Benefits of Strawberries

List of Proven Health Benefits of Strawberries (According to Research)

Doctors all over the world including me recommend eating strawberries and the main reason is its delicious and there are other secondary benefits to it that we will discuss throughout this article.

Strawberries are a red and sweet fruit which have a very nice smell to it and present worldwide, its scientific name is Fragaria ananassaStrawberries are rich with different vitamins and antioxidants and you should definitely include it in your diet.

People tend to self-medicate with different dietary supplementation and this is a practice I don't encourage at all, because, YES, vitamins are extremely important but like anything overdose will lead to intoxication, you can avoid intoxication by consuming food that contains those vitamins and antioxidants like strawberries and other fruits. When you consume organic food, the body will only absorb the needed amount with zero risks of vitamin intoxication.

In the image below, here is a simple illustration of the caloric contents and the nutrients found in strawberries.

Health-Benefits-of-Strawberries

Strawberries consumption should be between meals or adjacent to a low-calorie meal, you should avoid eating it alone at breakfast, studies showed that people who eat fruit only on breakfast tend to have lower energy throughout the day [1] and you should also avoid eating it on dinner because it will raise your insulin and may lead to weight increase, however in comparison to other meal options, like fat-rich meals or high carb meals, strawberries will be a better option.


Anti-Oxidant Properties of Strawberries

Strawberries contain substance like phenolics and vitamin C those substances are known for being anti-oxidants and to understand how important that is, we need to discuss the importance of anti-oxidants. [2]

It may be weird to say but oxygen is poisonous, in the body it destroys DNA, proteins and other important structures, however, the body contains natural antioxidants like H2O2, but they are not sufficient to prevent all the damage, dietary anti-oxidants like this present in fruits especially strawberries help the body to defend itself [3].

The strawberries anti-oxidants help in delay aging, protect against heart disease and benefits the skin. Each of those benefits of strawberries will be discussed in details below.


Anti-Proliferative Effect of Strawberries Against Cancer Cells

An interesting study was conducted in 2013, researchers compared the effect of strawberries extract on melanoma cells to the effect of regular melanoma chemotherapy and surprisingly, patients treated with strawberries extracts showed lower cell growth rate, decreased the proteins that participate in cancer cells growth and a better overall prognosis (outcome of the disease).

This is a very promising result but it is still in experimental stage so please if you suffer from cancer, don’t stop your treatment or anything like that but the advice here is to eat strawberries as it may help [4].


Benefits of Strawberries for Skin

We are surrounded by harmful sun rays, pollution and chemical oxidants, those things lead to premature skin aging, wrinkles around the eye and the mouth, hyperpigmentations in different areas of the face and in white people it may lead to plethora (extremely red face).

A recent study showed that consuming antioxidants especially the ones found on strawberries will help to antagonize the effect of the harmful environmental factors and decrease skin inflammation.

Also strawberries have a large amount of vitamin C which gives the skin a healthy glow and whiten the skin, some people smash the strawberries and use it as a facial mask, but I don’t recommend this method because your face pores are so small most f the nutrient particles found in the strawberries are larger in size than your pores, so they won’t be able to penetrate your skin. Taken strawberries orally is the best approach for a healthier skin. [5]


Strawberries and Cardiac Health

Have you ever wondered why strawberries are red?

If you did, here is the answer. Strawberries contain a substance called Anthocyanin, this particular substance is a very potent antioxidant. Studies showed that it has a protective effect on the heart and the brain. This antioxidant along with others protect the heart by different mechanisms, they decrease the risk of clot, inhibit a bad type of cholesterol that have a direct harmful impact on the heart called LDL( the villain one), increase the level of HDL( cardioprotective nice cholesterol) and improve the quality of the cells (endothelial cells and if you don’t know what those cells are, they are the cells that line your capillaries, that is all you need to know about it) [6].


Strawberries and Blood Pressure

If you are suffering from high blood pressure, then I advise you to add strawberries to your diet for two reasons:

  • First, strawberries don’t contain sodium which is one of the largest contributors to high blood pressure.
  • Second, it has potassium and trace amounts of magnesium and those two are vasodilators so they enhance the blood flow and decrease blood pressure.

Strawberries and Weight Loss

I found tons of articles and blog posts on the internet that claims that strawberries increase the rates of weight loss and how amazing they are particularly if you ate them at NIGHT!!!

I could not find any pieces of evidence to support those claims, there is no relation between strawberries and adenpectin and leptin (hormones secreted by the body that boost fat burning). Yes, strawberries have fibers which indeed is good for your digestion but the fibers in strawberries are not of a very large amount and there are better fruits that contain more fibers for that matter, the only effect of strawberries is it increases the metabolism slightly and I wouldn’t count on that if I really want to lose weight.

The calories in strawberries are of a low amount so strawberries will not cause weight increase if they were consumed in a reasonable amount and not at night. If you have any evidence or research that support the weight loss effect of strawberries claim, please link it below.


