Dr. William Butler, a 17th-century writer, once said, “Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did.” Today, over 400 years later, these words still reflect the emotions people have for this tasty berry.
Strawberry is famous for its taste and versatile nature. People in every corner of the earth, enjoy eating it in various forms. Some like to consume it as is, others like to make delicious sweet dishes out of it.
No one’s sure exactly how it got its name, but there are two theories. One says that the name is a derivative of strewn berry. So-called because the plant produced runners and spread, so its berries were strewn about the ground. The other theory suggests that since the English youth started selling them impaled on grass stews, the fruit was named strawberry. But there is no clear evidence for both, and what’s the harm in a little mystery, right?
Technically, a strawberry is not a fruit. It is an enlarged, fleshy, and edible receptacle of the flower. The seeds on the outside are achenes, a dry fruit naturally borne by some plants whose ovaries contain a single seed.
Want to know more interesting facts and information about strawberries? Read on to find out more.
Types of Strawberries
The strawberry plant is a relative of the rose. It belongs to the Rosaceae plant family. It is scientifically named as Fragaria x Ananassa and is of hybrid origin.
According to the Germplasm Resources Information Network (part of the United States Department of Agriculture), there are 103 distinct species and subspecies of strawberry plants. To choose the best one, you need to have extensive knowledge of hardiness, disease resistance, flavor, size, and time of fruiting.
Commonly, strawberries are classified into three main varieties. Let’s discuss each type separately to make a better understanding.
1. June-Bearing Strawberries
This variety of strawberries is the most common kind in commercial use. It usually grows early in the spring season, and hence it is fairly crucial to maintain its vitality.
It has better heattolerance, and when food is concerned, these are amazingly delicious. Some of the types in this category include Jewel, Annapolis, and Earligrow.
2. Ever-Bearing Strawberries
As the name suggests, this variety of strawberries is seen at any time of the year. It grows in two seasons, spring and late summer.
Essentially, it looks pretty similar to the June-bearing type, but the time of harvest can tell which category you’ve selected. Some of the famous species in this variety include Seascape, Everest, and Albion.
3. Day-Neutral Strawberries
This variety of strawberry gives fruit all summer. Once the season is started, it can be harvested until the frost time. It is convenient to grow and a delicacy to eat. Some of the famous types of day-neutral strawberries include Tribute and Tristar.
Nutritional Facts about Strawberries
This amazing fruit is packed with flavors and all kinds of nutrients. Strawberries are indeed one of the most nutritious fruits of all time. For better learning, we have established a list of all these nutrients, and it is given below:
Even though little, strawberries are still a source of protein. Every 166 grams of strawberries contain 1.11 grams of protein.
Like every fruit, strawberries are a rich source of fruit sugars. Each cup of strawberry has approximately 13 grams of carbohydrate. But as opposed to other sweets, this is safe to consume and enjoy.
- Dietary Fiber
All fruits are good sources of fiber—especially strawberries, which contain 3 grams of dietary fiber percup serving.
Calcium is one of the trace elements found in strawberry fruit. One cannot say that it is enough to provide nutritional benefits, but anyhow, each cup of fresh strawberries contains 27 mg of calcium.
One cup of strawberries contains 22 mg of magnesium.
Every 166 grams of strawberries have 275 mg of potassium.
- Vitamin C
There is a total amount of 96 milligrams of vitamin C in a cup of freshly sliced strawberries.
Again, phosphorus is a trace element found in strawberries. Each cup of the fruit contains 40 milligrams of this element.
- Vitamin A
Vitamin A is found in small quantities in strawberries. 28 IU of vitamin A is present in every cup of the fruit.
Each cup of strawberries contains 40 micrograms of folate compound.
Health Benefits of Strawberries
Although strawberries are popular for their sweet and tangy taste, there are also many health benefits that one can avail from them. Sometimes, people prefer eating fruits for the sole purpose of improving their health. Many people even use strawberries and other fruits as a separate meal.
From stroke prevention to controlling hypertension, this fruit is naturally blessed with all kinds of benefits. Out of dozens of them, a few of the health benefits of strawberries are given below:
- Prevention of Stroke
According to research, strawberries contain some antioxidants that can reduce the risk of stroke and other fatal diseases. Now, they do not have sufficient amounts of these compounds, but it still does exist in small quantities.
Thus, while you can’t replace your medicines with strawberries, you can still complement their effect.
- Prevention of Cardiac Conditions
Strawberries have two compounds that help prevent cardiac conditions, Flavonoid quercetin, and potassium. Flavonoid is a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agent that reduces the risk of conditions like atherosclerosis. On the other hand, potassium decreases the chances of ischemic heart diseases.
Evidently, according to a study, people eating strawberries as their primary source of potassium have fewer chances of heart diseases as compared to people who prefer low dose supplements.
- Control of Hypertension
As discussed, strawberries are rich in potassium. They reduce the total sodium content of the body, just like diuretics. It diverts the flow of sodium and lowers blood pressure.
