Strawberries…Luscious and Nutritious!!

A one-cup serving of strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange, and that’s just the beginning of the health benefits you get from this tasty, juicy fruit.  Strawberries are loaded with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants that help protect your health in the following ways:

  1.  Protection against heart disease.  Strawberries are a good source of potassium, which helps lower blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium.  They are high in anthocyanins, which are anti-inflammatory antioxidants that have also been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack as well as reducing the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which is harmful to heart health.
  2. Cancer prevention.  Strawberries are ranked in the top 10 fruits for antioxidant activity.  The antioxidants help prevent inflammation which can lead to chronic diseases like cancer, and they also help prevent the growth of tumors and cancer cells.
  3. Regulate blood sugar.  Strawberries are high in fiber and help slow down the digestion of foods, to prevent spikes in blood sugar.  They also have a low glycemic index.  An added benefit of the fiber is that it keeps you feeling full longer, thus helping you control your weight.
  4. Pregnancy support.  Strawberries are rich in folate, which is necessary to prevent birth defects and is also important for the mother’s health.
  5. Gut health.  The high fiber and water content of strawberries help keep you regular and prevent constipation, as well as reducing gas and bloating.  The fiber also supports the growth of healthy gut bacteria, which are critical for overall health.
  6. Strengthen immunity.  One cup of sliced strawberries contains almost 100 mg of vitamin C, which boosts your immune system by encouraging the body to produce white blood cells that help protect you against infection.
  7. Healthy skin.  The vitamin C content in strawberries helps your body produce collagen to keep your skin healthy.  Strawberries also have salicylic acid and ellagic acid, both of which help reduce dark spots as well as removing dead skin cells and tightening the pores.
  8. Brain health.  The high level of antioxidants in strawberries help protect the brain cells from damage due to free radicals.  The anti-inflammatory effect of the antioxidants also helps to keep the blood vessels in the brain healthy to prevent cognitive decline.

On top of the many health benefits they offer, strawberries are delicious and can be eaten throughout the day.  They can be added to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, or salads; use them in sauces, to make countless desserts from pies to cakes, or eat them raw by themselves, with other fruits, or dipped in dark chocolate; slice them and use them to flavor your tea or sparkling water.  Strawberries are a treat for your taste buds as well has your health!

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