Strawberry – nutrition, proven benefits and recipes

Strawberry-nutriton-benefits-uses-recipes

The scientific name of the strawberry is Fragaria. It is also known as Wild Strawberry, Woodland Strawberry, Sow-teat Strawberry and Rasbhari in Hindi.

Other names include
ARABIC: Al farawlah, Frawlah (Egypt), Shulayk.
CHINESE: Ou zhou cao mei, Ye cao mei, Sen lin cao mei.
CZECH: Jahodník obecný.
DANISH: Havejordbaer , Skovjordbær, Skov-Jordbær, Vild jordbær.
DUTCH: Bosaardbei, Bosaardbeien.
ESTONIAN: Metsmaasikas.
FINNISH: Ahomansikka.
FRENCH: Fraise des bois, Fraisier comestible, Fraisier commun, Fraisier des bois.
GERMAN: Walderbeere, Wald-Erdbeere.
HUNGARIAN: Erdei szamóca.
ITALIAN: Fragola comune, Fragola di bosco, Fragola selvatica, Frangola alpina.
JAPANESE: Wairudo sutoroberii.
NORWEGIAN: Markjordbær.
PERSIAN: Tut farangy.
POLISH: Poziomka pospolita.
PORTUGUESE: Moranga, Morango-silvestre, Morango silvestre europeu, Morangueiro-bravo.
SPANISH: Fresa de los bosques, Fresa silvestre, Frutilla de los bosques.
SWEDISH: Månadssmultron , Skogssmultron, Smultron.
THAI: Satroboery.

It is a perennial herb, that spread through runners. The leaves , borne on long stalks, are compound with three-foliate and toothed . The flowers are white with five petals that fall off shortly after pollination, and from the receptacle forms the sweet and red fruit.

How to checking for Ripeness in Strawberry

Pluck the fruit when it turn red entirely, as this indicate the berry is at its sweetest.

The color and smell of the strawberries are the best indicator for purchasing.  Deliciously sweet fruits at room temperature emit a floral, and sweet aroma. Another interesting indicator of ripeness is that the distance of seeds on each fruit. Tightly spaced seeds show that the fruit didn’t have much time to ripen before being plucked, whereas seeds far apart indicate that the fruit had time to expand and ripen fully before harvesting.

Overripe strawberries appear withered with lost sheen. They may have bruises emitting fermented juice or are peppered with white mold—both are indicators to avoid. Also, check the bottom of the carton as well to avoid selecting any squished fruits harmed during shipment.

Strawberries nutrition value and facts

Fruit and leaves have been shown to contain: cissotanic, malic and citric acids, sugar, pectin, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, fiber, ellagitannins, ellagic acid, pelargonidin, cyanidin, anthocyanins, omega-3 FA, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, copper.

Wild strawberry has greater yield of anthocyanins than in cultivated ones.

A 100 gm of strawberries has about 32 calories. It contain

7.7 g Carbohydrates (3% RDI)

2 g Fiber (8% RDI)

0.7 g Protein (1% RDI)

58.8 mg Vitamin C (98% RDI)

2.2 mcg Vitamin K (3% RDI)

Thiamin (2% RDI)

0.4 mg Niacin (2% RDI)

Vitamin B6 (2% RDI)

24 mcg Folate (6% RDI)

16 mg Calcium (2% RDI)

0.4 mg Iron (2% RDI)

13 mg Magnesium (3% RDI)

24 mg Phosphorous (2% RDI)

153 mg Potassium (4% RDI)

Copper (2% RDI)

0.4 mg Manganese (19% RDI)

Medicinal properties of the Strawberry

Considered alterative, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, astringent, calmative, depurative, diuretic, laxative, refrigerant and tonic.

Traditional health benefits and uses of the strawberry

The leaf tea claimed to improve the appetite; also as a mild astringent for diarrhea and digestive upsets and a cleansing diuretic, for rheumatic disorders.

The leaf decoction also used for chronic diarrhea.

In Europe, leaf teas were used as blood purifiers and to remedy kidney stones.

The roots has same medicinal properties.

Fruit used for intestinal worms, gout, arthritis, jaundice, liver and stomach problems.

For bladder stones, the juice of fresh strawberry is taken before breakfast; also, preventive.

Also used for podagra and Dyspepsia.

In Campania, Italy, leaf infusion used as appetizer. Leaves used topically on wounds. source

In folk medicine elsewhere, for diabetes, cancer, hypertension, tuberculosis, tumors, and urogenital problems.

Beauty/ Cosmetics benefit of strawberries

Fruit has been used for toning and whitening the skin, for combating wrinkles and freckles, soothing sunburn and whitening teeth.

