Strawberry is a highly prized fruit and attractive to most people, especially children. With a sweet taste and a red color, it is one of the most consumed fruits. At the nutritional level, the properties of strawberry are proven and its consumption is recommended due to its high content of antioxidants.
In this article we wanted to focus on seeing what relationship exists between its consumption and a healthy life, highlighting the main research that has been done on the benefits of strawberries.
Nutritional properties of strawberry
Strawberries are considered in turn, as a fruit that contains an important source of vitamin C, K, potassium and folic acid.
It also has a remarkable richness of minerals (mostly iron, magnesium potassium, calcium, silicon, manganese), being the richest fruit in that aspect, along with raspberry.
As an example, we can make known that, in 200 grams of strawberries, you can find 18% iron and 9% magnesium, in addition to the other minerals mentioned above.
Therefore, strawberry is recommended in diets for nutritional deficits.
Strawberries are mainly made up of water, with 91% of the total weight. However, the remaining 9% is composed mostly of carbohydrates (7.7%), very little fat (0.3%) and vegetable proteins (0.7%).
These are the nutritious priopiedades of strawberry with the consumption of 100 grams:
- Energy: 33 kcal
- Proteins: 0,5 %
- Carbohydrates: 8 g
- Fiber: 0 %
- Fats: 0,1 %
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 0,0 %
- Sugars: 4.9 g
Most of the carbohydrates in strawberries come from simple sugars such as fructose, glucose and sucrose, although they also come from fiber.
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamin C: one of the main vitamins present in the properties of strawberry is vitamin C, an antioxidant necessary for the immune system and the correct hydration of the skin.
Folate (vitamin B9): One of the B vitamins, folate is important for the proper development of tissues and cell division, and very important for pregnant women during the development of the fetus.
Among the minerals present, the following stand out:
Manganese: this mineral is found in significant amounts in legumes, vegetables and some fruits such as strawberries.
Potassium: we need it in moderate quantities and we can get it from many fruits. Among the main function of this mineral is to regulate blood pressure.
It also contains other minerals in lower concentration but equally essential, such as iron, phosphorus, copper and magnesium.
- Calcium: 16 mg
- Iron: 0.4 mg
- Magnesium: 13 mg
- Sodium: 1 mg
- Potassium: 153 mg
An important part of the functionality offered by the properties of strawberry is the content of extracts and antioxidant active ingredients. The presence of different compounds in this fruit has been studied, such as those shown below.
Antioxidant active ingredients:
- Procyanidins: a group of antioxidants that we find in different foods and also in strawberry seeds.
- Ellagic acid: it belongs to the group of polyphenols and has great potential as an anti-oxidant substance.
- Pelargonidine: it is classified as an anthocyanin, and is the one that gives the characteristic red color to the strawberry.
- Ellagitannins: this substance is responsible for transforming the ellagic acid mentioned above so that it is absorbable by the digestive system.
Ellagitannins and ellagic acid
Most of the antioxidant substances present in the properties of strawberry are phenolic compounds (polyphenols). Among them, there is a high concentration in this fruit of ellagic acid and ellagitannins.
Both substances are being studied by the scientific community since evidence of positive preventive effects against cancer and for having activity against the development of pathogenic bacteria has been found.
Within the anthocyanins (such as pelargonidina), we have up to 25 different compounds, with a very large antioxidant potential. In most fruits, the highest concentration is found in the skin, hence the importance of avoiding, as far as possible, peeling the fruit.
There are numerous scientific studies that link the consumption of foods rich in anthocyanins with adequate cardiovascular health.
Properties of strawberry for health
Low caloric content
At the nutritional level, as we have seen before, strawberries provide few calories and a large volume of dietary fiber. This fiber, as we have already mentioned in other articles, is very important to activate digestive processes, and is related to the prevention of serious diseases.
That is why it is worth knowing the different types of fiber that exist and if they are all assimilable by the body.
Heart disease has become the leading source of death worldwide. This problem is intimately related to lack of physical activity and poor eating habits.
The main world references in food recommend habituating the consumption of fruits and vegetables, with high fiber content and low amount of fats. In addition, all these fruits, as is the case of strawberries, are linked to a high contribution of antioxidant substances.
Referring to cardiovascular health, the anthocyanins present in strawberries exert a great stimulus that strengthens the activity of the heart.
There are many medical references where it is argued that the consumption of antioxidant substances from this type of fruit reduces the risk of heart disease. It is based on the increase of good cholesterol (HDL), regulation of blood pressure and increased activity of blood platelets.
In turn, the consumption of these antioxidant substances are linked to a general improvement of all functions related to cardiovascular health, such as the following:
- Balance of the blood lipid profile.
