Enjoy Strawberries This Season

Summer can be hot and humid and sometimes overwhelming. But, the long days let us relax and spend more time doing what we love. Warm evenings mean staying outside with friends. It’s the season of picnics, barbecues and sitting around fire-pits once the kids are in bed. It’s also one of the best times of the year for fresh fruit, and we’ll never turn down delicious produce! Recently, we spoke about how much we love blueberries. They’re healthy and in season! Today, we’re talking about another berry we love: strawberries! However, technically, strawberries aren’t actually a berry. The fruit is a member of the rose family, and there are more than ten varieties. That’s why, when a friend gives you strawberries from their garden, they may be nothing like the ones you buy at the store.

Strawberries contain high amounts of fiber and antioxidants, which have been linked to cardiovascular benefits, helping to stabilize blood sugar levels and has anti-cancer benefits,” McKel Hill, registered dietitian and founder of the healthy-living website Nutrition Stripped, told Business Insider. “These are great in baked goods, topping for salad and in smoothies for a little bit of sweetness.

Different studies have linked strawberries to the prevention of heart disease, stroke, cancer, healthy blood sugar, improved blood pressure and minimize constipation. There are other claims that they boost mood, improve skin and aid eyesight. However, those don’t have enough research to back them up.

A great thing about strawberries is, despite their sweetness, the fiber in the fruit makes them fine to eat in moderation even if you have blood sugar concerns. Even diets that strictly restrict carbs usually allow you to eat fruit like strawberries.

100 grams (3.5 ounces) of strawberries have 32 calories, 7.7 grams of carbs and two grams of fiber. Their GI score is 40 — relatively low. They are high in vitamins B9 and C, potassium and manganese. They also contain vitamins B6, K and E as well as copper, iron, phosphorus and magnesium. The fruit is an excellent source of antioxidants.

The antioxidants are also found in the green tops of the fruit, which are entirely edible. You can eat the whole thing. “One study, which looked at the fruits and leaves of blackberries, strawberries and raspberries, found the leaves have a high ORAC value (a measure of the antioxidant capacity of different foods),” said Lily Soutter, a nutritionist at Seasonal Berries. “However, it’s important to note that as leaves become older, the ORAC value decreases, so the leaves of fresh strawberries are likely to provide the highest antioxidant value.

However you eat them, we hope you enjoy the ripe berries this season and that chilled strawberries help you stay cool!
June 28, 2019
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