9 Reasons to Eat More Strawberries
Every June when strawberries burst into gardens and markets near my home, I am reminded of my strawberry-picking expeditions as a child with my dad and sister. My mom agreed to make dozens of pies or fresh jam if we’d pick the strawberries needed. Well, that was all the incentive I needed to spend some serious time in the massive strawberry patches in the countryside near where I lived. Nowadays, I try to eat fresh strawberries to benefit from their many healing properties. Here are some of the best reasons to eat more strawberries:
1. They’re antioxidant powerhouses. Actually, as fruits go, strawberries have the fourth highest level of antioxidants of foods recently tested. Antioxidants protect your body from free radicals linked to aging and disease.
2. They’re excellent sources of vitamin C which boosts the strength of arteries, prevents bruising, and strengthens your body’s stress glands—the adrenals—which require the highest levels of vitamin C of all organs or glands in your body. Eight strawberries have more vitamin C than an orange.
3. Strawberries have been shown in studies to regulate blood sugar levels. Eating one cup of fresh strawberries caused a significant reduction in blood sugar spikes. Blood sugar spikes are linked with weight gain, mood swings, diabetes, and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). That’s because the spikes are followed by plummeting blood sugar levels soon afterward.
4. Strawberries have anti-inflammatory and anti-pain properties. Studies show that they lower levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP). One study showed that they need to been consumed at least 3 times per week to capitalize on their anti-inflammatory nature. But, since they taste so good, that’s not likely to be a problem for most people.
5. They’ve been proven helpful in the management of heart disease and arthritis.
6. Strawberries contain anthocyanins which stimulate the burning of stored fat in the body to use as fuel. Research published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed reduces weight gain in animals fed a high fat diet. Research also shows anthocyanins boost short-term memory by 100 percent in eight weeks.
7. They have anti-cancer properties. Their flavonoid content causes the body to interfere with the stages of development of cancer cells, preventing their ability to multiply.
8. Strawberries’ phenolic acids demonstrate anti-allergenic properties, meaning they help reduce the biochemical processes that are linked to allergic reactions. Of course, as with any food, some people are allergic to strawberries, so if you suspect an allergy you should avoid them.
9. They’re delicious and versatile. Add fresh or frozen strawberries to smoothies, shakes, or blender “juices.” Top whole grain waffles or pancakes with fresh strawberries, blend them with avocado to create a delicious pudding, or just enjoy them on their own.