Did you know that strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring? The seasonal fruit is a favorite for many reasons. They are not only packed with tons of antioxidants and vitamins, but they are also versatile for many dishes and snacks.
There are three types of strawberries, and they are all a part of the rose family. The names of the types are June-bearing, everbearing, and day-neutral. Some consider strawberries to be their variety beyond the berry family because, technically, berries have seeds on the inside.
Strawberries provide a wide variety of health benefits, ranging from many areas throughout the body. These fruits can be a great addition to many meals and quick snacks to satisfy your sweet tooth. Get some ideas on where you can get creative with strawberries in the kitchen below.
Table of Contents
- Health Benefits of Strawberries
- How to Add More Strawberries to Your Diet?
Health Benefits of Strawberries
Find out the ways strawberries can improve your health, and get some extra motivation to add these sweet treats to your diet more often.
1. They Can Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the number one chronic disease in the United States. While many factors can contribute to heart disease, diet is a top contender. Adding more nutrient-dense foods and strawberries can decrease your risk of heart disease. A varied diet rich in vitamins and minerals is essential to maintain heart health and longevity.
Strawberries contain an abundance of anthocyanin and quercetin, two powerful anti-inflammatory flavonoids. Both of these flavonoids can lower the risk of heart attacks and even reduce the risk of atherosclerosis (1, 2, 3). Adding more foods rich in anthocyanin and quercetin includes a range of health benefits far beyond a healthy heart as well. Anthocyanin is the reason strawberries have a red color, and that also protects the lining of the circulatory system.
Cardiovascular disease is ever-growing but can lessen when you consider many factors. Diet, lifestyle, and stress reduction are essential components to help reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular issues later. Genetics plays an important role, but understanding that epigenetics and heart disease are also factors can help to increase motivation (4). Does heart disease run in your family? See where you can add some more strawberries to your diet below.
2. They May Protect Against Certain Types of Cancers
Cancer is a complicated subject with many factors as well, but dietary concerns are a top priority to prevent cancer from occurring in the first place. When the body gets all the nutrients and minerals it requires, the risk of cancer is much lower. Fiber and vitamin C are essential nutrients to prevent cancer, and strawberries are a great source of both. There may be a few types of cancers that strawberries are helpful at preventing, like esophageal and colon cancer. Although more recent is necessary, there are several studies that show there may be a promising link between strawberries and preventing colon cancer (5).
There may also be promising data to support the role of strawberry consumption and preventing esophageal cancer (6). Strawberries may even slow precancerous growth in the esophagus, according to some studies. “We found that daily consumption of strawberries suppressed various biomarkers involved in esophageal carcinogenesis, including cell proliferation, inflammation and gene transcription (7).”
Some of the research done on animal studies requires further research. But, understanding that a diet rich in vitamin C, fiber, and essential nutrients is a critical ingredient to preventing cancer helps put more into perspective (8).
3. They Can Boost Immunity
With high vitamin C content comes great immunity. Vitamin C is one of the most essential vitamins to add to your diet to prevent the cold, flu, and even many common viruses. Along with keeping a healthy diet by adding many other nutrients, it is possible to stay well for the long haul.
Strawberries are high in vitamin C, providing 99% of the daily recommended volume for the day in a single serving. Strawberries are not only high in vitamin C and fiber but they are also high in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. All of these nutrients and minerals plus more are responsible for keeping your immune system functioning properly.
Do you think you are getting the recommended dose of vitamin C every day in your diet? Aiming to add more fruits and vegetables is an easy way to make sure your immunity stays high and you stay well.
4. They May Improve Cognitive Performance
Strawberries may even be powerful enough to improve brain health. Similar to other health benefits, some cognitive improvements, including memory, the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, and better concentration were in animal studies (9). For that reason, more research is necessary, but there is some promising research overall. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the leading chronic diseases in the United States, and there are many things you can do to avoid it. Diet and lifestyle are key factors.
The reason strawberries may improve brain health is because they are high in antioxidants and flavonoids, which provide reduced inflammation and can lower oxidative stress. In one human study, adding strawberries to the diets of older adults improved cognitive function (10).
Adding a variety of fruits and vegetables to your diet can help to improve memory, cognition, and focus, and even prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease later on.
5. They May Keep Hair, Teeth, and Skin Healthy
When it comes to keeping hair, teeth, and skin healthy, strawberries are an excellent addition to a healthy balanced diet. Strawberries are good for teeth because they have malic acid. Malic acid acts as an aid to get rid of teeth discoloration, so it can even help to whiten teeth. You can even make your own mix with strawberries to use as a mouthwash.
Strawberries can even help keep your scalp healthy, prevent dandruff, and prevent hair from falling out. Along with other vegetables like leafy greens, strawberries can be a savior for anyone with hair problems (11). It is necessary to have the proper vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats in your regular diet to keep hair healthy.
Magnesium is a key mineral that can help with making hair, teeth, and skin healthy. In order to absorb vitamin D, which is essential for bone health, magnesium is necessary. Strawberries are high in vitamin C and that is one reason they can also help promote healthier skin. The antioxidants in strawberries can also help to diminish fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation (12).
6. They Can Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar levels lead to one of the most common chronic conditions in America that are also preventable, type 2 diabetes. Keeping blood sugar at a healthy range is crucial for so many other reasons as well. Healthy blood sugar levels can also lead to vision problems, a rapid heartbeat, and more.
Strawberries are high in vitamin C, healthy carbohydrates, and micronutrients. They are also low in sugar compared to many other fruits. That makes strawberries a great fruit option for those who already have type 2 diabetes as well. It can be helpful to consume strawberries for prevention purposes, too. This is also true for other fruits in the berry family such as blueberries and raspberries (13).
If you are looking to lower your blood sugar levels or even prevent diabetes in the future, consider adding low-glycemic fruits like strawberries or other berries into your diet more often.
7. They May Improve Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition where the force of blood against the artery walls is too strong. Conditions like hypertension can often lead to heart problems like heart attacks and heart disease. Keeping a healthy blood pressure is essential to stay healthy, and changing your diet is a vital first step.
Adding fruits and vegetables like strawberries can improve your blood pressure because of their high antioxidant, vitamin, and mineral content.
Strawberries and blueberries are the highest in the flavonoid called anthocyanins, which can have an eight percent reduction in the risk of hypertension (14).
How to Add More Strawberries to Your Diet?
There are many ways to add more strawberries to your diet. Check out the list below to see where you can start benefiting from the many health benefits of strawberries.
This versatile fruit can go in just about anything if you get creative enough, but if you need some inspiration or ideas, we have you covered for every meal, snack, and even salad.
- Snack on plain raw strawberries or add your favorite coconut cream or dark chocolate for a healthy snack.
- Add strawberries with your favorite cheese like goat cheese to a heart-healthy green salad. They also go great on a chicken salad.
- Throw all your favorite fruits together for an easy fruit salad.
- Add strawberries to your favorite yogurt.
- Get all the teeth-whitening benefits by adding strawberries to a homemade mouthwash with baking soda and your toothbrush.
Strawberries can help reduce the risk of many common diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and even some types of cancer. The nutrients, minerals, and flavonoids present in strawberries help lower inflammation and boost immunity, making them a powerhouse fruit to include in your diet.
Keeping a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and protein is essential to maintaining a healthy heart, body, and mind. How can you start adding more strawberries to your diet today?