Scientific proven health benefits of strawberries

• Cardiovascular Effects / Leaves

Study on the aqueous extracts of wild strawberry leaves showed direct, helps to protect and improve heart health, with a potency similar to hawthorn aqueous extract.

• Analgesic (helps to relieve pain)

Study on the ethanolic extracts of fruit and whole plant showed significant central and peripheral analgesic activity, the the fruit extract showing better analgesic effect than the plant extract.

• Antioxidant

Study of 23 Bulgarian medicinal plants included Fragaria vesca to be one of five plants extracts that exhibited higher antioxidant activity. A positive correlation between antioxidant activity and polyphenol content.

Study data indicated that wild strawberries have a slightly higher total antioxidant capacity content than cultivated strawberries. Altitude did not report differences.

Diuretic / Nephroprotective (protects the kidney)/ Fruits

Study evaluated the diuretic and nephroprotective activity of different extracts of Fragaria vesca fruits in rats. Results showed good diuretic activity by Lipschitz method with increase in urine volume and K+ ion excretion. The fruit extracts showed moderate nephroprotective effect against gentamicin induced nephrotoxicity.

Ellagitannin / Anti-Cancer / Fruits

Study evaluated the anticancer properties of an elligitannin-enriched fraction from Fragaria vesca leaves in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG2). Results showed EEF promoted cell cycle arrest at G2/M checkpoint and modulated autophagy, processes that are targets for therapeutic strategies in oncological diseases.

Antibacterial / Leaves

In a study comparaing the antibacterial activity of ethanolic extracts of various plants, Fragaria vesca leaf extract showed zones of inhibitionn against Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Antibacterial against Metallo-Beta-Lactamase VIM-2 Producers P. aeruginosa

Study evaluated F. vesca extract and polyphenol rich fractions against isolates of MBL VIM-2 producers P. aeruginosa. Results showed interesting activity against the PA clinical isolates. One or more of the polyphenols can have potential as novel antibacterial therapies against these bacteria.

Hypolipidemic (helps to lower lipids) / Leaves

Study evaluated the hypolipidemic activity of ethanolic and aqueous extracts of F. vesca in high fat diet induced hyperlipidemia in Wistar rats. Results showed significant hypolipidemic activity. The ethanolic extract at 500mg/kg was almost equal to atorvastatin.

Antiproliferative (prevent or retard the spread of malignant cancer or tumor cells) / human liver cancer cell 

Study found that human liver cancer cell proliferation was significantly inhibited after being exposed to strawberry extracts.

Study has shown that strawberries have potent antioxidants known to boost cardiovascular health, inhibit LDL cholesterol, assist with plaque stability, and reduce the risk of thrombosis. Additionally, the fruits possess anti-inflammatory activities. Certain compounds in the berries also possess anti-cancer activities by inhibiting cancer cell growth and tumor size. Lastly, strawberries have compounds offering benefits to the aging brain.

Caution!

Pesticides

Strawberries not organically grown probably contain pesticides, especially in the U.S. On average, strawberries receive a dose of up to 500 pounds of pesticides per acre. Other countries use less-than-stringent regulations for pesticide use.

Storage tips

Unless consuming immediately, keep fruits in the refrigerator. Keep the fruits on the counter top 10 minutes prior to consumption, as chilled fruits have less flavor than ones at room temperature. Strawberries bruise quite easily and should be kept as dry as possible. To maintain these ideal conditions, line an airtight container with a paper towel and place strawberries far apart from the other. If a second layer is required, place another paper towel atop the first and line the fruits in the gaps between the lower layer.

Harold McGee wrote a New York Times article offering an additional storage method that works for a variety of berries: drop the fruits in hot water (approximately 125 F) for 30 seconds, and then store as outlined above. This technique extends the life for another week, perhaps two.

Whole strawberries keep in the freezer for six months to a year, depending on when signs of freezer burn encroach the berries. This will be evident by too many ice crystals surrounding the fruits, and the berries will have an “off” taste.

Strawberry recipe ideas and uses

Fresh leaves used to make tea.

In India, roots used to make a coffee substitute.

Try frozen strawberry margarita by mixing it with lime or lemon juice, peach, pineapple, mint, or other berries.

Make strawberry syrup.

Blend strawberries with banana, other fruit or berries, and coconut milk, to make healthy tasty smoothies.

Add strawberries to your salad, muesli , or juice.

Freeze dry or dehydrate strawberries that give mild sweet, sour, tangy flavor.

Add them into your baking recipes, desserts, pie, muffins or cakes.

Blend the fruit, add coconut milk, sweeten with honey as per taste, optionally other fruits of your choice, and freeze. Enjoy strawberry popsicle.

Read about other interesting fruits

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Unbiased Scientific Evidence base research for holistic health and wellness through everything natural.

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