Strawberry is a fruit that entices people all around the world with its exotic bright red color, unique spots, amazing aroma, utterly delicious taste, appetizing texture and yummy sweetness. Scientifically known as Fragaria ananassa, strawberry is not a berry at all; instead, it is an accessory fruit like fig and mulberry. Whether fresh or frozen, strawberries are loved by foodies and health conscious people everywhere.
The high demand for strawberry, in addition to popularity of the fruit, is also due to it being used in preparations of milk shakes, smoothies, ice-creams, pastries, cakes, chocolates, chewing gums, pies, biscuits, wafers, soaps, shampoos, and many other products. The demand for the fruit is so high that often artificial flavor and aroma is used by industries to lure customers. Surprisingly, not many people who consume strawberries know that they are packed with a dose of health and nutrition.
Strawberries contain high amount of vitamins, nutrients and fiber, although, at the same time they are free from harmful sodium, fat, unnecessary calories and cholesterol, thus ranking in high among the healthy food.
Unlike most of the mammals, humans cannot produce Vitamin C naturally in their bodies. They have to consume Vitamin through external sources. A cup of strawberries is sufficient to meet the daily requirement of vitamin C by the human body.
Strawberry can replenish the skin with collagen, thus giving it a younger and healthier appearance. It is also an exceptional source of antioxidants – polyphenols. Only blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries are known to contain higher amount of antioxidants than strawberries. Thus, strawberry helps to neutralize the negative effects of free radicals and boosts the immune system of the body, protecting it against diseases. It is also known to increase HDL or the good cholesterol.
Research has shown that strawberries can bring down the spiked up blood sugar level after intake of sugar. The findings have come as a boon to people with type 2 Diabetes as they can enjoy the delicious fruit and also benefit from it at the same time.
The Ellagic acid found in strawberries in known to suppress cancer cell growth. The phenols in strawberries fight inflammation as effectively as aspirin and ibuprofen, fortunately without their harmful side effects.
Regular intake of strawberries can help to fight conditions like:
- Cardiac problems
- High cholesterol level
- Various cancers
- High blood sugar levels
- High blood pressure
- Unhealthy eyes
- Stained teeth
- Wrinkles in skin
- Cold and cough
- Inflammations and pain
Eating fresh strawberries for breakfast will help in control of obesity as it is virtually fat free, high in fiber and also stops craving for sweets. A cup of strawberries would supply enough amount of vitamin C for the day. The dietary ﬁber in the fruit helps in digestion, and keeps check on overeating.
Mash four ripe strawberries into smooth paste. Add 1tsp honey to it. Rub the paste on the face in circular motion and leave it on face for 10-15 minutes. Wash the face with warm water to remove excessive oil.
Applying the mix of crushed ripe strawberry pulp and baking soda over the teeth for 5 minutes, once a week will help in getting rid of stains on the teeth. Brushing thoroughly to remove the pulp/soda mix is important as it may harm the teeth.