Scientifically known as Fragariaananassa, the strawberries were originally harvested during the 18th century in Europe. The strawberry is a cross between two other species of this fruit native to North America and Chile. Strawberries are bright red and extremely juicy and sweet. They are mostly consumed fresh. Also, they are the star ingredient in numerous desserts such as ice cream, pies, jams, jellies, and sauces.
Strawberries are good for our health as they are loaded with antioxidants and other plant compounds. These nutritional properties of the strawberries make them quite beneficial for the health of our heart as well as for proper regulation of the blood sugar levels.
Types of Strawberries
Everbearing strawberry is the most commonly found as it is grown throughout the world. This strawberry is delightful, has a distinctive fragrance, and is bright red. Its plants start to show flower buds when the days are of about 12 hours or more. This strawberry plant can produce two to three yields of fruits every year. The first crop of the everbearing strawberry plant can be harvested from spring to early summer, the second one in midsummer, and the third one during summer and early days of fall.
This type of strawberry comes from a plant that does not have any specified day-length as a requirement to grow. Their fruit can be harvested all the time during the growing season.
Moreover, day-neutral strawberries cannot be grown in very high temperatures. These are best grown in cool or mild climatic regions.
These strawberry plants mostly give a single stock of produce annually. They are large strawberries with juicy flesh and are harvested from spring to early summers.
Water is the main content in strawberries (about 91%). Other significant nutrients in this fruit are carbohydrates (7.7%), protein (0.7%), and almost no fats. If you consume about 100 grams of fresh strawberries, you can obtain about 32 calories, 2 grams of dietary fiber, and 4.9 grams of sugar.
Strawberry Plant Description
The strawberry plant has short woody stems with basal rosette. They have compound leaves with toothed leaflets. The flowers of this plant are white.
Vitamins in Strawberries
Strawberries are rich in the following vitamins and essential minerals:
- Vitamin C
This vitamin acts as an antioxidant that is important for a better immune system and a healthy skin
This is an essential mineral mostly found in whole grains or legumes. It is very crucial for maintaining homeostasis in our body
Folate is also known as vitamin B compound. It works for promoting tissue growth and improving cell function. It is also vital for pregnant women for the development of the fetus.
Potassium is crucial for the regulation of blood pressure.
Health Benefits of Strawberries
- Strawberries are considered beneficial for the health of our heart. They are known for improving heart health as they enhance the antioxidant levels in our blood. This fruit also helps lower oxidative stress, which is otherwise very harmful to our heart. Additionally, strawberries are claimed to impact the vascular function and lipid profile positively.
- This fruit is claimed to be very effective in curbing high levels of sugar in the blood. It is said that strawberries decrease the metabolism of glucose in our bodies, which further helps in controlling sudden increases in the blood glucose levels.
- Animal research has shown prospects of consumption of strawberries in possible cancer prevention. It is claimed that as this fruit is effective in curbing the oxidative stress in our bodies, it is very beneficial in lowering the chances of the formation of cancerous cells.
Traditional Uses of Strawberries
- The leaves of this fruit are used as a diuretic or laxative.
- Leaves of the strawberry are also consumed in tea for treating dysentery.
- Roots of this plant are utilized as an astringent for treating diarrhea.
- Cosmetic products often use this fruit as a skin conditioner.
- Strawberries are used for reducing discoloration from teeth.
- Ancient Romans used it for numerous purposes, such as for treating inflammations, liver issues, fever, throat infections, etc.
- Rubbing strawberry on the face is claimed to result in skin whitening and getting rid of slight sunburns.
- Strawberries are considered as a blood purifier and a metabolism stimulator
Allergic Reactions and Precautions
- In some people, strawberries might result in allergies. Look out for any symptoms indicating dermatitis, hay fever, hives, or breathing difficulties.
- Excessive consumption of strawberries might result in bleeding in people who have bleeding disorders.
- Consumption of strawberries at least two weeks prior to a scheduled surgery is not advised.
Popular Strawberry Culinary Uses
- Strawberries are best consumed fresh. They can also be processed to make jams, ice creams, fruit juices, and mousses.
- It is the main ingredient in various baked dishes, such as pies and candies.
- It is utilized as a flavoring agent in milk, shakes, smoothies, and yogurts.
- Strawberry and whipped cream is a popular dessert that is super easy to assemble and very delectable.
- In Greece, a little sugar sprinkled on strawberries and dipped in Metaxa (a special Greek sprit) is widely popular.
- Strawberries are used as gelato flavoring in Italy and are adored by people.
- This fruit goes exceptionally well with a green salad. Just toss in some sliced strawberries and eat away!
- A parfait dessert prepared with strawberries, yogurt, and blueberries is also very delectable.
- You can also use strawberries in a coulis sauce with orange juice.
Strawberry is a very delicious and sweet fruit. It is rich in healthy nutrients, vitamins, and minerals while being low in calories and fat-free. In addition to that, it is quite famous among people of all ages, especially the kids.
Children love the strawberry flavoring in ice cream, shakes, and smoothies. Strawberry jams, jellies, sauces are also quite popular. This fruit helps curb cholesterol levels and protects our heart. It also helps in reducing the chances of developing type-2 diabetes.