The Health Benefits of the Amazing Strawberry

Written by Professor Anna Gray, Updated on June 10th, 2024
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Just look at that plate of luscious, bright-red strawberries! So sweet, so delightful, so tasty – better than just about any dessert you can name.

So… that means they must be unhealthy and bad for you, right?

Bzzzzzzzt…! Wrong! There are so many good things about strawberries – things that go way beyond their yummy taste – things that can enhance your health. So read on.

Strawberries Contain LOTS of Antioxidants

First off, strawberries have antioxidant properties, which means that they help to limit the breakdown of our body’s component parts – specifically, they contain lutein and zeathancins.

It’s been found that the antioxidants in strawberries may help to prevent cataracts – the clouding over of the lenses of our eyes that can sometimes occur as we age, and in some of us get so bad that it actually causes blindness.

The “free radicals” caused by exposure to sunlight, specifically the ultraviolet component of sunlight, can damage the protein in the lens, making it cloudy. The antioxidants in strawberries tend to neutralize those free radicals.

Our eyes absolutely require vitamin C to build up the cornea and retina. But high doses of vitamin C from supplements have been shown to increase the risk of cataracts in women over 65.

In contrast, the vitamin C from fruits and vegetables – including strawberries – has not been shown to have any such elevated risk. And one serving of strawberries – just one – contains over 50mg of natural vitamin C, around half of an adult’s daily requirement.

(And remember, unlike most other mammals, we humans do not produce our own vitamin C. We must get it from either supplements or the foods we eat.)

The antioxidant properties of strawberries are also good for strengthening our immune system generally – and a healthy immune system is the best defense of all against any disease, and that’s especially important these days as viral infections take their toll.

Strawberries also contain a phytochemical called ellagic acid, which has been demonstrated to suppress cancer cell growth.

Improve Your Skin By Eating Strawberries

Strawberries also contain compounds essential for the body’s production of collagen, which increases the skin’s elasticity and resilience – and the body’s production of collagen decreases as we age, which can lead to wrinkles and sagging skin.

But eating strawberries can help to counteract that, and not just because of collagen: Scientists at Korea’s Hallym University discovered that ellagic acid visibly suppressed inflammatory response and collagen destruction after skin exposure to damaging UV-B rays.

Having strawberries in our diet also can neutralize the effects of low-density lipoproteins, also known as “bad cholesterol,” and this can be very good for our long-term circulatory health, which in layman’s terms means it’s good for the heart!

(And those bright red strawberries remind me of little hearts, too, making that fact easy to remember.) The anti-inflammatory properties of strawberries are good for the heart, too – and, on top of that, can help mitigate the effects of joint inflammation which can cause arthritis.

The Harvard School of Public Health found that women who eat 16 or more strawberries per week are much less likely to suffer from inflammation.

With about 135mg per serving, strawberries are also a source of potassium, which helps to keep our blood pressure within bounds. That’s yet another one of the reasons that nutritionists consider strawberries one of the most heart-healthy foods you can eat.

Get Your Daily Fiber in with a Bowl of Berries

And need I bring up the “f word”? – fiber, I mean. Fiber is needed for optimal digestion, and strawberries give us around 2 grams per serving.

Not only does the fiber in strawberries help to fight off a number of digestive ailments, but it also lowers the direct absorption of sugar into the blood, which benefits people who are managing – or trying to prevent – type 2 diabetes.

So a moderate amount of these little red sweetness bombs can actually be a part of your diet since the natural sugars are balanced by the natural fiber.

And strawberries are great for pregnant women and women trying to conceive, too – they contain folate, which is needed for the development of the baby’s spinal cord, nervous system, and brain; and they also contain folic acid, which helps to prevent certain types of birth defects.

And, used properly, strawberries can even help you lose weight.

They’re naturally low in calories (well under 30 calories per serving), low in sodium, low in sugar (4 grams per serving), and have zero fat.

Natural – no additives – no ad budget – tasty – and good, good, good for you: Make strawberries a part of your life today!

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