They say fruit is nature’s candy. Arguably this could not be more true than it is with strawberries. Some see the fruit as a tasty snack others a dessert, one they’ll even dip in chocolate! It’s versatile and has a flavoring so often desired that it is used in the artificial flavoring of processed foods.
Yet in their natural form (non-chocolate dipped or artificially flavored), strawberries are inherently healthy. So why not grab the real thing?
Where did Strawberries Come From?
Strawberries draw their origins back to northern Europe, though similar fruits were later found in Russia, Chile, and America. The strawberries we are accustomed to in America are a mix of the American and Chilean versions.
Interestingly, they were originally called “strewberries” because they were strewed about the plants on which they grow. This was later renamed to “strawberries” over time.
Strawberries remain a major crop in the United States. In global production, China leads with over 3 million annual tons of strawberries, with the US in second with over a million annual tons of strawberries. About 90% of the US strawberries are grown in California with much of the remaining 10% grown in Florida.
What Nutrients are Found in Strawberries?
Fresh strawberries are a source of carbs (including fiber) and vitamin C (full nutrition facts).
The carbs in a serving of strawberries are 7% of your daily value but are comprised of a good balance of simple sugars and fiber. This relatively low sugar amount and good balance with fiber make strawberries a great choice even for diabetic patients.
A single cup of sliced strawberries contains more than 100% of your daily recommended vitamin C. That can make strawberries great for supporting your immune system, particularly in the winter months. It is also a helpful vitamin for supporting your skin health.
The majority of strawberries’ weight comes from their high water content – they’re 91% water! Because of this, strawberries are low in calories.
Antioxidants: Berries Hidden Benefits
Antioxidants are a type of nutrient found in many berries and protect your cells from being damaged by free radicals. These common antioxidants include vitamins C and E, selenium, and carotenoids.
These antioxidants are a contributing factor to why fruits like strawberries and blueberries have been studied in connection to helping maintain brain function as patients age. A 2019 study observed those who ate strawberries regularly had a 34% lower chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Previously we mentioned strawberries being a great choice for diabetic patients. But they also benefit non-diabetics in improving insulin resistance in obese adults with high cholesterol. This is a patient population at elevated risk for developing diabetes, so food that can improve their insulin resistance is a welcome addition.
Antioxidants in strawberries also play a role in decreasing inflammation in your body. While fried foods and sweets can increase inflammation, which can increase your risk for serious illnesses like heart disease or cancer, strawberries are anti-inflammatory. They work to repair cells and decrease inflammation in your body.