The Strawberry is called ‘the queen of fruits” In Asian countries because it’s packed with health benefits. Compared to fruits like apples, oranges or bananas, strawberries have the highest amount of nutrients.
These juicy heart-shaped delights have much more to offer beyond sweetness and flavor. I consider them a powerfood.
“Strawberries are the angels of the earth, innocent & sweet with green leafy wings reaching heavenward.” – Jasmine Heiler.
I love strawberries. I’m so happy when strawberries are finally in season and growing in my garden. They rarely make it to the fridge since I eat them as soon as I pick them.
Health Benefits of Strawberries
Helps burn stored fat
The red coloring contains anthocyanins, which stimulate the burning of stored fat. When a group of animals was fed a high-fat diet along with anthocyanins, they gained 24 percent less weight than the animals eating the high-fat diet without added anthocyanins. (The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry)
Boost short term memory
The anthocyanins boost short term memory by 100 percent in eight weeks. (The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry)
Low in Calories – High in Fiber
One cup contains only 54 calories.
Strawberries lower blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a signal of inflammation in the body. In a study, women who ate 16 or more strawberries per week were 14 percent less likely to have elevated levels of CRP. (Harvard School of Public Health.)
Strawberry: Skin Benefits
Strawberries not just satisfy your taste-buds, they are proven beauty enhancers that can work wonders for your skin. Strawberry extracts are often used in beauty products of leading brands. Apart from consumption, it can be used on your skin as a facial mask, scrub or toner to give you a glowing skin. Some of its benefits for skin are as follows.
Excellent Skin Cleanser:
Strawberry has great cleansing properties. Strawberry extracts are often used as an ingredient in skin cleansers, face washes, refreshing bubble baths and rejuvenating facemasks as they contain vitamin C, salicylic acid, antioxidants and exfoliants. Salicylic acid removes dead cells from the face while tightening the pores. Ellagic acid being an antioxidant combats skin damage to maintain its youth and freshness. Thus, strawberries remove impurities and soften the skin as well as soothe allergies and other irritants and provide protection against pollution.
Strawberry juice has skin lightening properties. It is effective in removing age spots and freckles. You can squeeze the fruit to extract its juice and place it in a small cup. Apply the juice all over your face with a cotton ball and rinse off with lukewarm water after 10 to 15 minutes to get a glowing complexion.
Strawberry can be used as a skin toner. Grind the strawberries to extract the juice. Mix two teaspoons of strawberry juice with 50 ml of rose water and refrigerate it. You can apply it instead of your regular skin toner to achieve wrinkle free, blemish free and younger looking skin. This juice can be stored up to 10 days.
Protection from Ultraviolet Radiation:
Strawberry contains ellagic acid which, when applied topically protects the skin against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, which are primarily responsible for skin ageing.
Vitamin C and other antioxidants present in strawberries prevent damage caused by free radicals to the skin and body. Free radicals occur during the process of transformation of food into energy. Free radicals accelerate the ageing process and vitamin C is effective in blocking the damage caused by free radicals. You can prepare an anti-ageing face pack by mixing a teaspoon of honey and 2 teaspoons of milk cream with mashed strawberries. Apply this pack all over your face and neck and leave for 20 minutes. Wash off with clean water and pat dry. Since strawberry has anti-ageing properties, this pack can be quite suitable for mature skin by rejuvenating it as well as minimizing pores and lines to give you a younger looking skin.
Treatment of Acne:
Vitamin C, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), salicylic acid and flavonoids in strawberries help in clearing acne and reducing oil. Thus, strawberry is a common ingredient in commercial anti-acne products and moisturizers. Fresh strawberry masks are effective for people with dull, damaged or acne-prone skin. If you are suffering from acne, mash 7 to 8 strawberries and add 1 tablespoon of milk to the mash. Apply this mixture on your face and rinse after 10 to 12 minutes. This strawberry treatment should be done at least twice a week to get rid of acne naturally.
Diminishes Under-eye Puffiness:
Being astringent in nature strawberries can reduce puffiness and circles beneath the eyes. For this purpose, cut a strawberry into thin slices. Lying in a cool place, put the strawberry slices under your eyes and relax for 10 to 12 minutes. Wash your face with cold water and moisturize it gently.
Treatment of Pigmentation:
Being rich in ellagic acid, oral ingestion of strawberry extract can cure slight hyper pigmentation caused by UV rays by inhibiting the synthesis of melanin, the chemical that gives the skin its color.
Vitamin C in strawberries enables the body to grow and repair its tissues as it is involved in making collagen, an important protein needed by the skin and other parts of the body and helps heal wounds more quickly. Being water soluble, this vitamin cannot be stored in the body and has to be provided from food sources. A cup of strawberry provides 100% of Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C that plays a vital role in repairing skin damage.
