Its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties make strawberries a small but well-stocked natural apothecary…
With the good weather, the season for these appetizing fruits opens. Until the agriculture of the mass-produced strawberries discovered the ability to produce them in an intensive way all the year, they only they were born in the darkest places deep in the forests.
With a low caloric intake and a high concentration of water, vitamin C, fiber and magnesium, strawberry is a product of recognized medicinal properties. It is depurative and diuretic, suitable to eliminate the excess of liquids and of uric acid which is one reason why it is used to fight diseases like gout and arthritis. It also protects the liver by preventing the formation of stones in the gallbladder and bile ducts. In addition, it satisfies hunger and nourishes without getting fat. One hundred grams of strawberries provide less than 40 kilocalories and two grams of fiber, necessary to control cholesterol levels and to keep our digestive system healthy. It is also helpful to avoid cardiovascular diseases and colon cancer.
The phenols of strawberries combat diseases of the inflammatory type, such as osteoarthritis, asthma and atherosclerosis, by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase. They act in a similar way to aspirin, but without its possible side effects, such as intestinal and stomach bleeding.
Insurance against heart attack
A recent study by a group of researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health has revealed that a high consumption of anthocyanins, such as those of strawberries, reduces the risk of acute myocardial infarction, especially in young women. The research, which analyzed the data of 93,600 women collected over 18 years, showed that those who consumed strawberries and blueberries three or more times per week had a lower risk of heart attack than women who took these fruits occasionally.
Anthocyanins prevent the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels and regulate blood pressure.
Recipe: Express "Light" strawberry milkshake
- 400 g of ripe strawberries
- 4 tablespoons of skimmed milk
- 4-5 droplets of liquid sweetener
- A natural skimmed yogurt
- Some fresh leaves of mint
Wash the strawberries under water, drain them well and cut off the corner.
Reserve two whole strawberries to decorate the glasses and chop the rest into small pieces.
Put the strawberries, milk and yogurt and the sweetener in a blender glass and crush everything at medium power until it has the desired texture.
Cut the strawberries that you have reserved into three irregular pieces and insert them into separate skewer sticks.
Put the shake in two tube glasses and present it with a straw, the skewers of strawberries and some mint leaves.
Four good reasons to eat more strawberries
What are they? These water-soluble pigments are what bring the irresistible red color to strawberries.
What are they for? They help protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation and, by dilating the blood vessels and preventing the accumulation of fat plates inside, prevent the accumulation of bad cholesterol. They ultimately help regulate blood pressure.
What are they? They are also organic pigments and, as precursors of vitamin A, they are beneficial for the eyes and for the formation of bones and red blood cells.
What are they for? These pigments reduce the chances of heart attack, increase the efficiency of the immune system and protect from solar radiation.
3. Vitamin C
What is it? Strawberries contain in a greater proportion than many citrus fruits this natural antioxidant. One cup of strawberries contains 136% of the recommended daily dose.
What is it for? It protects the immune system, prevents premature ageing and degenerative diseases. The Ophthalmology Archives show the capacity of strawberries, among other fruits, to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, with the consequent loss of vision in the center of the visual field.
4. Minerals and other vitamins
What are they? Strawberries are a small pharmacy without the danger of unwanted effects of chemicals.
What are they for? They contain salicylic acid in large quantities, so they have anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant properties, as well as malic and oxalic acids; magnesium; vitamin E, which protects blood cells; folic acid that helps produce red and white blood cells and participates in the formation of antibodies; and potassium, necessary for the transmission and generation of nerve impulse and for muscle activity.
100 gr. of strawberries provide 55 mg. of vitamin C and 2 mg. of fiber
Their high concentration of vitamin C makes them a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce blood pressure and keep the immune system strong. Its combination of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories also serves to fight against many types of cancer. Thanks to vitamin C, folic acid and flavonoids such as quercetin and kaempferol, strawberries are a delicious defense against potentially cancerous cells. They are also rich in ellagic acid, a polyphenol capable of blocking the proliferation of these cells or even causing their destruction. You do not need any more reasons to enjoy them.