Fragrantly sweet strawberries are the most popular type of berry fruit in the world. You can find them in grocery stores year-round, but they are at the peak of their season from April through July when they are the most delicious and most abundant.
Strawberries share a red flesh, with small seeds that pierce the surface, and a small green leafy cap and step. But, there are actually more 600 types of strawberries that differ in flavor, size and texture.
- Strawberries rank 3rd best in terms of antioxidant content of all foods when equalizing their serving size.
- They also are excellent sources of antioxidant-promoting vitamin C and manganese.
- Provide more than twice as much vitamin C (47 milligrams versus 18 milligrams in 3.5 ounces) than the average for fruits as a group.
- Many of the phytonutrients present in strawberries function not only as antioxidants but also as anti-inflammatory nutrients.
- Strawberries are quite heart-healthy as the phytonutrients actually work together in synergistic fashion to decrease levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and reduce blood pressure.
- One particular type of polyphenol in strawberries, ellagitannins, inhibit the activity of an enzyme that breaks starches into simple sugars, thus helping to control blood sugar.
- Strawberries are also considered good sources of copper, potassium, biotin, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B6 and even omega-3 fatty acids.
Best Ways to Use
- Add sliced strawberries to mixed green salads.
- Layer sliced strawberries, whole blueberries and Greek yogurt in a wine glass to make a parfait dessert.
- Add strawberries to shakes and smoothies to give them a more vibrant taste and texture.
- Top your morning cereal or bowl of oatmeal off with strawberries for a nutrient upgraded breakfast.