- Limit negative oxidation caused by bad cholesterol (LDL).
- Reduce oxidative stress.
- Increase the concentration of polyphenols in the blood.
- Anti-inflammatory effects.
- Increased vascular activity.
Several studies are currently being carried out that try to relate the properties of strawberry with improvement in patients with type 2 diabetes. Currently, some conclusions obtained certify that it reduces the level of bad cholesterol (LDL), the presence of oxidative particles in the blood and inflammatory markers.
Main source of B vitamins
The group of B vitamins is essential to ensure the proper functioning of our body. These are the main ones.
B vitamin group
- Vitamin B1: thiamine
- Vitamin B2: riboflavin
- Vitamin B3: niacin
- Vitamin B5: pantothenic acid
- Vitamin B6: pyridoxine
- Vitamin B7: biotin or vitamin H
- Vitamin B9: folic acid
- Vitamin B12: cobalamin
In the properties of strawberry we find a high presence of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), linked to proper child development
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is linked to the production of red blood cells and the management of proteins in the body.
Vitamin B3 (niacin) is involved in the body’s cellular metabolism. Folic acid is also indispensable, especially in the formation of the fetus. Here is a list of the 12 richest foods in folic.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity
The antioxidant potential is attributed to the presence of different groups of polyphenols and antioxidant substances, such as those mentioned above. Among them, ellagic acid, anthocyanins and procyanidins.
In turn, the presence of the mineral manganese favors the reduction of digestive inflammatory processes.
Preventive action against cancer?
The word cancer is on everyone’s lips and many scientific studies are focused on finding remedies and natural products for its prevention.
What is known today is that the pOxidative frictions and the presence of free radicals (fatty foods, tobacco, etc.) favor abnormal cell division and the formation of tumors.
Therefore, studies are focused on finding sources of nutrients or phytocompounds that increase the antioxidant content and prevent the presence of these oxidative free radicals.
There are several scientific studies that attribute advantages to the properties of strawberry against cancer. The proliferation of HepG human liver cancer cells (2) was significantly inhibited with different concentrations of antioxidant substances from this fruit.
However, it is still too early to draw sufficient conclusions against this very serious disease, but current studies are optimistic.
Promote weight loss
When we seek to lose weight, the mathematical rule of having to introduce into the body fewer calories than those consumed is fulfilled. In turn, this is greatly influenced by the feeling of stomach filling.
The fiber contained in fruits and their zero fat content makes it very appropriate to increase their consumption in diets. This element has a great capacity to cover the feeling of filling in a short time, unlike what happens with fats.
Blood sugar regulation
Diabetes is increasingly a problem that affects less advanced ages than a few years ago. Eating habits do not improve and this makes this type of disease prevail.
Faced with this, studies emerge that certify the positive response of the consumption of fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries.
It has been scientifically proven that the ellagitannins present in strawberries reduce the effects of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. [See study]
The results obtained establish that ellagitannins and ellagic acid have good potential for the treatment of hyperglycemia and hypertension related to type 2 diabetes
For what diseases are the properties of strawberry recommended?
The consumption of fruits and vegetables should be mandatory every day of the year, and be a main part of the diet. Most health authorities recommend eating 5 pieces of fruits or vegetables a day.
However, the consumption of strawberries is strongly recommended for the following diseases or problems.
Strawberry is recommended within foods in people suffering from type 2 diabetes, thanks to the benefits discussed above, and also, because most of the sugars contained are fructose.
Arthritis and rheumatism
Many arthritic processes are related to inflammation and the accumulation of uric acid. Both the minerals of the properties of strawberry (calcium and potassium, among others), and the antioxidant substances it contains, are recommended for consumption in people suffering from these inflammatory processes.
High blood pressure and cardiovascular problems
In all cases of both problems, the consumption of foods rich in antioxidants and low in fat is strongly recommended.
Cancer prevention should be on everyone’s mind, and with it, the consumption of plant foods rich in fiber, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins.
When is the consumption of strawberries not recommended?
Not all the mountain is oregano and there are some cases in which its consumption is not recommended, although they are extremely isolated cases.
There are cases of allergy to strawberries, due to different phytocompounds contained in this fruit. Cases of allergy to strawberry and other berries are more common in young children.
When we regularly suffer from kidney stone problems, the doctor will recommend avoiding the consumption of foods rich in oxalates, such as pepper or strawberries. Therefore, the consumption of this fruit is not recommended for this type of people.
Here you can see an evaluation of oxalates and oxalic acid.
The acids contained in some fruits, such as strawberries, can be irritating in people suffering from digestive disorders. It is necessary to evaluate case by case if we have this problem or what can be the maximum consumption that we can make of the strawberry.