Surprising Health Benefits of Strawberries

Strawberries are the only fruit to wear their seeds on the outside. In fact, despite having the word berry in their name, because their seeds are on the outside they aren’t technically considered berries at all.

Instead, strawberries are considered a classification of their own. This is fitting when you consider how unique they are! The average large strawberry may wear up to 200 seeds, which serve as a source of anti-inflammatory omega three fatty acids.

If you love strawberries, and you probably do because the average American consumes 3.4 pounds of them every year, you better get to planting now.

The strawberry plant is a member of the rose bush family and is a perennial. Once planted, a perennial will come back year after year. It may not produce fruit right away, but once it does it will continue to do so for over a five-year period! Currently, 75-80% of the United States strawberry supply comes from California.

Ancient Romans believed that strawberries had healing powers and used them to treat a broad range of ailments including depression and sore throats. Today, we have a great deal of science to back up the powerful health benefits of the little strawberry.

They are loaded with Vitamin C which helps support a healthy immune system. Vitamin C stimulates white blood cells which act as the first line of defense against potential pathogens. Vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant which neutralizes free radicals. Free radicals are known to cause cellular damage leading to sick or cancerous cells. Strawberries also contain a multitude of flavonoids and polyphenols which also elicit anti-carcinogenic effects in the body.

The powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits provided by strawberries translate into possible protection against cardiovascular disease and inflammatory conditions such as gout and arthritis.

Also, strawberries contain less sugar and have a lower glycemic index than most other fruits. (Glycemic Index indicates how fast the amount of sugar in the blood rises after consumption.) They are currently being studied for their potential beneficial impacts on blood sugar regulation, making them the ideal choice for people with diabetes.

There are hundreds of ways to enjoy the sweetness of strawberries but here are a few to get you started:

  • Add sliced strawberries to salads.
  • Layer them with plain yogurt and other fruit to make a parfait.
  • Fill them with Nutella for a healthier dessert.
  • Freeze them to use to cool down wine or summer beverages.
  • Freeze them for smoothies.