Strawberries: Delicious & Full of Health Benefits
Strawberries are luscious, versatile and a nutritional powerhouse. On top of their sweet taste, a Harvard Study published in January of 2013 linked eating berries to a lower risk of heart attacks among younger woman. The study found women, age 25-42, who ate 3 (1/2 cup) servings over an 18 year period of time, showed a 34 percent reduced risk compared with those who ate less than 1 serving per week. The study cited anthocyanin (water-soluble vacuolar pigments that may appear red, purple, or blue depending on the pH), as the beneficial bi-product of eating the berries.
One cup of sliced strawberries provides 163% of your daily dose of vitamin C which is better than oranges, and 12 percent of your daily recommended amount of fiber. You get all of these health nutrients for 46 calories!
88% of the strawberries in the U.S. are grown in California, though local strawberry farms are found in many regions across the country. Many consumers choose to eat organic strawberries because conventional strawberry farmers use methylbromide spray on their crops to control pests and disease. The weed controller has been linked to brain and nervous system damage. People with neurological concerns may want to choose chemical free, organically grown berries.
I love strawberries because they can be utilized in so many ways:
- Blended in smoothies or juicing combinations
- Placed on top of bruschetta and goat cheese, topped with freshly cut chives or basil as an appetizer
- Made into a refreshing cold-summer soup
- Used in an arugula or spinach salad with feta, crumbled goat cheese with a strawberry champagne vinaigrette
- Blend with quinoa, fresh chives or shallots and pine nuts for a meatless meal or side dish.
- Roast with rosemary, garlic and chicken or pork loin
- Blend into a syrup and serve over a poached pear or frozen yogurt
- Make into a light sorbet dessert
So enjoy your berries, because they taste delicious and are great for you!