Why strawberries?

Discover the health benefits in strawberries.

Understanding of how foods benefit one’s body for health is an important lesson to grasp. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Choose my plate , health professionals, nutrition educators, as well as Michigan State University Extension encourage individuals to eat a variety of foods in your daily diet.

Eating locally grown fruits and vegetables that are in season can help aid our diets and provide relief for the cost of food purchases. When these fruits and vegetables are not in season we can choose to use frozen, as these provide the same nutrients that fresh foods supply.Why strawberries?

One locally grown food soon to be available is strawberries. So let’s discover what is in a strawberry that benefits our bodies.

What’s in a strawberry?          

Vitamin C – A water-soluble vitamin with potent antioxidant capabilities essential for ensuring proper wound healing and maintaining cartilage. One serving of eight medium strawberries provides 160 percent of the recommended daily value.

Potassium is an important nutrient to balance electrolytes, aid muscle contractions, and maintain a healthy blood pressure. Diets rich in potassium can lower blood pressure. According to the Food and Drug Administration, eating foods rich in potassium and low in sodium may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. One serving of strawberries provides five percent of the daily value for potassium.

Folate is one of the B vitamins found in various foods such as strawberries, oranges, green leafy vegetables and beans. It may prevent some types of birth defects and is especially important for women of childbearing age.

Fiber is considered by the American Heart Association to be important for heart health. Epidemiological studies report that people who eat higher amounts of total fiber have a lower risk of heart disease. Dietary fiber has well-known health benefits such as lowering blood cholesterol and promoting a healthy digestive system. One serving, or eight medium strawberries, provides three grams of fiber, making this fruit a good source of dietary fiber.

Antioxidants are important to combat chronic diseases and promoting optimum health. In addition to traditional nutrients, strawberries are also rich in flavonoids and antioxidants. The majority of flavonoids in strawberries are the compounds responsible for the blue, red and purple hues of berries, grapes and other fruits.

Understanding in greater depth the benefits our food choices can provide help in our food selections. Try to buy local and in season!

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