The Delicious Summer Fruit With Countless Health Benefits

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Wimbledon gets through 1.9 million of them during the two-week tennis tournament, and we’re not talking about the amount of tennis balls: strawberries. Before we gear up to enjoy another summer of eating bowls full while basking in the sun, there’s another reason we should enjoy them–for their abundant health benefits.

Why are strawberries good for your health?

The mighty strawberry could be hailed the latest super fruit with its natural antioxidant and vitamin C benefits rivaling the goodness of oranges. With minerals, such as potassium and manganesenamong some of these benefits, there are plenty of reasons to enjoy strawberries this summer.

“Strawberries are members of the rose (Rosaceae) family and there are over 10 varieties in total,” explains nutritionist Jessica Shand and even though there are lots of types of strawberries out there, they all have the same nourishing values. Even their bright red color is a sign of the goodness they hold. “They’re quite literally loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, especially one called anthocyanidins, which is responsible for their distinctive, vibrant red color and one of the reasons we are naturally so attracted to them.”

They’re also packed with minerals, such as potassium and manganese, which can help to stimulate collagen production, fight acne, protect the heart, and regulate blood sugar. “Strawberries are thought to have several health benefits including prevention of inflammatory conditions and heart disease and research also suggests that they could help to slow down the digestion of glucose and reduce insulin spikes, making them a healthy choice if you have type-2 diabetes.”

That’s not all. They also have some health boosting benefits from the inside out. “They’re a fantastic gut-feeding food due to their polyphenol and fiber content, both containing prebiotics which means they provide a fuel source to feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut helping them to multiple and thrive,” adds Shand, while pointing out that it’s not just the gut that benefits from eating strawberries, they have beauty advantages too. “Naturally high in vitamin C, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it makes strawberries a wonderful skin superfood too, as they can help reduce the inflammation associated with hormonally driven skin conditions, such as acne.”

The health and beauty benefits of strawberries at a glance

  • Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, such as ellagic acid, that help protect elastin fibers and support collagen production, helping to keep skin healthy
  • The polyphenols antioxidants, such as antiocyanins, ellagitannins, and procyanidins, reduce oxidative stress and are beneficial for heart health
  • Strawberries have anti-inflammatory properties, such as vitamin C
  • They can help regulate blood sugar levels
  • They contain folic acid (or vitamin B9), which is essential during pregnancy
  • They contain potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure
  • If you have type-2 diabetes, strawberries can help slow down glucose digestion, reducing insulin spikes
  • Strawberries are known as a good gut fruit, feeding good bacteria so that it thrives
  • They can help balance cholesterol

Strawberry recipes

It’s not just cream that works well with strawberries, they are as versatile as you’re willing to go.

Strawberries at breakfast:

For a quick and easy way to include strawberries at breakfast, simply add them to your oatmeal. Otherwise, try them in a breakfast beauty smoothie by blending the following:

  • One cup of strawberries, chopped
  • One banana
  • One teaspoon of protein powder
  • One teaspoon of hemp seeds
  • One teaspoon of marine collagen powder
  • Almond milk or oats

Try a strawberry salad:

It might not sound obvious, but strawberries work well in a fresh salad with these ingredients:

  • Lettuce or arugula
  • Raw fennel
  • Red chicory
  • Fresh goats cheese
  • Thinly sliced strawberries
  • As a dressing: olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and tahini

Strawberries for dessert:

For a healthier pudding alternative, whizz chia seeds and strawberries in a blender:

  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds soaked a few hours beforehand
  • 2 teaspoons of cacao
  • 3 or 4 dates
  • 1 cup of chopped strawberries
  • One teaspoon of grated coconut
  • Coconut milk or oats

This article was originally published on Vogue.com

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