Red, juicy and conically shaped, the strawberry is a member of the rose family (Fragaria ananassa) and has grown wild for centuries. Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside. The strawberry probably got its name originally from the Anglo-Saxon word streawberige, which means “spreading berry.”
The most common American variety is the result of crossbreeding the wild Virginia strawberry and a Chilean variety. More flavorful, is the European Alpine strawberry — tiny exquisitely sweet wild strawberries of France known as fraises des bois. They are considered to be the “queen of strawberries.”
While there are more than 600 varieties of strawberries that differ in flavor, size and texture, one can usually identify a strawberry by its red flesh that has small seeds piercing its surface, and a small, regal, green leafy cap and stem that adorn its crown.
Most commercially grown strawberries come from the genus-species Fragaria ananassa and cultivated since the 18th century. In the U.S., commercial strawberry production is largely limited to the coastal and southern inland regions of California and to the East Coast, where Florida production becomes especially important during the winter months. Fragaria virginiana is a popular genus-species of strawberry grown in the U.S. along side of the genus-species Fragaria ananassa.
20 HEALTHY REASONS TO LOVE STRAWBERRY EVEN MORE:
- Prevents Hypertension: Strawberry contains potassium and magnesium, which are both highly effective in lowering high blood pressure or Hypertension caused by sodium.
- Prevents Leukemia: Strawberries also have a very good therapeutic effect for preventing leukemia, anemia (lack of blood) and blood diseases.
- Digestive Support: Strawberry contains soluble fiber and Vitamin C that can help stimulate the secretion of salivary and gastric juices, thereby improving the digestion of starchy and protein foods, and prevents constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Hearty Health: Strawberry contains fiber, potassium, folate, anti-oxidants vitamin C, anthocyanidins, and flavonoids (quercetin ), that helps reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, lowers homocysteine levels, platelet built up, blood clotting, and reduces LDL cholesterol. Strawberry also contains Vitamin B which strengthens the heart muscle.
- Anti Cancer: Strawberry is high in antioxidant with flavonoids, Vitamin C, and also phytochemicals called ellagik acid that fight oxidation, inhibiting tumor growth and decreasing inflammation in the body, and preventing damages caused by free radicals in our body.
- Boots Immune System: Strawberries are very rich in vitamin C, which plays a key role in enhancing immune system function, as well as in preventing and fighting infectious diseases such as flu and cold.
- Strengthens Bones: Along withpotassium, vitamin K and magnesium, strawberry contains manganese, a mineral that helps maintain bone formation and bone structure.
- Anti Inflammation: Antioxidants and the flavonoid- Anthocyanidin, in strawberries help inhibit cyclooxygenase (COX), reduce inflammation in the joints that can lead to asthma, intestinal bleeding, gout, artherosclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Healthy Brain: Strawberry contains iodine and folate, support the brain and nervous system, and help improve memory, concentration and the brain’s ability to process information. A variety of antioxidants also play a role in preventing brain cell damage that can lead to dementia.
- Anti-Anemic: Strawberries can help prevent and fight certain types of anemia, due to their high content in folate, which is essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin, the protein in red cells responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body.
- Anti-Coagulant: Strawberries contains moderate amount of acetylsalicylic acid, that helps thin blood and prevent blood clots formation, thereby reducing pressure on the heart and improving its function.
- Diuretic: The high content in potassium found in strawberries enhances diuresis, which contributes to detoxifying the body, as well as regulating blood pressure.
- Calms the Nerves: Consuming strawberries, as fruit or juice, stimulates the release of serotonin, which improves mood and is responsible for a feeling of relaxation and a general sense of well-being.
- Skin Tonic: Strawberry contain vitamin C, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), salicylic acid, ellagic acid, antioxidants, flavonoids and exfoliants , that help remove dead cells, tighten pores, remove impurities, soothe allergies, removing age spots, freckles, wrinkles and blemishes, protects the skin against the sun’s harmful UV rays, and clear acne. Being astringent in nature strawberries can reduce puffiness and circles beneath the eyes.
- Prevents Alopecia: Strawberry is abundant in folic acid, vitamins B5 and B6, and ellagic acid, protects your hair from thinning or falling and delays onset of androgenetic alopecia. Manganese and copper in combination with dicarboxylic acids produce complexes that can inhibit fungal growth on the scalp.
- Fights Allergies: Anti-inflammatory effects of Vitamin C and quercetin, help alleviate symptoms of asthma and allergies including runny nose, watery eyes and hives.
- Diabetes: Strawberries have low glycemic index, are rich in fiber, and contain fisetin, a flavonoid, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce diabetic complications such as kidney disease and neuropathy.
- Pregnancy: Adequate folic acid intake is essential for pregnant women to protect against neural tube defects in infants.
- Depression: Folate in strawberries combats depression by preventing an excess of homocysteine formation, that interferes with the production of the feel-good hormones-serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which regulate not only mood, but sleep and appetite as well.
- Eyes: Strawberries provide abundant Vitamin C that your eyes need to protect from free radical damage from the sun’s UV rays and to strengthen the cornea and retina of our eyes, and preventing eye related diseases like cataracts.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Strawberry extract, or very large amounts of strawberries may be unsafe if consumed by pregnant patients.
- Allergies: In sensitive subjects, strawberry has caused contact urticaria (hives) and pruritic dermatoses (eczema and neurodermite) as there may be a connection between acetylsalicylic acid intolerance and strawberry sensitivity..
- Anti Coagulant Medications: Use cautiously in patients with hematological (blood) disorders or in patients taking anticoagulants or antiplatelet agents (blood thinners) as Strawberry has blood-thinning properties that can lead to excessive bleeding when taken along these medications.
- Iron absorption: Strawberry (Fragaria spp.) may have a mild to moderate enhancing effect on iron absorption.
- Interactions with Anti Cancer Drugs: Individual compounds in strawberries have demonstrated anticancer activity in several different studies. Caution is advised when taking strawberry with anticancer agents.
- Strawberry has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Caution is advised when taking strawberry with agents with similar effects.
- Interactions with Drugs: Strawberry extract may interfere with gastrointestinal absorption of drugs taken by mouth.
- Pesticide Residues: According to the Environmental Working Group’s 2013 report “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides,” conventionally grown strawberries are among the top 12 fruits and vegetables on which pesticide residues have been most frequently found. Therefore, individuals wanting to avoid pesticide-associated health risks may want to avoid consumption of strawberries unless they are grown organically.
- Oxalates: When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize and cause health problems. For this reason, individuals with already existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating strawberries. Oxalates may also interfere with absorption of calcium from the body.