It is once again Strawberry season. Last weekend we went to one of our favorite events: Strawberry Fest at the Market at Del Val here in Bucks County. My son is not generally thrilled with the event, however my daughter loves to help me pick strawberries. This year my husband tagged along. I call him the strawberry hunter. He will keep picking berries until I tell him to stop!
Strawberries are a marvelous fruit. They grow from the flower of the plant. The strawberry plant is a small plant that sends out shoots to create new plants. Strawberries can grow just about anywhere in the world and can be grown in the ground as well as in pots. Strawberries often ripen in June in our area.
Strawberries are packed full of essential nutrients. They are a great source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, folic acid, and phytonutrients.
- Fiber is important in bowel health and heart health. High fiber diets have been shown to lower risk of heart disease and cancers of the colon.
- Potassium is a mineral that plays a key role in muscle contraction and control of blood pressure.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant that wards off many chronic diseases. Just about 8 strawberries provides as much vitamin C as an orange!
- Folate is an important nutrient in preventing certain birth defects and has been shown to lower risk of heart disease.
Finally, strawberries are a good source of phytonutrients. What is a phytonutrient? Phytonutrients are non-nutritive substances found in foods, mainly plants, that provide a health benefit beyond what is provided by the vitamins and minerals found in the food. Strawberries contain a phenolic compound called flavonoids and ellagic acid, which have been shown to have antioxidant properties.
Strawberries are mainly consumed fresh, however they can be frozen, dried, or made into preserves. It is best to not wash strawberries until right before you plan to eat them. Washing too early will cause the berries to soften too soon. Strawberries are delicious additions to yogurts, cereal, salads, smoothies, and desserts.
1 cup of strawberries contains: 43 kcal, 10 gm CHO, 3.3 gm Fiber, 240 mg Potassium, 82 mg Vitamin C.
This post has been updated from an original strawberry post from 2012.