snack between meals, which will support glucose management and reduce the risk of blood sugar spikes.
Heart disease is the most common cause of death worldwide. Studies have found a relationship between berries – or berry anthocyanins – and improved heart health.
According to a study in middle-aged people with well-established risk factors for heart disease, berries may improve HDL (good cholesterol, blood pressure, and bloos platelets function.
Strawberries may also :
●improve blood antioxidant status
●decrease oxidative stress
●improve vascular function
●improve your blood lipid profile
●reduce the harmful oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol
The effects of freeze-dried strawberry supplements on type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome have been studied intensely – mainly in overweight or obese individuals
After 4-12 weeks of supplementing, participants experienced a significant decrease in several major risk factors, including LDL (bad) cholesterol, inflammatory markers, and oxidized LDL partocles.
Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber. These are all essential nutrients that support the body’s daily functioning.
One cup of sliced, fresh strawberries, or 166 g, contains a range of important nutrients in the following amounts:
●Calories: 53 kcal
●Protein: 1.11 g
●Carbohydrates: 12.75 g
●Dietary fiber: 3.30 g
●Calcium: 27 mg
●Iron: 0.68 mg
●Magnesium: 22 mg
●Phosphorus: 40 mg
●Potassium: 254 mg
●Vitamin C: 97.60 mg
●Folate: 40 micrograms (mcg)
●Vitamin A: 28 international Units (IU)
Fresh strawberries are very high in water, so their total carb content is very low – fewer than 8 grams of carbs per 3.5 ounces (100 grams). The net digestible carb content is fewer than 6 grams in the same serving size.
Most of these berries’ carbs come from simple sugars – glucose, fructose, and sucrose – but they also contain a decent amount of fiber.
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.
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. They are also useful for weight loss and can help prevent many diseases.
VITAMINS AND MINERALS
The most abundant vitamins and minerals in strawberries are:
●Vitamin C. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant necessary for immune and skin health.
●Folate (vitamin B9). One of B vitamins, folate is important for normal tissue growth and cell function – and fundamental for pregnant women and older adults.
●Potassium. This mineral is involved in many essential body functions, such as regulating blood pressure.
To a lesser extent, strawberries also provide iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin B6, K and E
OTHER PLANT COMPOUNDS
Strawberries also contain a range of powerful antioxidants, including anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol.
Strawberries are loaded with antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds, including:
●Pelargonidin. The main anthocyanin in strawberries, this compound is responsible for the bright red color.
●Ellagic acid. Found in high amounts in strawberries, ellagic acid is polyphenol antioxidant that may have many health benefits.
●Ellagitannins. Related to ellagic acid, ellagitannins are converted to ellagic acid in your gut.
●Procyanidins. These are antioxidants commonly found in strawberry flesh and seeds that may have beneficial health benefits.
More than 25 different anthocyanins have been found in strawberries. Pelargonidin is the most abundant.
Anthocyanins are responsible for the bright colors of fruits, but berries – such as strawberries – also tend to have anthocyanins in their flesh.
Anthocyanin-rich foods are associated with numerous health benefits, especially regarding heart health.
Ellagitannins and ellagic acid
Strawberries are consistently ranked among the top sources of phenolic antioxidants – with levels 2-11 times greater than other fruits.
Ellagitannins and ellagic acid comprise a large part of these antioxidants in strawberries.
They have received considerable attention and have been linked to numerous health benefits. This includes fighting bacteria and a reduced risk of cancer.
The main ellagitannin in strawberries is sanguiin H-6.
Strawberries are usually well tolerated, but allergy is fairly common – especially in young children.
Strawberries contain a protein that can cause sypmtoms in people who are sensitive to birch pollen or apples – a condition known as pollen-food allergy.
Common symptoms include itching or tingling in the mouth, hives, headaches, and swelling of the lips, face, tongue, or throat, as well as breathing problems in severe cases.
The allergy-causing protein is believed to be linked to strawberries anthocyanins. Colorless, white strawberries are usually well tolerated by people who would otherwise be allergic.
Furthermore, strawberries contain goitrogens that may interfere with the function of the thyroid gland in people with thyroid problems.
References: webmd.com / medicalhealthtoday.com