Strawberries and Nutrition: This Little Fruit Packs a Huge Punch!
A member of the rose family, strawberries have fascinated mankind for centuries. The Ancient Romans revered the plump, red fruit for its medicinal qualities and used it to treat everything from acne to gastritis. Strawberries have also long been used to whiten teeth and freshen breath. While we modern-day munchers may not have quite the elevated opinion of strawberries that our ancestors had, this berry continues to be among the most popular fruits eaten across the world.
How Could Something So Delicious Be So Nutritious?
Nowadays, we love the strawberry for its unmistakably sweet taste and sensual appearance (admit it!), but did you know that these little berries are also nutritional powerhouses? It's true: one serving of eight strawberries actually delivers more Vitamin C than even an orange! In addition to Vitamin C, a serving of strawberries also provides potassium, folate, and fiber, all nutrients that the American Advisory Committee for Dietary Guidelines highlights as lacking in the modern American diet. The antioxidants in strawberries may improve cognitive function and have been shown to reduce the risk of some cancers. Furthermore, the high fiber content of strawberries makes them a super heart-healthy food and can also help regulate digestion. These little berries abound in health benefits, and when they taste so heavenly, it's easy as (strawberry) pie to work them into a healthy diet.
What's a Berry to Do?
The combination of delicious flavor, gorgeous appearance, and nutritional value make strawberries an easy ace for any occasion. Whether you are looking for a sweet snack, to entertain and feed finicky kids, or to stun your friends with a dazzling new recipe, you simply can't go wrong with these little gems. For some exciting new ways to enjoy strawberries, try some of the following tips:
- Sprinkle fresh strawberries over your favorite cereal for an added nutritional boost.
- Try adding strawberries to a fresh green salad for a little color and surprising flavor: strawberry and spinach salad tastes divine and packs a real nutritional wallop!
- Steep fresh strawberries or strawberry puree in balsamic vinegar for ten minutes. Whisk in some olive oil, salt, and pepper for a lovely salad dressing.
- Freeze fresh strawberries and add them to smoothies. Mix berries, apple juice, and some non-fat vanilla frozen yogurt for a delicious and healthy treat.
- Clean and hull fresh strawberries, then soak them in some sugar to draw out their juices. Spread sweetened berries and sauce over angel food cake for a fat-free and yummy summer dessert.
- Drizzle balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and pepper over fresh strawberries for a surprising and sophisticated dessert.
- Combine chopped strawberries with red onions, cilantro, and orange and lime juices to create a refreshing salsa that can be served over fish or chicken, or simply enjoyed with some pita chips.
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