Ah, sweet summer. The time of year that’s host to one of my favorite fruits: strawberries. Berries at any other time of year just can’t compete.
The strawberry is so tasty and so versatile. Eat it alone, mixed in yogurt, tossed on a salad, chopped in a salsa, made into jam or whipped into ice cream. This list could go on and on. I love them all!
The health benefits of this little berry just can’t be beat either. Although all fruits are healthy, some might call strawberries a super power in the produce section. Here’s why:
Fiber. One cup of strawberries contains 3 grams of dietary fiber, yet only 49 calories! Talk about bang for your buck. That’s 12% the RDA, or the recommended dietary allowance, for adults.
Vitamin C. One serving of strawberries surpasses the RDA for vitamin C, an antioxidant that can help lower blood pressure and keep the immune system healthy.
Potassium. Strawberries contain half the amount of potassium found in a glass of milk. They’re a good source of this nutrient that helps maintain normal blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Flavanoids. Strawberries contain quercetin and kaempferol, two nutrients with antioxidant properties that defend against potentially cancerous cells.
Anthocyanin. This phenol (another nutrient with antioxidant properties) lends strawberries their red color. In recent research, anthocyanins have been shown to protect skin from damaging UVA rays, lending this nutrient potential use in cosmetic products.
Although the prime time for strawberries is drawing to a close, there are ways to reap the benefits of strawberries year-round. Try frozen or dried strawberries during the winter when fresh ones might not taste as good. Naturally sweet taste and equally sweet nutritional profile; the strawberry is definitely a fruit that is worth your while.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy strawberries?
Elizabeth Patton MS, RD, LD, CDE is the chief blogger behind Good Food Tastes Good, a blog where Liz shares her passion for healthy eating and expertise on the matter regularly. Follow Good Food Tastes Good on Facebook.