Strawberry: Health Benefits and Nutritional Values

Different types of berries constitute a major role among the fruits. Berries are always consumed as an all time favorite snack of both children and adults. Among the berries strawberries are the favorite berry fruit in many parts of the world. The origin of Strawberries is classified as wild strawberries in the forests of France even in the late 12th and beginning of the 13th century and the cultivation of the garden strawberry is traced back in the 18th century in France. The garden strawberry is classified as the genus Fragaria in the Rosaceae  family. The fruit is in bright red color with aroma and sweet juicy texture. During the reign of kings or rulers in the early centuries, strawberry was treated as an exotic fruit that was served in royal and affluent families. Today in many parts of the world including. USA, Italy, Germany, Poland, Egypt, Spain, Mexico, Turkey, Japan and South Korea are the leading producers of strawberries on commercial basis. Among these countries USA is the world’s highest producer of strawberries. Strawberries are used for several culinary purposes in different parts of the world. Strawberry preserves, jams, jellies, spreads, smoothies, shakes, deserts, syrups, juice, squash, ice cream, yoghurt cakes, pastries and cookies are some of the most popular strawberry products that are consumed in large number and favorites of children all over the world. In Sweden strawberries are a traditional desert item that is served during the Midsummer Eve. The strawberry flower is used for ornamental or decorative purpose and the fruit is also used as beautiful garnish in several main courses.

This edible fruit has several health benefits and in many folk lore and traditional treatment among gypsies strawberry has an important role. Many modern scientific studies and researches also state the numerous benefits of strawberries that promote and maintain proper health. According to the nutritional chart of USDA nutrient data base 100 g of strawberry contains low calorie or energy of 33 calories. It is rich in carbo hydrates that provide instant energy. Sugars and dietary fibers are also abundantly available in this fruit. It has low fat and low protein content. It is enriched with antioxidants and other phyto nutrients. Multivitamins including thiamine or vitamin B1, riboflavin or vitamin B2, niacin or vitamin B3, pantothenic acid or vitamin B5, vitamin B6, folate or vitamin B9, choline, vitamin C, E and K are present in large quantities in strawberries. Minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc and fluoride enrich the quality of the fruit that are essential for good health. It has low saturated fat. The low calorie content makes it a sure ingredient in fitness and health conscious people to stay in good figure.

The journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry recently published that the anthocyanins that gives the red color to the fruit burns the stored fat from the body. The animals that fed high fat content food loss weight when they were served strawberries along with the regular high fat diet.  The anthocyanins also boost memory and immunity power. The C- reactive protein in the fruit reduces the blood pressure level. The flavonoids and phytonutrients improve the cardio vascular health. The calcium, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium promote bone health. The antioxidants eliminate free radicals and prevent oesophageal cancer. The ellagic acid prevents skin sagging and promotes skin health. Many skin care and cosmetic products include the strawberry extract or essences that are beneficial for skin health. It prevents macular degeneration and promotes eye health by preventing the vision loss. Strawberry is considered as queen of fruits due to its numerous qualities that are extremely good for the entire body functions and proper health.