What could be better than ripe, juicy strawberries on a summer day? Our strawberry nutrition facts reveal some of the surprising benefits that come along with eating these fabulous fruits. Whether you enjoy them fresh, frozen or dried, strawberries and their hidden health benefits are a great choice at any time.
So, what are the health benefits of berries, apart from the sheer joy of eating them, of course? From boosting your immune system to lowering cholesterol or keeping you looking younger, the answers may surprise you. Bursting with flavor, these heart-shaped berries are one of nature's superfoods. But what makes them so great? Let's dig in and find out.
Strawberry nutrition facts: boost your immune system
The strawberry (fragaria ananassa) is a hybrid that was cultivated in Europe using wild strawberries from Chile and America during the 18th century. Today, people enjoy eating strawberries around the globe, yet the health benefits of berries are still unfolding. We do know, however, that the humble strawberry can give our immune systems a boost.
What causes the immune boost, you ask? Simply put, strawberries are a quick and easy source of vitamin C, which is vital for maintaining good health. It's great for the immune system which, in turn, enables us to fight off infection or recover more quickly from illness. Unlike most mammals, humans can't produce vitamin C naturally, so we have to get it elsewhere. That's when strawberries' benefits come into play. Just one cup of strawberries contains over 51mg of essential vitamin C and provides around half of your daily requirement.
There's so much you can do with strawberries – add a handful of them to breakfast cereals, puree and pour them onto ice cream or toss a few in your salad with a healthy sprinkling of black pepper. Or, why not check out our delicious smoothie recipes in the 8fit app and start your day with a delicious and nutritious boost!
Strawberries and weight loss
One of the most surprising strawberry nutrition facts is that these delicious berries contain up to 91% water. And when you look at their overall makeup, you'll see that they're low in carbs too.
For just 100 calories, you could have an entire cup and a half of strawberries! These tasty berries also contain vital nutrients that may help reduce weight gain, particularly when eaten as part of a balanced diet and combined with HIIT (high-intensity interval training). Maintaining a healthy weight is also one of the most reliable ways to protect yourself from chronic illnesses like heart disease and type II diabetes.
But why exactly are people so excited about strawberries' benefits and their potential for weight loss? A recent study that tracked nearly 250,000 participants for 20 to 24 years suggests that those who ate more flavonoids – particularly the anthocyanin found in strawberries – were less likely to gain weight.
The humble strawberry: Benefits for the skin
The strawberry's nutrition facts continue to impress these remarkable little fruits may improve your skin's elasticity and keep wrinkles at bay. That's thanks again to vitamin C – found bountifully in strawberries – which is essential for the production of collagen.
Collagen is the body's most prolific protein. It's a significant part of the connective tissues in ligaments, muscles, tendons and skin. It's what gives your skin resilience, structure and elasticity. However, the natural production of collagen slows as we get older. Thankfully, eating vitamin-C rich strawberries can help promote healthy, younger-looking skin.
And, there are still plenty of other strawberry benefits to enjoy. These juicy wonder fruits contain over 25 different anthocyanins, including:
Pelargonidin: The fruit's main anthocyanin, also responsible for the berries' vivid red color
Ellagic acid: A powerful polyphenol antioxidant that has many useful properties.
Ellagitannins: This gets converted to ellagic acid by your digestive system.
Procyanidins: Highly beneficial antioxidants found in both the flesh and seeds of the fruit.
Stave off cardiovascular illness with the health benefits of berries
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the US, UK and Canada. Thankfully, the health benefits of berries are far-reaching. Strawberries are full of powerful heart-care aids such as ellagic acid that can:
Improve the amount of antioxidants in the blood
Reduce oxidative stress
Boost vascular function
Fight the oxidation of LDL (also known as "bad") cholesterol
Improve blood lipid profiles
Strawberries benefit us by helping to lower "bad" LDL cholesterol in the blood when eaten regularly. And, it's great to know that it also counteracts the production of lipids and reduces oxidative damage – factors that both play a role in the development of diabetes and heart disease. While flavonoids are known for their antioxidant effects, they also have anti-inflammatory properties and can promote the production of "good" HDL cholesterol while reducing "bad" LDL cholesterol that's partially responsible for plaque build-up in the arteries.
Strawberries can increase your fiber intake
Yes, we may have mentioned that strawberries are composed of about 91% water when explaining some of our favorite strawberry nutrition facts. However, they're also a handy and reliable source of fiber with approximately 2 grams per serving. Fiber is essential to your overall health and wellbeing.
Fiber provides the following benefits. It:
Ensures digestive tract health
Too little fiber in your diet can result in conditions such as constipation and diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is a painful inflammatory disease of the intestines that afflicts around 50 percent of people over the age of 60. You can decrease your chances by being good to your gut and eating plenty of fiber.
Is a valuable aid in the fight against type II diabetes
Fiber can effectively slow the absorption of sugars (glucose) into the blood. While many fruits are considered unsuitable for those struggling with type II diabetes, the high-fiber strawberry benefits them by aiding sugar-absorption. However, it's important to enjoy them in moderation and as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Is good for your eyes
Could the health benefits of berries get any better? Yes, they can! Strawberries can even help maintain eye health and prevent cataracts in the years to come. Those exceptional antioxidants in strawberries can halt the formation of cataracts over the lens of the eye that sometimes leads to blindness in older people.
Additionally, the vitamin C found in fresh or frozen strawberries helps keep the retina and cornea healthy. Your eyes also need vitamin C to protect them from the free-radicals in the sun's UV rays as over-exposure can damage the essential proteins in the lens. Make these strawberry benefits work for you by adding this wonderful fruit to your regular eating plan.
Strawberries: An all-around favorite
There are plenty more fun strawberry nutrition facts where that came from. We can't get enough of these delicious fruits – add some strawberries to your diet to enjoy their flavor and their incredible benefits!