Strawberry Knowledge

Did you know

The heart-shaped silhouette of the strawberry is the first clue that this fruit is good for you. These potent little packages protect your heart, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and guard against cancer.

Packed with vitamins, fiber, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols, strawberries are a sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie food. They are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and are a good source of manganese and potassium. Just one serving -- about eight strawberries -- provides more vitamin C than an orange.

This member of the rose family isn't really a fruit or a berry but the enlarged receptacle of the flower. Choose medium-sized berries that are firm, plump, and deep red; once picked, they don't ripen further. First cultivated in ancient Rome, strawberries are now the most popular berry fruit in the world. In provincial France, they were regarded as an aphrodisiac. These red gems may be good for your heart in more ways than one.

Every day, research confirms that strawberries are an important part of a healthy diet. Eating just one serving of strawberries, or about eight of these sweet fruits per day, may help improve heart health, lower the risk of developing some cancers and lower blood pressure. The heart-healthy and anti-cancer power of organic strawberries comes from their phytonutrient content, while the potassium in strawberries helps maintain normal blood pressure.

Research also shows that individuals who eat strawberries on a regular basis have higher blood levels of folate, vitamin C and phytonutrients, and a higher intake of fiber than those who don't eat strawberries. So, it appears that including strawberries in your diet might just help you achieve and maintain a lowered risk for developing certain diseases. Further, in a study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, subjects who consumed the lowest amounts of vitamin C-rich foods were more than three times more likely to develop arthritis than those who consumed the highest amounts.