They are so delicious that few people stop to question ‘are strawberries good for you?’ Fortunately strawberries are one of those rare cases where the food you want to eat is actually the food you should eat.
The health benefits of strawberries in nutritional value
Humans have been eating strawberries since the days of ancient Rome. In the past the fruit has been used to treat ailments including fever and inflammation, kidney stones, gout and bad breath. These days they are celebrated for their antioxidant value and are among a number of fruits and vegetables with a high flavonoid content, indicated by their rich, deep colouring.
Strawberries are juicy little powerhouses of fibre, potassium, folic acid and above all vitamin C – in fact you can get 160% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C from one cup of strawberries, which in even better news only contains 50 calories!
One cup or roughly 166g of fresh strawberries breaks down to about a gramme of protein, 11.65g of carbohydrates and 3.81g of dietary fibre. Along with calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, vitamin C, folate and vitamin A there are cancer fighting antioxidant nutrients such as anthocyanins, quercetin, ellagic acid and kaempferol.
Consuming healthy quantities of the above is believed to help combat the risk of not only cancer but also diabetes, blood clots, asthma, allergies and heart disease, while high levels of fibre help to prevent constipation.
So are strawberries good for you? Definitely!
How to harness the health benefits of strawberries
Many people find it only too easy to polish off a bowl of fresh June strawberries before they manage to use them in a recipe. However you can also use strawberries creatively in a number of dishes. Other than the fairly predictable jams, consider adding some chopped strawberries to a chicken salad, a spinach, goat cheese and walnut salad, or make a healthy and tasty breakfast with some oats soaked overnight in water added to Greek yoghurt with some fresh strawberries and a drizzle of honey.
Less healthy but certainly tempting, top pancakes or waffles with strawberries and cream or bake some strawberry muffins, or toast a bagel and use strawberries with cream cheese as a filling.
A quick word of warning: the health benefits of strawberries are definitely there but they should be consumed in moderation by people taking beta blockers or with impaired kidney function, as both can be affected by eating foods high in potassium.