What’s in a Strawberry?

Strawberries are super-fruits – packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In addition to traditional nutrients, strawberries are also rich in phenolic compounds such as ellagic acid and flavonoids, which are the focus of intense study due to their antioxidant, anti-cancer and anti-mutagenic properties. Click each tab below to learn more about the nutritional benefits of strawberries.

Strawberries are packed with vitamin C. In fact, one serving of eight large strawberries has a full day’s value of vitamin C. This vitamin not only helps your immune system, but also is used to form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle, and collagen in bones. 

An antioxidant, vitamin C may help protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals likely play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.

Vitamin C also helps your body absorb and store iron. Since it’s difficult for our bodies to absorb iron from plant-based foods like spinach and broccoli, adding strawberries to the meal can help you absorb more iron than would otherwise be possible from plants. 

Potassium is an important nutrient to balance electrolytes, aid muscle contractions, and maintain a healthy blood pressure. One serving of strawberries provides 5% of the Daily Value of potassium.

Researchers reported that people who eat strawberries have higher average folate intakes than those who reported not eating strawberries. Folate (or folic acid) is one of the B vitamins and is responsible for red blood cell formation and healthy cell growth and function. Folic acid is crucial during early pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine. A serving of strawberries provides 9% of your Daily Value of folate.

Considered by the American Heart Association to be important for heart health, dietary fiber has health benefits such as lowering blood cholesterol and promoting a healthy digestive system. One serving, or eight large strawberries, provides three grams of fiber.

Key to warding off chronic diseases and promoting optimum health, research shows that the antioxidants in strawberries are efficiently absorbed within one hour after being eaten.

In a recent study, strawberries ranked second among the Top 10 fruits in antioxidant capacity. However, strawberries have the most dense concentration of the antioxidant fisetin in the human diet. Several studies indicate that fisetin is a promising novel antioxidant in the prevention of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and ischemic stroke.

Ellagic acid is a plant chemical (also known as a “phytochemical”) native to fruits such as strawberries. It has antioxidant, anti-mutagenic, and anti-cancer properties. Ellagic acid is studied for its role in protecting the liver as well as preventing and treating pancreatitis, skin aging, cancer, and leukemia.

Like ellagic acid, flavonoids are a type of phytochemical found in strawberries. The majority of flavonoids in strawberries are anthocyanins, the compounds responsible for the blue, red, and purple hues of berries, grapes, and other fruits.  

Flavonoids’ antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, and anti-cancer properties have led to research on their ability to lower the rate of atherosclerosis, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and death caused by heart disease. 

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