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Strawberry | Description , Nutrient Composition , Health Benefits and Facts

Last updated on 2021-09-05T17:36:36 by Olayemi Michael Bsc (nutrition and dietetics)

 

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Strawberry Description

Botanical Name : Fragaria ananassa
Continent of origin : Europe in 18th century.
Strawberries are native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, they are are low-growing herbaceous plants with a fibrous root system and a crown from which arise basal leaves.
 
 According to Britannica, the flowers are generally white, rarely reddish, are borne in small clusters on slender stalks arising, like the surface-creeping stems, from the axils of the leaves. 
 
As a plant ages, the root system becomes woody, and the “mother” crown sends out runners (e.g., stolons) that touch ground and root, thus enlarging the plant vegetatively.
 
The flesh consists of the greatly enlarged flower receptacle and is embedded with the many true fruits, or achenes, which are popularly called seeds.
 

Nutrition Facts of Strawberry

Strawberries mainly consist of water (91%) and carbohydrates (7.7%). They contain only minor amounts of fat (0.3%) and protein (0.7%).
 
Strawberry is also rich in manganese, so that a serving of strawberries, eight medium berries, corresponding to 144 gd may provide more than 20% of the daily adequate intake for this mineral.
 
To a lesser extent, strawberries are a source of healthy, essential fatty acids because strawberry seed oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids.
Besides these nutritive compounds, strawberries contain a variety of non-nutritive components such as polyphenolic phytochemicals (flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans, and tannins).
 
 
The nutrients in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw strawberries are:
  • Calories: 32 kcal
  • Water: 91%
  • Protein: 0.7 grams
  • Carbs: 7.7 grams
  • Sugar: 4.9 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Calcium: 12 mg
  • Iron : 0.28 mg
  • Magnesium: 11.8 mg
  • Phosphorus: 20 mg
  • Potassium: 89 mg
  • Sodium: 10 mg
  • Zinc: 0.18 mg
  • Copper: 0.119 mg
  • Manganese: 0.28 mg
  • Selenium: 0.4 ug
  • Vitamin C: 56 mg
  • Thiamin: 0.025 mg
  • Riboflavin: 0.016 mg
  • Niacin: 0.386 mg
  • Pantothenic acid: 0.122 mg
  • Vitamin B-6: 0.035 mg
  • Vitamin A: 1 ug 

Strawberry : Vitamins and minerals

The most abundant vitamins and minerals in strawberries are:
  • Vitamin C. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant necessary for immune and skin health .
  • Manganese. Frequently found in high amounts in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, this trace element is important for many processes in your body.
  • Folate (vitamin B9). One of the B vitamins, folate is important for normal tissue growth and cell function — and fundamental for pregnant women and older adults.
    Trusted Source
  • Potassium. This mineral is involved in many essential body functions, such as regulating blood pressure 
    Trusted SourceTrusted Source

To a lesser extent, strawberries also provide iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins B6, K, and E.

Antioxidant Capacity of Strawberries

The antioxidant power of every fruit is correlated to the presence of vitamin C and phenolic compounds like anythocyannins, ellagitannins e.t.c

Several research have published the lists of total antioxidant capacity values of many foods.

Result shows that berries are ranked among the top, 4 times greater than other fruits, 10 times greater than vegetables and 40 times greater than cereals.

Within the food groups, strawberries have greater antioxidanr capacities than apples, peaches, pears, grapes, tomatoes, oranges or kiwi fruits.

Antioxidants help fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals makes cell to degenerate.

Taking strawberry could help fight free radicals thanks to it great anti-oxidant content.

Phytochemicals in Strawberries

Anthocyannins

More than 25 different anthocyannin pigments have been described in strawberries of different varieties. Anthocyannin is responsibles for the bright color of the fruit.

Anthocyannin is an anti-oxidant that help fight free radicals in the body and slow down aging. It also offer anti-inflammatory effect and anti-cancer effect.

Ellagitannins

Ellagitannins are different combinations of gallic acid and hexahydroxydiphenic acid with glucose.

They are powerful antioxidant, in a study in finland, ellagitannis compounds were detected only in berries from the Rosacea family which strawberry is inclusive.

Sanguiin H-6 is the major ellagitannins in strawberry. Ellagitannins have being reported to have anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective property.

Strawberry : Other plant compounds

Strawberries are loaded with antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds, including:

  • Pelargonidin. The main anthocyanin in strawberries, this compound is responsible for the bright red color (15).
  • Ellagic acid. Found in high amounts in strawberries, ellagic acid is a polyphenol antioxidant that may have many health benefits (16).
  • Ellagitannins. Related to ellagic acid, ellagitannins are converted to ellagic acid in your gut (16).
  • Procyanidins. These are antioxidants commonly found in strawberry flesh and seeds that may have beneficial health effects 
     
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Health Benefits of Strawberry

  • Studies has shown the relationship between berries and improved heart health.
  • Strawberries seem to slow down glucose digestion and reduce spikes in both glucose and insulin following a carb-rich meal, compare to a carb-rich meal without strawberries.
  • A number of studies suggest that berries may help prevent several types of cancer through their ability to fight oxidative stress and inflammation.
  • A strawberry- enriched diet has being shown to reduce oxidative stress in liver mitochondria and also improving respiratory functions.
  • Evidence suggest that the addition of polyphenol-rich foods in the diet may imprive CVD risk factors, inhibiting inflammation and platelet aggregation and ameliorating function, plama lipid profile and free radical scavenging thus increasing the low density lipoprotein (LDL) resistance to oxidation.

Sample Strawberry Recipe

Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade Recipe

Make the strawberry lemonade mixture up to two days in advance, but wait to add sparkling water until you are ready to serve.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 10 large lemons)
  • 16 ounce container fresh strawberries, hulled and cleaned
  • 3 cups naturally- flavored strawberry sparkling water 

Directions

Wash your hands thoroughly before you begin.

  • Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool completely for about 30 minutes.
  • Combine strawberries and half of cooled sugar mixture in a blender. Cover and process until very smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Then transfer to a 2 quart pitcher.
  • Stir in remaining sugar mixture and lemon juice. Add sparkling water just before serving.

Club soda or plain sparkling water may be substituted for strawberry-flavored sparkling water.

Source : eatright

 

 

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Reference

Francesca Giampieri D.Sc. , Sara Tulipani Ph.D. b, Jose M. Alvarez-Suarez Ph.D. , Jose L. Quiles Ph.D. ,Bruno Mezzetti Ph.D. d, Maurizio Battino Ph.D., D.Sc., M.D.(2012). The strawberry: Composition, nutritional quality, and impact on human health.Nutrition 28 (2012) 9–19