Featured Food Friday: Super Strawberries!
Happy JUNE everyone! Is it just me, or did May absolutely FLY BY?!
June 1st officially marks the beginning of STRAWBERRY SEASON. I don't know about you, but I absolutely adore strawberries...and have ever since I was very little! As a 2, 3, and 4 year old, strawberries and blueberries both were my food of choice. I couldn't say "berries," though, so I lovingly referred to them as "blue babies and straw babies." Anyway, little did I know then what these "straw babies" could do for our health! We all know they're good for us (since they're a fruit!), but do you know just HOW good they are for you, and what specifically they can do for you? You're about to find out...
TOP 10 BENEFITS OF STRAWBERRIES
1. Healthy, Radiant Skin
Strawberries contain salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, and ellagic acid, which all remove dead skin cells and promote healthy pigmentation.
2. Eye Care
The antioxidants and polyphenols in strawberries can prevent and assist healing from eye conditions of all kinds, including chronic dry eyes, macular degeneration, optic nerve degeneration, frequent infections, etc.
3. Excellent Source of Vitamin C
Vitamin C isn't just great for your immune system, making strawberries fantastic for fending off the flu. Vitamin C is also the precursor to collagen: without enough vitamin C, our bodies can't produce their own collagen. Just one serving of strawberries has over 150% of your daily value for vitamin C, so eating strawberries can actually help keep your bones, joints, skin, and connective tissues young and healthy.
4. Boost Short Term Memory
The anthocyanins boost short term memory by 100 percent in eight weeks. (The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry)
5. Reduce Inflammation
Strawberries lower blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a signal of inflammation in the body. In a study, women who ate 16 or more strawberries per week were 14 percent less likely to have elevated levels of CRP. (Harvard School of Public Health.)
6. Anti Cancer
The combination of antioxidant and anti-inﬂammatory agents found in strawberries is well-known to ﬁght against the onset of many different forms of cancer. Thanks to the vitamin C, folate, and the ﬂavonoids quercetin and kaempferol that they also contain, strawberries are a delicious defense against potentially cancerous cells.
7. Rich in Manganese
One cup of strawberries contains 21% of manganese, an essential nutrient that acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inﬂammatory agent. By increasing the levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), the enzyme responsible for protecting mitochonrdria exposed to oxygen, manganese not only helps to ﬁght the battle against free radicals and oxidative stress, but also lessens cellular inﬂammation — another cause of numerous cardiovascular diseases.
8. Great for the Thyroid
Strawberries are one of the most iodine-fish fruits. Iodine is the "food" of the thyroid--the thyroid can't function without it! If you're dealing with any thyroid issues, consider making strawberries a regular part of your diet.
9. Reduce Muscle Soreness and Regulates Blood Pressure
The combination of potassium and magnesium present in strawberries makes this fruit one that boasts amazing benefits for muscles--including the HEART muscle! Potassium is a vasodilator which means it eases the flow of blood to various parts of the body, and thus helps in keeping pressure under control. Magnesium also plays an important role in keeping blood pressure under control.
10. Boost Your Mood
Eating strawberries is very effective for providing us relief from stress and depression because of their ability to prevent excessive formation of homocysteine in the body. Homocysteine can prevent blood and other nutrients from reaching our brain and may even interfere the production of feel-good hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are effective not only for regulating mood but also regulates our sleep and hunger.
Pretty cool, huh? Here's a bonus one: all berries have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier (the only fruit that can do this!), making them THE BEST fruit for your brain! Berries also have an affinity for GLANDS, so if you're dealing with any glandular/hormone issues, berries are your new BFF!
Here's a fun strawberry JUICE recipe that I accidentally created this past week...wasn't sure how it was going to come out, but it's definitely a new favorite. Hope you enjoy it, too!
Summer Strawberry Chiller
Original recipe by: Anna Johnson, Owner of Anna's Organics LLC and Founder of CreationNutrition
1. 2 heads romaine lettuce
2. 5 Fuji apples
3. Large thumb ginger
4. 1 quart strawberries
5. 4 Easter egg radishes
6. Handful fresh mint (optional)
1. Juice all ingredients, strain through fine mesh strainer, and place in a sealed jar in the refrigerator.
2. Serve chilled.