Strawberries are a delicious, easy-to-eat fruit – after all, you don’t need to peel them. While they’re great on their own or as a topping on desserts, there’s more to them than tart flavor. It turns out there are health benefits from eating these naturally juicy treats as well – a lot of them.
Let’s focus on 11 of the health reasons to pick strawberries as a source of nutrition…
This is one benefit that you might already know – strawberries are packed with vitamin C, which is essential to optimal immune function. As Reader’s Digest points out, your body can’t produce its own vitamin C, but eating strawberries (and other foods rich in this antioxidant) can make a difference.
While oranges are usually the fruit people think of first when it comes to this vitamin, the source says eight strawberries a day will deliver more. The fruit may also help reduce the symptoms of a cold, and could help you avoid getting sick in the first place, it adds.
Helps You C Better
This means, that vitamin C can help you maintain healthy vision, according to Best Health magazine. According to the source, consuming strawberries might reduce the likelihood of developing cataracts – which causes the lens of the eye to become cloudy.
It says your eyes need vitamin C to protect them from the sun’s UV rays, which can damage the proteins of the lens. It adds that C can also play an important role in maintaining a healthy retina (an essential component at the back of the eyeball) and cornea.
Rejuvenates Skin Naturally
Sure, you could spend all kinds of money on expensive skin creams and moisturizers – we’re not saying some of them don’t work. However, according to StyleCraze, strawberries can have anti-aging properties and can help improve skin health.
First, the antioxidants in the fruit can protect your body from “oxidative damage and stall the signs of aging,” such as wrinkles and sagging skin, says the source. Furthermore, strawberries contain alpha-hydroxy acid, “an important substance that helps eliminate dead skin cells and cleanses the skin in the process,” adds the source.
Best Health magazine says strawberries have “heart-health boosters,” which is particularly important as heart disease is among the leading causes of death among Canadian women.
The source says that ellagic acid and phytochemicals in the fruit provide positive effects on the heart such as balancing the effects of LDL, known as the “bad cholesterol.” Strawberries apparently also have anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit the heart, it adds. A Toronto-based study shows strawberries can reduce blood lipids, which can contribute to heart disease and diabetes, it adds.
Takes Off The Pressure
StyleCraze also notes the anthocyanins (an antioxidant) in strawberries can help relax blood vessels lining, which will naturally lower your blood pressure. These are the same type of antioxidants that have anti-aging properties.
In addition, strawberries are also rich in potassium, a nutrient that can also help regulate blood pressure adds the source. Keeping your blood pressure in check can reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack.
Benefits Unborn Babies
If you’re pregnant, you’re probably used to hearing all the things you can’t eat – but we’re to tell you that you can indulge in strawberries, and you’ll be doing yourself – and your baby – a favor, according to Reader’s Digest.
That’s because strawberries are rich in folic acid, which helps generate healthy new cells. However, the source says many women of child-bearing age are not getting enough folic acid in their diet. Folic acid is “crucial, especially for pregnant women, because it helps with the development of the baby,” adds the source. You’ll probably want to complement the strawberries with other folic acid-rich foods such as cereal, cooked lentils, spinach, and eggs to meet the daily requirements during pregnancy.
Treats Your Teeth
While strawberries are actually quite high in sugars, Eating Well says strawberries are also ranked number-3 as a source of polyphenols, which limit how much sugar ends up sticking to your teeth (plaque).
The source says polyphenols also battle bacteria that can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. The acid in strawberries is so strong that it will actually whiten your teeth – but “dentists warn that using this home remedy frequently could damage the enamel,” it warns.
Helps Dodge Diabetes
While we’re on the subject of sugar, strawberries are a healthy addition to a diabetes meal plan, says Reader’s Digest. Strawberries may be tart – which can mean sour to some, sweet to others – but either way, strawberries have a low glycemic index so they won’t spike your blood sugar, it adds.
The source also notes that anthocyanins (phytochemicals) in strawberries can help improve glucose regulation, which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. It backs up this claim by citing a study by Harvard University that shows women who eat strawberries just once a month or more have a lower diabetes risk.
Slows Cognitive Decline
Apparently, strawberries can go straight to your head – Reader’s Digest says they can actually slow down cognitive aging, a natural decline in memory. It cites a study that shows eating strawberries more than two times a week can delay cognitive aging by two years.
It does this by reducing the oxidative stress and inflammation of the brain thanks to the flavonoids in strawberries that have antioxidant properties, adds the source. The fruits also are high in iodine, which helps regulate brain function, as well as potassium, which can increase blood flow to the brain, adds the source.
Delivers Dietary Fiber
Getting fiber in your diet is important, as it “feeds friendly gut bacteria” and can also lower blood sugar levels and keep your bowel movements regular, says Healthline. Strawberries also happen to be on the source’s list as one of the best sources of fiber.
The source says strawberries contain 2-grams of fiber per 100-grams, and 3-gram per cup. “This is very high given their low-calorie content,” it adds.
Boosts Fertility in Men
StyleCraze said there could be an added benefit of eating strawberries – especially if you’re male, or you’re part of a couple looking to conceive. It says vitamin C content in these berries contributes to a higher sperm count.
It also notes that the antioxidants in strawberries benefit your heart and increase your circulation, which is both keys when it comes to performance in the bedroom.