As soon as you hear someone talk about strawberries, your mouth starts watering. Doesn’t it? Well, due to their delicious taste and irresistible appearance, strawberries are used in preparing smoothies, cupcakes, ice creams, shakes and many more delicacies.
But, if you know about the various nutrients and health benefits of this heart-shaped delight, it’s sure to top your favorite list. The juicy summer fruit is a powerhouse, packed with nutrients and antioxidants. So, here are 25 health and beauty benefits of strawberries to give you more reasons to eat healthily.
25 Health and Beauty Benefits of Strawberries
1. Low Calories
Strawberry is an extremely low calorie fruit. It has approximately 32 calories per 100 gm. Also, it’s an easy fresh snack, which will help you not to gain excess weight. The best part is, in spite of being low on calories and fats, strawberries are full of phyto-nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
2. Boosts Immune System
Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C. All other mammals, except humans, have the capacity to produce vitamin C naturally. That’s why; humans need to pay special attention to complete this requirement of the body. A single serving of strawberries gives you 51.5 mg of vitamin C, which is half of what your body needs in a day. Therefore, have 2 servings of strawberries every day and you don’t need to look any further for fulfilling the requirement of this component.
3. Healthy Eyes and Vision
Strawberries are especially beneficial for your eye health. The antioxidants present in strawberries prevent the chances of cataract. Vitamin C protects your eyes against the free radicals released from the sun’s ultraviolet rays and pollution. However, research says that an excessive amount of vitamin C increases the risk of cataract in women. But, it has been proven that vitamin C obtained from fruits doesn’t cause any problem.
4. Reduces the Chances of Cancer
Strawberries are rich in antioxidants, which make them a great cancer fighter. A phytochemical, known as ellagic acid, is found in these juicy fruits. According to research, ellagic acid has properties that suppress the cancer cell formation. Apart from that, the vitamin C content boosts the immune system, which, in turn, offers the best defense against cancer.
5. Healthy Heart
Strawberries have phenolic compounds that prevent blood clotting and improve the functioning of the blood vessels. The potassium content regulates the blood pressure, while the flavonoids and antioxidants take care of the bad cholesterol buildup. The anti- inflammatory properties are known to keep cardiovascular and heart related problems at bay.
6. Burns Stored Fat
Strawberries get their color from anthocyanins and flavonoids. Anthocyanins are known to stimulate the burning of stored fat. In an experiment, animals were fed high fat diet and it was found that the animals, whose diet included anthocyanins, gained 24 percent less weight than the others. The high vitamin C content boosts your body’s metabolism as a result of which, the body burns calories much faster. What could be better than an absolutely delicious food that doesn’t make you fat?
7. Bone Health
Strawberries contain a lot of minerals, potassium, manganese and vitamin K. These components not only increase the bone growth, but also keep them strong and healthy. All these factors make strawberries a great food for growing children, as well. Older people should also include strawberries in their diet in order to maintain good bone health as the bones tend to weaken with aging.
8. Enhances Short Term Memory
According to a report published in “The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry”, anthocyanins are known to enhance the short term memory of a person. In fact, it can enhance the short term memory in 8 weeks to 100 percent. Strawberries are the rich source of anthocyanins, so include them in your diet to boost your memory. It might be especially beneficial for the school going kids.
9. Eases Inflammation
CRP (C- reactive protein) causes inflammation in the body. Strawberries lower the CRP levels in the blood. According to a study by Harvard School of Public Health, women, who ate 16 strawberries every week, are 14 percent less likely to have a higher level of CRP.
10. Regulates Cholesterol
As mentioned above, strawberries get their color, smell and flavor through phyto-nutrients and flavonoids. Phyto-nutrients are plant chemicals, which consist of disease preventing and protective compounds. Strawberries, being rich in these natural chemicals, have been known to regulate cholesterol and also reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems. Regular consumption of strawberries inhibits the oxidation of LDL (low density lipoprotein), which is helpful in regulating the levels of cholesterol.
11. Helpful in Digestion
Strawberries are rich in fiber and antioxidants. Fiber keeps your digestive system healthy, keeps constipation and other digestive disorders at bay by inducing bowel movement. Fiber is also very beneficial for diabetics as it regulates the blood sugar level. Strawberries have a low GI (Glycemic Index) of 40, so people with diabetes can consume it without worrying much.
12. Good for Pregnant Women
Pregnancy is one tough phase where the women are confused as to what to eat that would be healthy for them and the baby as well. Strawberries have folate, which helps in the development of baby’s brain, spinal cord and skull. It also contains folic acid, which protects the baby from certain common birth defects.
13. Wrinkle-free Skin
Fruits rich in vitamin C, like strawberries, are great for the skin. Vitamin C helps in collagen production, which maintains elasticity and resilience. As we age, our skin tends to lose collagen. So, it’s very important to eat food rich in vitamin C. A research at Hallym University in the Republic of Korea found that the ellagic acid present in strawberries reduces the collagen destruction and inflammation, which keeps away the wrinkles.
