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Strawberries: Beautiful Red Fruits of Anthocyanins and Antioxidants

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From a culinary perspective, strawberries are one of the most well-liked fruits used by chefs for their naturally delicious flavor in desserts.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Osheen Kour

Published At November 22, 2023
Reviewed AtNovember 22, 2023

What Is the Nutrition Content of Strawberries?

Strawberries are bright red, beautifully sweet, luscious, and aromatic fruits that one may have found in the local markets. These are fiber-rich fruits packed with vitamins available in most countries around the globe. These fruits are known for containing anthocyanins which are the pigments responsible for their high antioxidant content which can protect against cellular damage in the body. One cup of strawberries, approximately 5.3 ounces would comprise around 48 kilocalories, around 0.03 ounces of protein, approximately 0.04 ounces of carbohydrates, and a negligible 0.01 ounces of fat. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides the following nutrition information for 5.29109 ounces of strawberries:

  • Fiber: 0.1 ounces.

  • Sugars: 0.26 ounces.

  • Protein: 0.03 ounces.

  • Vitamin C: 0.0031 ounces.

  • Potassium: 0.0081 ounces.

  • Magnesium: 0.00069 ounces.

  • Fat: 0.01 ounces.

  • Sodium: 0.000053 ounces (1500 micrograms).

  • Carbohydrates: 0.04 ounces.

  • Total Calories: 48 kilocalories.

Are Strawberries Good for Diabetes?

  • The glycemic index (GI) of strawberries is very low, around 40, with a glycemic load value of around four, making it a good fruit for consumption by diabetic and prediabetic cases as well, especially when the fruit itself is consumed in moderation as diabetic or Low GI diets recommend any fruit only in moderate amounts.

  • Strawberries are naturally low in fat yielding only 0.01 ounces per cup, with the majority being polyunsaturated fatty acids. These fruits are high in potassium, folate, calcium, and magnesium. These low-calorie foods with limited calories are also obtained only from carbohydrates. Because fruits are fiber-rich, they help greatly in slowing down the digestion of carbohydrates, aid in digestive health, increase glucose uptake, and improve insulin sensitivity.

  • Current research indicates that these fruits may not just be diabetic-friendly, but also can decrease the rise in blood sugar during post-meal consumption. Nutrition research suggests that this fruit can reduce the uptake and transport of glucose in the intestines.

What Are the Other Health Benefits of Strawberries?

1. Reduced Symptoms of Osteoarthritis: Strawberries reduce inflammation for people suffering from osteoarthritis. Studies now demonstrate the potential of a 1.8-ounce beverage of reconstituted freeze-dried strawberries over 12 weeks to improve the quality of life for patients suffering from osteoarthritis because of the anthocyanins and bioactive compounds.

2. Boosts Immunity: Strawberries contribute to more than the daily intake of vitamin C needed for the body, yielding almost 88200 micrograms of vitamin C per single serving or cup of strawberry consumption. Vitamin C is an essential precursor to skin collagen, apart from the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits in stabilizing the immune system.

3. Promotes Colon and Digestive Health: Research shows that when a person consumes fruits rich in antioxidants with a lower intake of animal fats, there would be reduced predisposition of individuals to developing irritable bowel disease or even colon cancers.

4. Anti-Cancer Effect: Strawberries improve oxidative stress markers in the body again due to their high concentration of anthocyanins. Nutrition experts commonly recommend anthocyanin-rich fruits for protection against cellular damage and their ability to exert an anti-cancer effect in humans. However, in-vitro research is still underway investigating anthocyanin-rich fruits like strawberries but the current scientific evidence shows the promising future potential of fruits and vegetables containing antioxidant compounds through dietary forms.

Are Allergies Possible With Strawberries?

Strawberry allergies are easily possible in individuals who may have other fruit allergies. Therefore, individuals who have grape or cherry allergies specifically may also be allergic to strawberries and may experience cross-reactivity reactions. Therefore, if one suspects any skin, systemic, oral, or potential allergic reactions after consuming strawberries, they must immediately report it to the healthcare professional.

How Should Strawberries Be Purchased?

Strawberries, rich in texture and uniformly red need to be selected carefully because they would have ripened without any environmental contamination. Avoid any sort of mushy-looking berries that usually exhibit signs of mold or infection. One can find the best kinds of fresh strawberries in grocery stores throughout the year commonly in most countries or around the globe, as they are popular in all seasons. But according to the season, they are best usually during the spring and summer in the harvest season when the fruits are freshly produced off the farm. One can always check with their local farmers market or find the best locations to pick the ripened berries for the sweetest and healthiest varieties of fruit. Nutritionists usually recommend choosing organic strawberries so that one can avoid pesticides that are commonly used during conventional growing seasons.

What Is the Best Way to Store and Use Strawberries?

  • Fresh strawberries should be thoroughly washed under running water before eating them up whole as a snack or before one cuts or slices them up for a dish. It is best to wash the fruit just before consuming it.

  • It is also ideal to consume the strawberries when they are purchased afresh and also before they start to exhibit any odor or smell, after a day or two.

  • Therefore, one can ideally freeze them soon after the purchase and then transfer the fruit individually from a baking sheet, or they can transfer the fruits to a freezer bag for later use.

  • Also, the best way to store strawberries is always in the coldest part of the refrigerator.

  • Avoid consuming them if one suspects a stink or rotten smell, indicating expired shelf life. It is best to use the fruits within one week of purchase or a few days despite ideal refrigerating conditions.

  • While strawberry juices and milkshakes are quite popular around the world, one can even blend frozen fruits into their smoothies for their diverse flavors.

  • One can chop up the fresh strawberries and add the nutrient-dense fruits to their salads, side dishes, or even while preparing salsas. The sweet taste and plump texture of the fruits make for a great addition to most desserts, sweet recipes, and commercially manufactured baked goods.

Conclusion:

To conclude, strawberries are rich in anthocyanin pigment that gives them their characteristic bright red color. These fruits can be experimented with in any sweet recipes or for desserts for the goodness of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants they yield boosting systemic health. Therefore, if one wants to get maximum benefits from these nutrient-rich berries, one must consume them when fully ripened. Consuming refrigerated or stored berries (at room temperature) might cause the loss of some essential nutrients.

Dr. Achanta Krishna Swaroop
Dr. Achanta Krishna Swaroop

Dentistry

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antioxidant
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