- Improved Gut Functions
The fruits, in general, are a good source of dietary fiber. Similarly, strawberries also contain a good amount of fiber that helps prevent constipation and keeps the gut movement in check
- Diabetes Control
Due to the high fiber content, strawberries produce a sense of fullness in a person. They stop them from overeating, thus maintaining their sugar levels. Also, it is full of natural sugars which have little effect on the glucose level as opposed to other confectionery sweets.
- Prevention of Cancer
Strawberries have powerful antioxidants. These fight against infections of all kinds, including cancer and tumors. They reduce inflammation in the body and bring it back to its normal environment. This is exactly why whenever someone is sick, it is suggested that they consume fresh fruits to reduce inflammation in the body.
Those mentioned above are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of strawberries. According to NHS, a healthy person should incorporate at least five portions of fruit and vegetables in his daily life. And although it seems too much, for fruit as tasty as strawberry, it is easily doable.
Risks and Precautions
Even though strawberries are generally safe food, excess of anything is dangerous. The same applies to this fruit.
It is certainly delicious and does contain a lot of health benefits. But still, some precautions should be taken when eating strawberries regularly. Following are a few of them:
- Pesticide Spray Particles
Often to reduce the pests and insects in the crop, and to save the food from them, pesticide sprays are used.
Even though it is beneficial for the overall crop, it can be dangerous for the consumer. Sometimes, these spray particles are eaten by local people with fruits and vegetables, which can be harmful to the body.
- High Carbohydrate
As discussed, strawberries contain high amounts of carbohydrates. If taken in moderate quantities, it can do wonders for the body. But if someone eats a lot of them in a small period, it can shoot up the blood glucose levels like crazy.
Therefore, everyone, especially diabetic patients, should monitor their strawberry intake regularly.
- High Potassium Levels
It is very well-known that strawberries are a rich source of potassium. On the one hand, when this element can prove to be game-changing, on the other, it can do severe damages too.
Taking a lot of potassium at once can have a bad effect on kidneys. Likewise, it can interrupt other functions of the body, creating a misbalance in normal body mechanisms.
Fun Facts about Strawberries
Strawberries are not only fun to eat, but there are also many fun facts about them. These facts are rarely known by common eaters, and a few of them are listed below:
- Every strawberry has up to 200 seeds.
- In California, every fruit is handpicked by the local farmers to ensure quality control.
- Weather conditions influence the taste of this fruit. So essentially, the change in taste of different kinds is not only because of its seed but due to the season change.
- Strawberries aren’t essentially berries. Berries have the seed inside, so technically, strawberries cannot be included in the same class.
- There is a dedicated museum for strawberries in Belgium. From its gift shop, you can buy everything from strawberry jam to ice creams.
- Many families have a tradition of strawberry pickles. It sounds weird, but it sure tastes amazing. And on top of that, it is a great way to reduce food waste.
Some Life Hacks with Strawberries
In this day and age, the internet has something for everyone and everything. The lifehackfever of YouTube and blogs have spread to the fruits and other eating items. Likewise, there are many life hacks for strawberries as well. Following are the most popular of them:
- Use a Straw to Destem the Fruit
Cutting the stem off strawberry can lead to wastage and an unpresentable look. To avoid this, remove the stem by using a straw.
Not only will it remove the leaves cleanly, but it will also make space for chocolate or cream filling. And just like that, you will have a healthy dessert ready to go.
- Preserve Them in a Better Way
Rotten fruits are the worst. There is nothing more disappointing than picking up fruit to eat only to find out that it has gone bad.
To eradicate this problem, preserve your strawberries in an airtight jar. It will keep them fresh for a long time, and you can eat them whenever you want.
- Santa Strawberry
Are you looking for a cute Christmas snack? Well, this lifehack has got you all covered. The Santa strawberries are both cute and delicious.
To make them, just cut a strawberry in half horizontally, then separate the pieces and put in the cream. Now, flip it upside down with the end apex pointing upwards as the Santa hat, and you’re done.
- Strawberry Candies
Strawberries, and as a matter of fact, every other fruit is just like candy. It is naturally sweet and packed with flavor. The only thing it lacks is the crunch of candy.
To replicate that, bake your strawberries in the oven for 10 minutes or until dry. Now take them out and let them get crunchy. After that, you can throw out all your artificial candies and replace them with all-natural strawberry candies.
In a Nutshell
Strawberries are one of a kind. And with all its deliciousness, one can verily say that it is one of the best fruits. It is sweet, crunchy, and tangy simultaneously. From strawberry salads to the strawberry milkshake, the opportunities are endless with this fruit. It has more than a hundred types of species, each one being better than the other.
Not only that, but it also contains many nutrients that are essential for proper body functions. With a regular strawberry eating habit, a person can better fight serious diseases like hypertension and ischemia. Moreover, the antioxidants in this fruit can fight infections and other inflammations.
But as always, moderation is the key to a healthy lifestyle. It is important that one keeps his diet in check and doesn’t consume more than the recommended dosage of this fruit. Otherwise, it can do more harm than good. But if you maintain a good amount in your daily food chart, you can surely enjoy this delicacy with all its benefits.
If you are someone who likes strawberries, then it is great! But if you don’t like this fruit, then don’t worry, just try the life hacks we’ve mentioned above, and they will surely change your mind. And whatever you, just remember that healthy eating is happy eating.