14. Enhances Complexion
Strawberry is also known to have skin lightening properties. For this, you can use strawberry based face wash, creams, moisturizers, etc. You can also squeeze fresh strawberry juice in a bowl and apply it on your face with cotton, and rinse after 10 minutes.
15. Natural UV Protection
Strawberries contain ellagic acid, which protects the skin against ultraviolet rays of the sun. It also helps in undoing the effects of the sun’s harmful rays when applied topically.
16. Removes Under Eye Bags and Puffiness
Strawberry is a natural astringent and helps in removing the puffiness and circles under the eyes. For this, simply slice a strawberry and put those slices under your eyes while lying down and relaxing for a while. You’ll get up fresh and without bulge.
17. Skin Cleanser and Toner
Strawberries contain salicylic acid, vitamin C, and antioxidants, which make them a perfect cleansing ingredient. Strawberries are used in many face washes, bubble baths, cleansers, etc. It’s also a great toner. It removes impurities, and soothes allergies and blemishes on your face.
18. Natural Treatment of Acne Prone Skin
Strawberries contain various chemicals, like alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA’s), salicylic acid, flavonoids and vitamin C, which work against acne and skin irritation. To get rid of acne, mash strawberry with some milk, and apply it as a pack on your face. Rinse with cold water after 15 minutes. Repeat this procedure two times a week to get rid of pimples and acne completely.
19. Prevents Hair Thinning
Strawberries are not only good for your skin, but also for your hair. It contains folic acid, vitamin B5 and B6 along with ellagic acid, which together work against hair thinning and falling.
20. Silky and Shiny Hair
Strawberries are natural conditioners and can give you silky and shiny hair without using any chemicals. You can make various hair packs with strawberries. Mash 7-8 ripe strawberries with some mayonnaise and blend it in a smooth paste. Apply it all over your hair and scalp and cover with a shower cap for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with normal shampoo.
21. Fights Dandruff
Strawberries are a good cure for dandruff and rough, dry scalp. You can mix it with tea tree oil or thyme oil, and apply all over your scalp. You need to continue the therapy for a considerable time to get the best results.
22. Helps in Fungal Growth on the Scalp
Many people suffer from fungal growth on the scalp due to psoriasis or any other disorder. Strawberries are rich in manganese and copper, which produce complexes when combined with dicarboxylic acid and prevent fungal growth on the scalp.
23. Moisturizes the Scalp and Hair
Strawberry has antioxidants, which protect the cell membrane of the scalp. It puts off the formation of a hydrophobic layer on the scalp, which keeps the scalp dry. In addition to eating strawberries, you can also mix it with egg yolk and apply the mix on your scalp to moisturize it naturally.
24. Skin Repair
The high vitamin C content in strawberries makes them a great healing component. Vitamin C is required to produce collagen, which, in turn, heals the broken tissues and wounds quickly. One cup of strawberries (2 servings) provides all the essential components that your body needs for the whole day.
25. Foot Scrub
Another interesting use of strawberries is as a foot scrub. Strawberries can give you soft and crack-free feet. Here’s a strawberry scrub you can make on your own. Mash 7-8 strawberries with some glycerin and grounded oats to form a coarse mixture. After soaking your feet in warm water for 10 minutes, scrub your feet with this mixture for about 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse with cold water followed by massaging with a cold cream or foot cream.
Choosing The Best Strawberries
Begin by buying strawberries and choose a local store where they’ll deliver the freshest taste. Don’t believe that bigger is better as many of the freshest strawberries are small as they’re packed with flavor. The healthiest options are organic as the fruit isn’t riddled with chemicals and pesticides that you’ll then put into your body.
Choose the reddest and ripest strawberries you can find and avoid ones that have patches of white around the stem. The strawberries should be firm, but not too hard to touch, and there shouldn’t be any squishy textures or signs of bruising.
Keeping Strawberries Fresh and Long-Lasting
After reading these 25 health and beauty benefits of strawberries, we’re excited to share some of the best ways to keep this delectable fruit fresher for longer. Keep your fruit cold and dry to avoid any mold forming on the fruit. Avoid washing them before keeping them in the fridge, as once they’re wet, they don’t remain fresh for as long.
Keep them covered in the fridge, too! Use a plastic wrap or container to seal them tight and avoid any air getting into the fruit. Don’t forget that you can freeze strawberries, too! Pick them when they’re at their freshest and store in a freezer to use in smoothies, cereal, and baked goods.
To do this, wash the fruit and remove any stems. Dry them with a paper towel. Cut them down to the perfect size for you and dry and place on a tray with parchment paper. Freeze the strawberries for around eight hours, and then transfer to a freezer bag so they don’t become clumped together. Keep in the freezer for up to three months.