Now that summer’s here, we can enjoy a brand new variety of seasonal fruit and vegetables. One of the most popular summer fruits is the strawberry and from Wimbledon onwards, British summertime is the perfect time to enjoy this sweet berry. With plenty of excuses from picnics to classic Victoria sponge cakes and other tasty desserts, there’s always a call for strawberries. As well as being tasty, strawberries have a number of health benefits, giving you even more of an excuse to tuck in over the summer, and the rest of the year too.
Health Benefits of Strawberries
1. They are rich in Vitamin C
Now, your go to fruit for Vitamin C may be an orange, but strawberries are actually a very good source of this essential vitamin too. A single serving of strawberries (about 7 strawberries) provides more than half your recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which will help to boost your immunity and keep pesky colds away, setting you up for the winter.
Serving suggestion: Slice your strawberries in half and add them to your morning porridge or cereal – a great way to satisfy your sweet craving in the morning.
2. They are low in carbs and calories
If you’re trying to watch your weight, then you’ll be pleased to know that strawberries are not only low in carbs, but in calories too. In every 100g of strawberries, there’s just 7.68 grams of carbohydrates, and 33 calories. This makes them a great snack to have in the afternoon or mid-morning if you’re watching your carbs and calorie intake.
Serving suggestion: When you crave chocolate or a sweet treat in the afternoon, have some strawberries instead. They’ll help satisfy your sweet craving without the added sugar and fat.
3. They have anti-inflammatory properties and can therefore reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
There are a number of studies which are looking into the health benefits of strawberries, and in particular their anti-inflammatory benefits. By consuming at least three portions of either strawberries or blueberries a week, some women reduced their risk of suffering a heart attack by up to 32%. They can also help to lower cholesterol, which further boosts your chances of fighting heart disease.
Serving suggestion: Make a fruit smoothie to help you consume your daily intake. A banana, some porridge oats, almond milk and some strawberries make a great breakfast smoothie,
4. They are high in fibre
Fibre is important for keeping your digestive system in check and ensuring a healthy bowel. Foods like strawberries are rich in fibre and can help improve constipation and other digestive conditions. Make sure that you make fibre a key part of your diet and include naturally occurring fibre like strawberries.
Serving suggestion: Freeze some strawberries and some chopped up banana. Give them around 20 minutes to thaw a little and then drop into the blender to make a quick and easy strawberry ice cream recipe.
5. They are rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants have long been associated with lowering cancer risk rates and the good news is that strawberries are full of them. Anthrocyanin is one of the key antioxidants found in strawberries and helps our bodies fight off environmental damage caused by the sun and other effects. The good news is that the antioxidant effects of strawberries last up to 24 hours after consumption – definitely a good excuse to eat them regularly.
Serving suggestion: It might sound bizarre, but why not add strawberries to a salad? They provide a sweet and refreshing element, perfect for summer.
Strawberries have many wonderful benefits, and are delicious eaten on their own or when used in recipes. Grow your own in the garden or buy from great local producers to help boost the environment, as well as the local economy. For more great ideas for strawberry recipes, click here.