Succulent and sweet, strawberries make a wonderful smoothie ingredient or healthy snack. In addition, it turns out that they’re great for your health; influencing everything from the condition of your skin to how likely you are to develop certain serious diseases. Here are eleven of the most exciting and significant ways in which eating more strawberries could enhance your overall well-being.
1. They May Improve Bowel Function
Encouraging studies suggest that those who eat strawberries on a daily basis may experience a reduction in inflammatory bowel disease symptoms. This is great news for sufferers of Crohn’s disease (type of inflammatory bowel disease) and ulcerative colitis! The key to these improvements may lie in the action of salicylic acid, a component of strawberries that works to calm irritation in the digestive system.
2. They Boost Heart Health
Just a single serving of strawberries provides you with over 20% of your recommended daily allowance of manganese, without which you are more likely to suffer from cellular inflammation linked to cardiovascular diseases.
Strawberries are also packed full of antioxidants, fiber and folate, all of which are associated with reduced levels of LDL (or ‘bad’) cholesterol and can therefore lower your likelihood of suffering from cardiovascular disease or having a stroke. As a bonus, strawberries are a good source of B vitamins, which promote a stronger, healthier heart muscle.
3. They Strengthen Bones
The manganese found in strawberries is also extremely good for your bones, helping to maintain their strength and reducing the risk of fractures. In addition, strawberries are a source of vitamin K, potassium and magnesium—nutrients that also play a key role in keeping your bones healthy.
4. They Boost Mood
High levels of homocysteine are associated with a reduction in the production of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, all of which are “feel good” chemicals that keep your mood on an even keel. Since strawberries contain folate, eating them helps to stop homocysteine building up in your body (thereby potentially staving off mild depression).
5. They Promote Youthful Skin
Thanks to the fact that strawberries contain more than 130% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C, regular consumption could help you to keep your skin looking fresh, smooth and wrinkle-free.
Vitamin C enhances collagen production, and collagen is necessary for that supple, elastic look that characterizes younger faces. Meanwhile, strawberries also contain ellagiac acid, an antioxidant that effectively protects collagen from chemicals that might destroy it.
6. They Help To Control Blood Sugar Levels
Research shows that those who eat the largest quantities of strawberries are less likely to develop type two diabetes, and it looks like this benefit comes from improved blood sugar regulation.
For example, one study showed that people who ingested a cup of strawberries along with 6tsp of sugar experienced a less dramatic blood sugar spike than those who ingested just the sugar. Research into the nature of this connection is ongoing, but it is suspected that the polyphenols found in strawberries reduce the action of an enzyme that processes sugars.
7. They Can Aid Weight Loss
A single serving of strawberries contains around 14% of your recommended daily intake of fiber, encouraging satiety and helping to discourage you from snacking on unhealthy foods between meals. One cup of strawberries also provides you with less than 45 calories!
8. They May Have Natural Painkilling Properties
The phenols in strawberries are also COX-2 inhibitors, just like ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory painkillers. Consequently, when eaten in large enough quantities, strawberries could lower levels of painful inflammation in your body (making them an especially good addition to the diet of arthritis sufferers).
It’s also worth noting that strawberries don’t irritate the digestive system or come with the increased risk of stroke associated with many anti-inflammatory drugs.
9. They Help To Maintain Cognitive Health
Growing old is often accompanied by anxiety about declining memory, poorer coordination and slower thinking. If you want to keep your mind sharp, make sure you benefit from the phytochemicals and iodine found in strawberries.
Research on the cognitive abilities of aging animals has shown a clear link between an increase in strawberry intake and improved problem solving (as well as improved coordination). The antioxidant properties of these fruits could help to guard your brain from free radicals—hazardous chemicals that may damage brain cells. One study also showed that anthocyanins found in strawberries can double the power of short term memory in just two months.
10. They May Inhibit Allergies and Asthma
The anti-inflammatory properties of strawberries are also potentially capable of reducing the major symptoms of allergies (such as itchy eyes and a runny nose). Meanwhile, a range of studies suggest that people who consume more fruits that are rich in vitamin C are less likely to develop asthma.
11. They’re An Ideal Snack For Pregnant Women
Finally, the high quantities of folate found in strawberries means that they’re a wonderful treat to have during pregnancy. As you may already know, folic acid is vital to a healthy pregnancy, dramatically reducing the likelihood of birth defects like spina bifida and anencephaly.
These are the most amazing health benefits of strawberries. Hope you would be able to find a reason to include this fruit in your diet? Don’t forget to share your best ideas/recipes for including strawberry in your daily diet.