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June 17, 2014, last updated June 4, 2016
By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist  

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of
Doctors and
Registered Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and other members of our
Editorial Board.]

Does any food say summer more than strawberries? The
creamy, rich and tasty fruits are essential for fruit salads,
smoothies, fresh desserts and tempting snacks – and the
good news is, eating strawberries is good for your health.

Each year everyone consumes on average 4.85 pounds of
strawberries, according to the United States Department of
Agriculture, and 94 percent of us in the United States
chows down on the berries. Strawberries can be white,
yellow, pink and may even taste like pineapples – there are
600 varieties available and they are grown in every state of

With one cup of strawberries weighing in at just 55
calories, this fruit snack is worth piling on your plate.

Here are a few of the health benefits of strawberries, some
of which may surprise you.

What Are The Nutritional Benefits of Strawberries?

One reason why strawberries have such great health
reviews is their flavonoid content – strawberries have
excellent antioxidant properties which help protect the
body from damage and may even protect against heart
disease, stroke, and cancer.

One cup of fresh strawberries provides good levels of
vitamin C, calcium, fiber, magnesium, potassium,
phosphorous, folate and vitamin A.

The fiber and potassium in strawberries support heart
health and reduce constipation, while the antioxidants like
quercetin may help reduce allergies.

How to Enjoy More Strawberries

Boost your strawberry intake by eating strawberries with
Greek yogurt, adding strawberries to chicken salad or
spinach salad, making a fruit salad cocktail with
strawberries, topping pancakes with strawberries or baking
them into muffins, throwing some strawberries into a
blender with banana and milk, or spreading them with
cream cheese over a bagel.

Many strawberries are grown using a lot of pesticides, so
your best bet is to buy organic strawberries so you avoid
the problems of chemicals in your food. We checked out
the latest scientific research to discover why strawberries
are so good for you – and why you need to eat them this

Top 10 Health Benefits of Strawberries

1. Prevent Cavities with Strawberries?

The natural sugar found in strawberries, called xylitol, is
used in many sugarless candies and gums as a sweetener.

This sweet alternative not only cuts down the amount of
sugar you need to eat, but may also have extra benefits –
experts say xylitol actually helps to prevent cavities from
forming in teeth.

According to reports, for example a 2000 study from
Southwestern Oklahoma State University, xylitol in
strawberries slows down the growth of bacteria that cause
tooth cavities.

Strawberries Help Reduce Arthritis Inflammation

Another benefit to stocking up on these tasty summer
fruits? Strawberries can help to lower inflammation in the
body and therefore assist people suffering from
rheumatoid arthritis.

A 2007 study from the Harvard School of Public Health
discovered that women who ate 16 or more strawberries a
week had a 14 percent lower risk than women who ate less
of having high levels of C-reactive protein.

Lowering C-reactive protein levels helps arthritis sufferers
as it positively affects levels of inflammation in the joints.

In addition, when strawberries lower the blood levels of C-
reactive protein, then the risk of heart disease and stroke
dips, too.

Health Benefits of Vitamin C in Strawberries

While citrus fruits get the most publicity for their vitamin C,
you may be surprised to learn that eight fresh strawberries
actually have
more vitamin C than one orange – that’s 140
percent of your recommended daily amount.

Vitamin C is important for helping your body to make
collagen, which is the essential structure of cartilage,
tendons, and connective tissue.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that complements
vitamin E and helps protect the body against damaging free
radicals. Experts aren’t in agreement whether vitamin C can
protect against
colds and flu, as many people believe, but a
1993 study from University of the Witwatersrand,
Johannesburg, South Africa did show that vitamin C helps
prevent the so-called “post marathon sniffle” – a cold that
develops following strenuous exercise.


The high Vitamin C content of strawberries also means that
they, like oranges,  may help to
reverse the arterial damage
caused by smoking.]

Reduce Your Heart Attack Risk by Eating Strawberries

You could cut your risk of heart attack by one third ---
33% --- simply by eating three or more servings of
strawberries and blueberries a week, according to a 2013
study from the Harvard School of Public Health in the US
and the University of East Anglia in the UK.

Strawberries and blueberries are high in anthocyanins, a
type of flavonoid, which may help to prevent plaque build-
up in your arteries.

Other foods high in this flavonoid include grapes,
blackberries, and
eggplant. The researchers looked at data
from 93,600 women who had filled out health
questionnaires for 18 years.

Women eating the most strawberries and blueberries had a
32 percent lower risk of heart attack than those women
eating them once a month or less.

That bears repeating --- you might lower your risk of heart
attack by 32% if you eat more strawberries.  

Strawberries also contain quercetin, which is an anti-
inflammatory that helps to cut the risk of atherosclerosis.
(Read more about foods that cut your risk for
clogged or
hardened arteries.)

Strawberries Help Protect Your Skin from UV Rays

If you don’t like the taste of strawberries, why not put
them on your face for an extra health benefit?

According to a 2012 study from Universita Politecnica delle
Marche, Italy, an extract of strawberries in a face cream
protects the skin against the damaging effects of ultraviolet

The strawberry extract helped to prevent DNA damage
which can lead to skin cancer and premature skin aging.
Again, scientists think that anthocyanins are responsible for
the photoprotective qualities of strawberries.

Eat Strawberries to Keep Your Brain Working

When you eat plenty of strawberries in later life you
strengthen your brain against cognitive decline, according
to researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and
Harvard Medical School in a 2012 study.

Eating lots of flavonoid-rich strawberries and blueberries
could delay cognitive decline by up to 2.5 years.

Anthocyanidins in strawberrries reduce
inflammation and
stress, which are major contributors to cognitive decline in
elderly people.  (Read more about
foods that fight
Alzheimer's disease.)

Strawberries May Prevent Throat Cancer

Researchers found that strawberries may have a surprising
benefit – the juicy fruit protects against throat
(esophageal) cancer.

The 2011 study by Ohio State University looked at people
consuming 60g of strawberries every day for six months,
which reduced the incidence of precancerous lesions in the

It’s actually better to eat the strawberries frozen,
researchers say, because removing the water concentrates
the substances in the fruit for greater effects.

Reduce Bad Cholesterol by Eating Strawberries

Eating 500g of strawberries a day significantly reduces
your levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides, according
to a 2014 study from the Università Politecnica delle
Marche, Italy and the Universities of Salamanca, Granada
and Seville, Spain.

You’ve got to keep eating strawberries for benefits to
continue – researchers found that levels returned to their
initial values after 15 days without the strawberry
treatment. (Read more about
foods that lower cholesterol.)

Protect Your Stomach from the Effects of Alcohol with

Strawberries can even reduce the harm alcohol causes to
the stomach, according to a 2011 study from the University
of Barcelona, Spain. Strawberries have a protective effect
on the stomach mucous membrane, which can be damaged
by alcohol.  Eating the fruit could help slow down the
development of stomach ulcers, which may be caused by
alcohol consumption.

Strawberries Help Build Strong Red Blood Cells

Another heart-healthy benefit of strawberries from a 2011
study by the Marche Polytechnic University, Italy, and the
University of Granada, Spain – 500g of strawberries every
day improves the antioxidant capacity of blood.

Strawberries boost the response of red blood cells to
oxidative stress, which is linked to cardiovascular disease,
cancer, and diabetes.

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Strawberries lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
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