A Fruit to Sit and Sip on: Strawberries
Widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness, it is no secret that strawberries are without a doubt, delicious!
Name(s): Strawberry, The Garden Strawberry, Fragaria × Ananassa (hybrid title)
Fruit or Vegetable: Fruit
Colors: Varying from whites and light greens, to soft pinks and bold reds
Origin(s): Cross breed between the European country of France and the South American Countries of Chile and Peru.
|One cup of whole strawberries contains 0.96 grams of protein, 46 calories and 2.9 grams of dietary fiber.||Potassium – 220 mg
Phosphorus – 35 mg
Magnesium – 19 mg
Calcium – 23 mg
Sodium – 1 mg
Iron – 0.59 mg
Selenium 0.6 mcg
Manganese – 0.556 mg
Copper – 0.069 mg
Zinc – 0.2 mg
Also contains small amounts of other minerals.
|Vitamin A – 17 IU
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – 0.035 mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – 0.032 mg
Niacin – 0.556 mg
Folate – 35 mcg
Pantothenic Acid – 0.18 mg
Vitamin B6 – 0.068 mg
Vitamin C – 84.7 mg
Vitamin E – 0.42 mg
Vitamin K – 3.2 mcg
Contains some other vitamins in small amounts.
Fun Fact: The first garden strawberry was grown in France during the late 18th century. Prior to this, wild strawberries and cultivated selections from wild strawberry species were the common source for the fruit.
In 1714, a French engineer sent to Chile and Peru to monitor Spanish activities in these countries “discovered” a strawberry native to this region that was much larger than those grown in Europe. He brought many samples back to France, which were subsequently planted. These plants did not originally flourish well until a natural crossbreeding occurred between this species and a neighboring North American strawberry variety that was planted nearby in the field. The result was a hybrid strawberry that was large, juicy and sweet, and one that quickly grew in popularity in Europe.
Here are eight reasons to include strawberries in your diet:
- Diet – One cup of strawberries contains over 13% of the RDA of dietary ﬁber, yet only 43 calories. The dietary ﬁber in strawberries helps to keep digestion regular, as well as lowers blood pressure and curbs overeating.
- Antioxidants – Strawberries contain a chemical compound called phenols. Anthocyanin, a particular phenol abundantly found in strawberries, lends the rich red color to the fruit. Though anthocyanin is known to have antioxidant properties within the fruit, it is debated as to whether the antioxidant agents in anthocyanin-rich foods can be absorbed into the body once digested. Fortunately, however, it is known that when anthocyanin-rich foods are consumed, the body’s uric acid levels increase, which serves as an antioxidant agent.
- Anti-Inﬂammatory – The phenols in strawberries also ﬁght against many inﬂammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis, asthma and atherosclerosis, by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX) in the same way that the drugs aspirin and ibuprofen do. Strawberries, however, do not carry unwanted side effects like stomach and intestinal bleeding.
- Anti-Cancer – The combination of antioxidant and anti-inﬂammatory agents found in strawberries is well-known to ﬁght against the onset of many different forms of cancer. Thanks to the vitamin C, folate, and the ﬂavonoids quercetin and kaempferol that they also contain, strawberries are a delicious defense against potentially cancerous cells.
- Healthy Eyes – The Archives of Opthalmology recently published a study in which three or more servings of strawberries (and other fruits) per day can decrease the possibility of contracting age-related macular degeneration by over one-third.
- The Vigorous Vitamin C – One cup of strawberries contains an incredible 136% of the RDA of vitamin C, an effective antioxidant that can help lower blood pressure, ensure a healthy immune system, and ward off the development of age-related ocular diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Magniﬁcent Manganese – One cup of strawberries contains 21% of manganese, an essential nutrient that acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inﬂammatory agent. By increasing the levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), the enzyme responsible for protecting mitochonrdria exposed to oxygen, manganese not only helps to ﬁght the battle against free radicals and oxidative stress, but also lessens cellular inﬂammation — another cause of numerous cardiovascular diseases.
- Bone Health – Manganese is also great for the bones, helping in bone building and maintaining proper bone structure. The potassium, vitamin K, and magnesium in strawberries are also important for bone health.
A sweet recipe to add to your kitchen revenue:
Breakfast-On-A-Stick: Mini Waffles, Strawberries, And Cool Whip:
A medium to larger container of fresh strawberries
Mini Waffle Bites
Cool Whip or Canned Whipped Cream
1. Rinse strawberries in a colander and set aside. (You may leave them as-is, or chop the tops off)
2. Follow the instructions for cooking the mini waffles to your liking.
3. Place whipped cream or cool whip on the tops of half of your toasted mini waffles.
4. Take one of your skewers and place a strawberry as the base, then taking one of the mini waffles with the added whip cream or cool whip, place onto the skewer atop the strawberry. Followed by a mini-waffle without whipped cream topping, and finally place another strawberry atop.
5. Repeat until skewer is decorated to your liking and repeat with the remaining skewers and ingredients.