by Sharon Quercioli
The delicious truth is that strawberries provide a number of health benefits: proper eye care and brain function and relief from high blood pressure, arthritis, gout and heart disease.
With a bright red color appealing to the human eye, the strawberry is the most popular berry in the world. In fact, the strawberry is actually a member of the rose family and the only fruit in the world with seeds on the outside rather than the inside. There are wild and cultivated strawberries with over 600 varieties in all. The cultivated ones offered in stores are actually a hybrid. As for the wild ones, they are much smaller but more intense in flavor.
Health Benefits of Strawberry
- Eye Care: The primary reasons for almost all the problems of eyes are free radicals and deficiency of certain nutrients. With the growing age and lack of these protective nutrients, the harmful oxidants or free radicals cast heavy damage on our eyes, such as drying up of eyes, degeneration of optical nerves, macular degeneration, vision defects and make them prone to infections, too. The antioxidants present in strawberries (i.e., vitamin C, flavonoids, phenolic phytochemicals and elagic acid) can help avoid this situation. One more factor is ocular pressure (pressure of the eyes). Any disturbance in eye pressure is harmful for the eyes, and because strawberries contain potassium they can help maintain the right pressure.
- Arthritis and Gout: The degeneration of muscles and tissues, the drying up of the fluid that sustains the mobility of the joints and the accumulation of toxic substances (e.g., uric acid) in the body are some of the ill effects of free radicals in our body, which in turn are primarily responsible for arthritis and gout. Strawberries, with their team of antioxidants and detoxifiers, can effectively help push away such health hazards forever. There is a famous saying in India that “a serving of a fruit a day will remove the rust from the joints.” It is very true for strawberries.
- Cancer: Vitamin C, folate and anthocyanin, quercetin and kaempferol (few of the many flavonoids in strawberries possessing excellent antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties) together form an excellent team to fight cancer and tumor. A daily intake of strawberries has been shown to have reduced the growth of cancerous cells.
- Brain Function: It is a common observation that older people tend to lose their memory and control over their activities, limbs, etc. due to the aging of their brain and nervous system. Actually, free radicals, the agents largely responsible for aging, have a very adverse effect on these systems. As a result, brain tissues degenerate and nerves weaken. Strawberries can help you out. Their vitamin C and phytochemicals neutralize the effect of these oxidants and rejuvenate the system. Moreover, strawberries are rich in iodine too, which is very helpful for proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.
- High Blood Pressure: Strawberries are high in potassium and magnesium content, both of which are effective in lowering high blood pressure caused by sodium.
- Heart Diseases: High fiber, folate, no fats and high antioxidants form an ideal cardiac health pack, as they effectively reduce cholesterol. Some of the members of the vitamin B family present in strawberries also strengthen the cardiac muscles, making for better functioning of the heart.
- Other Benefits: Folate is known to protect against birth-defects. Vitamin C effectively reduces infection and cold. The phytonutrients also have anti-inflammatory properties.
- 7 to 8 large strawberries
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup sugar or (even better) agave
- 2 cups ice
- Cup of orange juice
- Blend ingredients in a blender