Anti-Diabetic Benefits of Strawberries

Strawberries are the main source of ellagic acid derivatives, this acid has anti-type 2 diabetes properties, strawberries decrease blood sugar and helps in the regulation of hyperglycemia [7].


Benefits of Strawberries for Men

Erectile dysfunction is becoming one of the commonest diseases and it has a very bad psychological effect on men, scientists estimate that the number of men that will be affected by erectile dysfunction by 2025 will be 322 million men, this is a huge scary number. There are various causes for erectile dysfunction but they all lie under 3 main categories: vascular causes (interruption of the blood supply), neurological and psychological.

In this part, we will only discuss the vascular part because strawberries only have an effect on the vascular causes. Strawberries contain polyphenols, those polyphenols stimulate the body to release vasodilator, hence increase the blood flow to the penis.

But I’m a huge fan of preventing diseases rather than treating them, if you want to avoid erectile dysfunction and increase erection then you should stick to those magic 4 tricks [8] :

  • Eat healthily and consume more organic food especially strawberries.
  • Avoid smoking
  • Exercise daily.
  • Avoid alcohol.

Benefits of Strawberries for Pregnancy

I’ve been asked questions like: Should I eat strawberries while I’m pregnant? Are they useful? Are strawberries safe for my kid?

And the answer to those questions, if you are not allergic to strawberries then definitely YES, strawberries are very useful during pregnancy especially in the first semester (the first 3 months) because strawberries contain a decent amount of iron, folate and vitamin c. we all know the catastrophic effects of folate and iron deficiency on babies health [9].

Your doctor will most likely prescribe folic acid supplementation when your pregnancy is discovered, but what about the period before you discover that you are pregnant?

Scientist found that neural tube defects occur in the first 28 days of pregnancy [10]  those defects include serious life-threatening defect like Spina Bifida ( the vertebral column isn't completely closed), anencephaly ( severe underdevelopment of the brain) and encephalocele ( the brain  tissue is protruded from the skull) and those defects are caused by folic acid deficiency.

Based on the previous information I advise every woman in her childbearing period to eat a lot of folates containing food like strawberries, I can't emphasize how important this is.  

It's also important for the overall health of the mother and the baby throughout the pregnancy period, it's rich in iron and vitamin C which enhance the absorption of other vitamins that the mother takes either in fruits and vegetables or the multivitamins supplementation prescribed during pregnancy especially iron.


Benefits of Strawberries for Babies

Babies are very stubborn creatures, very hard to convince, you can talk all you want about how important to eat a certain food, if it doesn’t taste good, they will spit it anyway.

Strawberries are very delicious which make it an easier job to feed it to the babies and strawberries also contain a large group of nutrients that will support your baby’s health.

You can use it in weaning period because in weaning period the baby transfer from being totally dependent on his mother’s milk which is rich in iron and other nutrients to eating actual food so in the weaning period you should compensate by adding foods of high nutritional values, it will decrease your baby’s chance of getting anemia or other nutritional deficiencies.


Benefits of Strawberries for Hair

Strawberries are used for hair both topically and orally, if used topically, they give the hair a nice shine and glow, moisturize the hair, but the topical isn't very useful in getting the nutrient into the hair, it has a better effect for sure that using it topically in the face because the pores of the scalp are wider and you can use it topically to get its soothing effect but for getting the most benefits out of the   nutrients found in strawberries I suggest eating it.

Strawberries contain various types of antioxidants, we discussed most of them in the previous paragraphs, those antioxidants protect the cell membrane and phytochemicals have an anti-fungal effect, it removes dandruff because dandruff is basically a fungal overgrowth.


Side Effects of Strawberries

I wouldn't call it side effects but let's say that over consumption may lead to some problems.

As we discussed before strawberries decrease the formation of blood clots, however, this is a very favorable action if you are hypertensive, this effect might be bad for you if you suffer from a bleeding disorder, mild or moderate consumption of strawberries is advised for patients with clotting disorders like hemophilia and von-Willebrand disease.

Another problem of strawberries consumption is: it causes allergy in some people, the allergic reaction varies from simple itching and redness to a severe life-threatening reaction and anaphylactic shock, you can recognize anaphylaxis by the following symptoms: pale skin, difficulty in breathing, vomiting, and diarrhea and other symptoms but those are the main ones, anaphylaxis requires immediate injection with adrenaline.

Before introducing strawberries to your child, please perform an allergy test especially if you have a positive family history of strawberries allergy (other family members suffering from the strawberries allergy).

High consumption of strawberries ( I’m not talking about the reasonable amount daily) may lead to weight increase especially night consumption.


Final Verdict

In this article, I tried my best to illustrate all the benefits of strawberries consumption and the bad effects too and I really think that strawberries are a great add to your diet, moderate consumption will improve your overall health and will keep you healthy and decrease your chances of getting diseases like hypertension and diabetes.

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