Strawberries. The name itself is enough to make your mouth water. Used commonly in jams, desserts, syrups, squashes, chocolates, confectionery and relished as they are, these heart-shaped fruits go much beyond flavor and sweetness. These potent little berries have tons of benefits to offer, ranging from weight loss to cancer prevention. Here we have listed the top health benefits this fruit has to offer.
Strawberries rank very high on the antioxidant charts ? being placed in the top 20 antioxidant foods. They are loaded with fiber, manganese, potassium and Vitamin C. In fact, a serving of 8 large strawberries packs in 51.5 mg of Vitamin C ? half the daily requirement and more than even an orange! Eat 16 of them and you have a full 100% of your vitamin C requirement for the day taken care of. Along with its high nutritional value, it also scores well on the calorie counter ? a low 47 calories for a cup. It is also sodium and cholesterol free.
Preserves eye health
The antioxidants and Vitamin C help to protect the retina from harmful UV radiation. They also help in strengthening the cornea and prevent cataract formation.
Lowers risk of heart and other inflammatory disease
Strawberries contain flavonoids, substances which gives them their flavor and color help in lowering the risk of cardiac illnesses. They also help in reducing the levels of C-reactive proteins (CRP), a biochemical marker that signals any presence of inflammatory changes occurring in the body. It also helps in fighting joint diseases like arthritis. The potassium present in these fruits helps in reducing the LDL levels of cholesterol (the bad fraction) and the low sodium helps to blood pressure.
Biotin, and ellagic acid are the two compounds found in strawberries that prevent the elasticity of skin cells and build stronger nails. The nitrates found in strawberries help in blood circulation and oxygen. Many cosmetic companies have strawberry-based anti-wrinkle creams for younger skin. You can also make a homemade strawberry scrub for some skin pampering.
Decreases risk of cancer
Studies show that freeze dried strawberries in powdered form can help reduce the risk of esophageal cancers. The antioxidants along with ellagic acid are known to scavenge on the free radicals to negate their harmful effects.
Weight loss and digestion
The low calorie and high fiber content helps you keep full and also prevent piling on extra calories that aid weight loss. With the low sugar content ? 7g in a cup and the total carbohydrate (11g in a cup) is even less than half a slice of bread. When the serving is doubled, you can easily squeeze out a healthy weight loss juice under 100 calories!
Pre- natal health
Folic acid found in strawberries help in protecting the fetus during pregnancy from birth defects like spina bifida and also help in the baby’s neurological development.
So grab a bowlful of these refreshing fruits and enjoy better health with each bite!
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[ Author is a Nutritionist ]