Effective Foot Scrub:
Strawberries can be effective in giving you soft and crack free feet. You can prepare a strawberry foot scrub by mashing 6 to 8 strawberries and mixing them with few drops of glycerin and grounded oats. Soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes. After taking them out, scrub gently with this mixture to exfoliate dead cells and rough skin. Wash off with clean cold water and moisturize your feet with any cold cream or foot cream.
Lower cardiovascular disease
Flavonoids which are responsible for the colour and flavour of strawberries lower the risk for heart disease.
Promote bone health
Strawberries contain potassium, vitamin K and magnesium which are important for bone health.
Prevent oesophageal cancer
Strawberries are filled with biotin, which helps build strong hair and nails. They also contain the antioxidant ellagic acid, which protects the elastic fibers in our skin to prevent sagging.
Good for weight loss
The compound nitrate found promotes blood flow and oxygen in our body, which is great for weight loss.
Eating three or more servings of fruit like strawberries may lower the risk of macular degeneration, a condition resulting in vision loss. (Archives of Ophthalmology)
Strawberry: Hair Benefits:
Strawberries are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and copper which are essential for hair health. They can be beneficial for your hair in the following ways.
Prevents Alopecia and Hair Thinning:
Strawberry has a high content of ellagic acid, which protects your hair from thinning or falling and can even be effective in delaying androgenetic alopecia. Strawberry also contains folic acid, vitamins B5 and B6 which prevent hair loss.
Promotes Silky and Shiny Hair:
Strawberries can add extra shine to your hair. For this purpose, mash 7 to 8 ripe strawberries and add 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise. Mix it with the strawberry mash to make a smooth paste. Apply it over your hair and scalp and cover it with shower cap for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse your hair and shampoo as usual. This will act as a natural conditioner to give you instant natural shiny hair.
Strawberry protects the cell membranes of the scalp due to its potent antioxidant effects, thus preventing the formation of hydrophobic layer on their surface that insulates the scalp from contact with water. Applying a mixture of mashed strawberries and egg yolk on your scalp is a great way to moisturize your hair.
Strawberry can be mixed with phytochemicals having antifungal effects like tea tree oil or thyme oil to get rid of dandruff.
Prevents Fungal Growth:
Strawberry is a good source of minerals like copper, manganese and magnesium. Manganese and copper in combination with dicarboxylic acids produce complexes that can inhibit fungal growth on the scalp.
Acts as an Exfoliant:
A mixture of strawberry and yogurt or orange juice enhances the exfoliating effects of both the constituents, thus exfoliating your hair follicles.
Strawberries boosts Immunity:
Strawberries are rich in vitamin C. We need a minimum level of Vitamin C from external sources each day. One bowl of strawberries can provide you with a single day’s requirement of vitamin C. Vitamin C works on your body to keep you fit and it also boosts your immunity.
Strawberries for the Eyes:
Strawberries being rich in Vitamin C are good for the eyes. As we age, we suffer from Cataracts which creates a cloud over the lens of the eyes but this can be avoided with regular intake of vitamin C. The eyes need vitamin C to protect themselves from the free radicals that come from the Sun rays (UV rays). Regular intake of Vitamin C helps to strengthen the Cornea and Retina of our eyes. The best way to prevent any eye problem is by adding a lot of fruits rich in vitamin C rather than just vitamin C supplements.
Strawberries for Anti Inflammatory properties:
Strawberries have phenol in them, which help in cases of osteoarthritis, asthma and atherosclerosis by inhibiting cyclooxygenase (COX). They work similar to Aspirin and ibuprofen without the side effects like stomach and intestinal bleeding.
Strawberries for Cholesterol:
Strawberries are rich in phyto-nutrients which are a type of plant chemicals that contain protective, disease-preventing, compounds. These Phenolic compounds are responsible for the fruit’s colour, taste and smell. Once such Phenolic compounds Flavonoids are known to be high in antioxidants. They have been proved to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by inhibiting the oxidation of low density lipo-protein (LDL).
Strawberries for the Heart:
These phenolic compounds improve blood vessel function, and decrease the tendency for blood clotting. It has been proven that flavonoids decrease inflammatory process in the body and this helps to protect the heart. The potassium in Strawberries regulates blood pressure too.
Strawberries for Bone Health:
Strawberries contain about 21% of Manganese which helps to keep the bones healthy by keeping the bone structure intact. Also the Potassium and Vitamin K in Strawberries are good for bone health.
Strawberries for Cancer:
Vitamin C has been proven to prevent cancer. A phyto-chemical named Ellagic Acid which is found in Strawberries has been proven to have anti-cancer properties, i.e. it suppresses cancer cell growth.
Strawberries for the Skin:
Strawberries have Vitamin C which helps to keep the skin’s elasticity and helps regenerate new cells. It keeps skin young. Also the Ellagic acid in strawberries helps in keeping wrinkles at bay too.
Strawberries are rich in Fibre:
Strawberry benefits also include it being rich in fibre, which keeps your digestive system healthy and also keeps constipation out of the system.