Enjoy strawberries for good taste and good health
Everyone knows that strawberries are delicious as well as nutritious, and strawberries, both fresh and frozen varieties, should be a part of every person’s daily diet. There are many health advantages to eating strawberries, and strawberries are among the most delicious of all fruits.
The USDA now recommends that every American eat at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day, but the fact is that most people end up falling far short of this important goal. Adding fresh strawberries to your diet, whether in salads, in shakes or on their own, is a great way to get the servings of fruit you need for a healthy body and a healthy immune system.
The nutritional value of strawberries
Strawberries are well known for the many nutrients they contain, including significant amounts of vitamin C. In addition, strawberries and other berries contain significant levels of phytonutrients and antioxidants. The same chemicals that give strawberries their bright red color are thought to be responsible for their strong antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants in the diet are important, since antioxidants are able to reduce the damage done by free radicals. Free radicals are elements that can damage the cells of the body, and they are thought to play a role in the formation of many kinds of cancer. It is easy to see, therefore, why foods rich in antioxidant vitamins, like strawberries, are such an important part of a healthy diet.
In addition to significant amounts of vitamin C, strawberries also provide an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese, as well as being a good source of folic acid, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, copper, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids.
The many uses of the strawberry
Strawberries are among the most versatile of all fresh fruits, but unfortunately they are quite perishable as well. For this reason, fresh strawberries should be purchased only a few days before they are to be eaten. When strawberries are in season locally this is seldom a problem. At other times of the year, however, it may be necessary to make due with canned or frozen strawberries.
When choosing fresh strawberries it is important to choose those berries which are plump firm and free of mold, and that have a deep red color. Unlike other fruits, strawberries do not continue to ripen after they are picked, so it is important to choose the ripest, reddest strawberries, as they will provide the best taste and the highest nutrient density. Many people find that medium sized strawberries are sweeter and more flavorful than larger ones. When buying strawberries that have been prepackaged, it is important to be sure that the berries have not been packed too tightly, as this could cause them to be crushed or otherwise damaged.
It is of course important to handle strawberries properly, and to store them well after they have been purchased. Strawberries, like all fruit, should be washed thoroughly prior to eating or storage. Any strawberries that show signs of mold should be removed at once, as they could contaminate the remaining strawberries. The strawberries should be placed in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap and kept in the refrigerator. Fresh strawberries will keep in the refrigerator for a few days.