Strawberries, with their tempting looks and spectacular taste, secured their place in the list of favorite fruits a long time ago. Strawberries have the common scientific name of Fragaria, but there are different suffixes for different varieties, such as Fragaria Vesca for wild strawberry, and Fragaria Orientalis for Eastern Strawberries, among others. Strawberries grow in bushes and are one of the most delicious seasonal fruits that also boost your health.
Strawberries are often associated as a European fruit, and to some degree, they are. They were used back in Roman times, and were first cultivated as a garden fruit in France in the 18th Century. However, they were also present in South American cultures much earlier, but since there was also a source of strawberries in Europe, it is usually thought of as being native to that region.
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The health benefits of strawberries include improved eye care, proper brain function, relief from high blood pressure, arthritis, gout and various cardiovascular diseases. The impressive polyphenolic and antioxidant content of strawberries make them good for improving the immune system, preventing against various types of cancers, and for reducing the signs of premature aging. In addition to antioxidants, they have many other nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to overall health. These include folate, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, and magnesium. It is also extremely high in vitamin C! Together, these components are responsible for the overwhelming health benefits of strawberries.
Health Benefits of Strawberries
The primary reasons for almost all problems related to the eyes are free radicals or a deficiency of certain nutrients. With increased age and a lack of these protective nutrients, the harmful oxidants or free radicals can cause heavy damage on our eyes, such as excessively dry eyes, degeneration of the optical nerves, macular degeneration, vision defects and increased susceptibility to infections as well.
Antioxidants such as flavonoids, phenolic phytochemicals, and elagic acid, all of which are present in strawberries, can help to avoid these situations to a large extent. One more condition strawberries can fix is is ocular pressure, meaning the pressure within the eyes. Any disturbance in this pressure can be very harmful for the eyes. Strawberries are helpful because they contain potassium, which helps to maintain the correct pressure.
The immune system is our body’s first line of defense against infections, microbial action, and a wide variety of other potentially damaging and dangerous conditions that can affect our body. Vitamin C is a huge booster for the immune system and has long been known as a helpful cure for common colds and coughs, along with its impact on any other infections as well. Vitamin C also stimulates the activity of white blood cells, the body’s first line of defense against toxins and foreign bodies. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, which means that it neutralizes free radicals, the harmful byproducts of cellular metabolism that are constantly created in our body. These free radicals are responsible for mutating the DNA of healthy cells into sick or cancerous cells, and are subsequently responsible for a number of diseases, including heart disease and various cancers. A single serving of strawberries has approximately 150% of your daily requirement of vitamin-C!
Arthritis and Gout
The degeneration of muscles and tissues, the drying up of the fluid which helps increase mobility of the joints, and the accumulation of toxic substances and acids (such as uric acid) in the body are some of the ill effects of free radicals. These are the primary causes of arthritis and gout, two extremely irritating and debilitating conditions.
Strawberries, with their impressive content of antioxidants and detoxifiers, can effectively help eliminate such health hazards forever. It is a famous saying in India that a serving of any fruit every day will remove the “rust” from the joints. This old adage is definitely true for strawberries, since it does have very powerful anti-inflammatory abilities to ease the inflammation and associated pain from these types of conditions.
Vitamin-C, folate, anthocyanins, quercetin and kaempferol are just a few of the many flavonoids in strawberries which possess excellent antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties. Together, they form an excellent line of defense to fight cancer and tumor growth. The daily intake of strawberries is connected to a drastic reduction in the presence and metastasis of hazardous cancer cells.
Unfortunately, it is very common for old people to begin losing their memory and control over certain activities, muscles, and limbs. This is due to either the natural or premature aging of their brain and nervous system. Actually, free radicals are the agents responsible for signs of aging because they have an adverse effect on both of these systems. Due to the activity of free radicals, the brain tissues start degenerating and the nerves become weaker. Luckily, strawberries can help you avoid these untimely conditions in life.
The vitamin-C and the phytochemicals in strawberries neutralize the effects of these oxidants and rejuvenate the system. Furthermore, strawberries are rich in iodine as well, which is very helpful for regulating the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system. Potassium, which is found in significant quantities in strawberries, also has been linked to improved cognitive function by increasing the blood flow to the brain. Research studies on students have shown that when potassium levels of high, concentration, memory, and recall abilities seem to be strengthened in test-taking. There is a good reason why bananas and strawberries are considered “brain food”!
High Blood Pressure
Strawberries are rich in potassium and magnesium content, both of which are effective in lowering high blood pressure caused by sodium and various other risk factors. Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it reduces hypertension and the rigidity of arteries and blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure, easing the flow of blood to various parts of the body, thereby oxygenating them and keeping them functioning at their full potential.
High fiber content, folate, no fats, and high levels of antioxidants such as vitamin-C and those phytochemicals form an ideal cardiac health pack, as they effectively reduce cholesterol in the arteries and vessels. Some members of the vitamin-B family present in strawberries also strengthen the cardiac muscles and lead to better functioning of the heart.
Folate is known to protect from birth defects. Phytonutrients also have anti-inflammatory properties.
Perhaps most importantly, strawberries and all of the associated foods that contain strawberries are delicious as well. Next time you are looking for something sweet, bite into some juicy strawberries and enjoy the benefits they have in store for you!