We’re not far from strawberry season, folks. They are the first fruits to ripen each spring. Besides tasting just plain good, they’re also good for you. Because their benefits are far too many to list — unless you’d rather read a lot and eat a little — we’ll hit the highlights.
- Strawberries fight wrinkles. The fruit is loaded with vitamin C, which produces collagen, and collagen helps to improve skin’s elasticity and resilience. One serving of strawberries provides more vitamin C than an orange.
- The heart-shaped fruit is good for your heart, too. Coincidence? Maybe. But it’s definitely a juicy fact that should make you feel good about liking strawberries. They are a perfect choice for heart health because strawberries not only contain essential elements, including potassium that helps the heart function properly, but they are also naturally free of fat, sodium and cholesterol. That means that strawberries help control three of the risk factors associated with heart disease — high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high homocysteine levels. And one serving of strawberries, the equivalent of about 8 berries, contains only 43 calories.
- Mounting research and positive test results suggest that strawberries help fight cancer, too. The mighty phytonutrient ellagic acid gets the credit. It’s found in berry seeds, and various studies have shown that people who consume foods high in ellagic acid are three times less likely to develop cancer than compared to those who consume very little. Strawberries are also good sources of antioxidants and folic acid, as well as excellent sources of vitamin C, which decreases the risk for esophageal cancer. One cup of strawberries provides 100 percent of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.
- Strawberries are high in fiber. High-fiber foods bring multiple benefits to the body. They’re filling, and they help to control blood sugar and keep cholesterol levels down. Strawberries also enhance digestive regularity, making fiber another key factor in weight control. Research has found that 1 gram of fiber eliminates 7 calories, so consuming the recommended 25 to 35 grams daily could cancel out nearly 300 calories for a 30-pound weight loss in one year.
Need more reasons to like strawberries? Get them here from Eating Well.