From May to July strawberries are in their season across Europe. This aromatic red fruit, popular among young and old, is not only tasty, but is also extremely beneficial for the health. As early as in Antiquity, the Roman poets Ovid, Pliny and Virgil were seduced by the strawberry, describing it as “the tiny sweet fruit of God”. Its botanic name is “Fragaria”, a word which derives from “fragrare” – the Latin meaning of aroma.
Strawberries are in esteem also among world musicians like the Beatles, who created “Strawberry Fields Forever” – a popular and not less remarkable musical ode for these fruits. The strawberry seeds are on the outside of the fruit and this is the only fruit whose seed is outside. Botanists, in fact, do not attribute strawberries to the berries (forest fruits), but the rest of the science, as well as cooks, have them exactly for berries. It is the seeds that distinguish them – the seeds of all berries are inside them.
The strawberry is the only one with outside seeds.
The benefits of strawberries are that they are a great source of vitamins and minerals and at the same time are very low-calorie. In addition, strawberries contain small amounts of sodium and sugar and no fat. In combination with the fibers, we have the perfect fruit for a diet.
Often strawberries are used as a basis for many mono diets. Two hundred grams of them actually contain 60 calories, 4.6 g cellulose, 0 g fat, 1.2 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 28 mg calcium, 0.8 mg iron, 20 mg magnesium, 38 mg phosphorus, 54 mg potassium, 1.4 mg selenium, 113.4 mg vitamin C, 35.4 mg folic acid.
Potassium is necessary for the healthy functioning of the cardiovascular system. Due to the high concentration of anti-oxidants in the fruits, the high blood pressure, hyperglycemia, as well as the inflammation indicators were reduced in a trial in individuals taking 50 grams freeze-dried strawberries every day during the 8-week randomized controlled trial, according to the American study for Nutrition.
A study in Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry finds that the strawberry extract lowers the proliferation of cancer cells of the colon (HT29) and breast (MCF-7). The inhibition of HT29 cells is 53%, while that of MCF-7 cells – 43% averagely. Probably, the abundance of phytonutrients, ellagic acid and ellagitannins, found in the fruits, are responsible for the results. In other words, strawberries have positive effect upon health and have general strengthening action as a whole.
The harm from the strawberries is manifested in excessive use and stomach diseases. Strawberries should be consumed with special attention from those who suffer from hyperacidity, gastritis, stomach and duodenal ulcer. The acids in the fruits may have a stimulating effect on the mucosa.
The mothers of children up to 1 year should also be careful with strawberries, because they are a strong allergen. Another their less known action is that if they are consumed in too large amount, they reduce the absorption of iodine from the thyroid.
It is best to consume the aromatic berries raw, without adding sugar, cream or chocolate. The juice of fresh strawberries is also very healthy, low in calorie and contains large amount of vitamin C. The strawberry juice has a strong cleansing effect which is due predominantly to its urinary stimulating action, through which the waste products from metabolism are excreted from the organism. It is very useful for people whose organism is inclined to fluid retention.
So, there is nothing left but to enjoy a great taste and to know that it works for the sake of our health.
And as if really there isn’t a more romantic and passion-like fruit, remember that strawberries are one of the most popular aphrodisiacs.