You may spread strawberry jam on your toast, mix strawberries in your salad, or add strawberry toppings to your desserts. Once you realize the many health benefits the bright red fruit may have, you'll want to eat strawberries for a healthy stack or make them a part of your regular diet. Strawberries protect your heart, increase your good cholesterol, and help prevent some cancers. They're also natural energy boosters. Read on to learn some nutritional benefits of this delicious fruit.
The Strawberry's Makeup
Water makes up more than 90 percent of a strawberry. Strawberries are low in calories and have a low glycemic index score, meaning eating them won't spike your blood sugar level. About one-fourth of the carb content of strawberries is fiber. Strawberries contain vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B9 (folate), and potassium. Strawberries are packed with antioxidants and other compounds including ellagic acid, ellagitannins, and procyanidins that have many health benefits.
Strawberries may decrease your risk of heart disease. Some studies suggest a relationship between strawberries and better heart health, including:
- Improved HDL (good) cholesterol
- Reduced harmful oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which causes plaque to form in your arteries
- Lowered blood pressure
- Improved platelet function
- Improved blood antioxidant status
- Decreased oxidative stress
- Reduced inflammation
- Better vascular function
Blood Sugar Regulation
Strawberries may help control your blood sugar since strawberries seem to slow glucose digestion and lower rises in glucose and insulin after a meal rich in carbs. Imbalances in blood sugar regulation and a high sugar diet are connected with an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Strawberries may be useful in preventing metabolic syndrome.
Vitamin C in strawberries can help with cancer prevention because it strengthens your immune system. You get more victim C from eating 8 strawberries than from eating an orange. Ellagic acid in strawberries has been shown to suppress the growth of cancer cells, and some studies suggest that strawberries may help prevent some types of cancer because of their ability to fight oxidative stress and inflammation.
Strawberries can serve as quick energy boosters. One cup of strawberries gives you 12 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of sugar. The antioxidants in strawberries may help you overcome fatigue and give you energy.
Boosting Your Immune System
Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C, which boosts your immune system. Having a good immune system helps you fight colds and infections.
Eating strawberries may help your vision. The antioxidant properties in strawberries may help prevent cataracts. Vitamin C protects your eyes from the sun's UV rays, which can harm the protein in the lens of your eye. Vitamin C also helps strengthen the cornea and retina in your eye.
Reducing Joint Inflammation
Inflammation causes arthritis and can lead to heart disease. A study suggests that antioxidants and phytochemicals in strawberries may help reduce inflammation of your joints.
The fiber in strawberries can help your digestion. Fiber helps your food move through your digestive system. It helps prevent constipation and diverticulitis. It also slows the absorption of sugars in the blood.
Vitamin C in strawberries is important to the production of collagen. Collagen improves the skin's elasticity and resilience. Eating strawberries may make your skin look younger.
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