Strawberries are jam-packed with nutrients, so we wanted to ouline the Top 10 Health Benefits of Strawberries, and then offer 21 Easy Ways to Enjoy Them.
1. Helps burn stored fat
The red coloring contains anthocyanins, which stimulate the burning of stored fat. When a group of animals was fed a high-fat diet along with anthocyanins, they gained 24 percent less weight than the animals eating the high-fat diet without added anthocyanins. (The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry)
2. Boost short term memory
The anthocyanins boost short term memory by 100 percent in eight weeks. (The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry)
3. Low in Calories – High in Fiber
One cup contains only 54 calories and because they're high in fiber they help you stay full longer.
4. Ease 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.)
5. Lower cardiovascular disease
Flavonoids — which are responsible for the colour and flavour of strawberries — lower the risk for heart disease.
6. Promote bone health
Strawberries contain potassium, vitamin K and magnesium which are important for bone health.
7. Prevent oesophageal cancer
Studies show freeze-dried strawberry powder may help prevent human oesophageal cancer.
8. Anti-aging properties
Strawberries are filled with biotin, which helps build strong hair and nails. They also contain the antioxidant ellagic acid, which protects the elastic fibers in our skin to prevent sagging.
9. Good for weight loss
The compound nitrate found promotes blood flow and oxygen in our body, which is great for weight loss.
10. Promote eye health
Eating three or more servings of fruit like strawberries may lower the risk of macular degeneration, a condition resulting in vision loss. (Archives of Ophthalmology)
Also, here are 21 fun and delicious ways to use strawberries beyond adding a burst of sweetness to your morning granola or yogurt.
1. Chocolate Smoothie
Add 2–4 fresh or frozen strawberries and a scoop of your favorite chocolate protein powder to transform a smoothie into a decadent “chocolate-dipped strawberry” concoction.
2. Watermelon Smoothie
Blend 2–3 strawberries, coconut water and a few torn leaves of basil with a cup of seedless watermelon chunks for a super-hydrating, fat-free smoothie.
3. Pink Lemonade
Mash a pint of strawberries with a spoonful of raw sugar before adding to a pitcher of lemon juice and water for a fresh version of pink lemonade.
4. Infused Water
A sliced strawberry, a wedge of lime and a sprig of mint added to your bottle of water may encourage you to drink up.
5. Summer Sangria
Soak sliced strawberries in white rum, then make super summery sangria by scooping some of the fruit into a glass and topping with chilled white or sparkling wine.
6. Sweet Mocktail
Muddle a few hulled strawberries with mint at the bottom of a glass, add ice cubes and sparkling water for a refreshing, fancy mocktail.
7. As Ice
Use frozen strawberries in place of ice cubes to impress your guests with your entertaining chops à la Martha Stewart.
8. Simple Salsa
Fresh, ripe strawberries chopped with poblano chiles, green onion and a squeeze of lime make an excellent twist on pico de gallo. This version with cucumber good too.
9. Easy Jam
A pound of hulled strawberries, half a cup of sugar (adjust this to taste), and two tablespoons of lemon juice, mashed well and simmered on the stove until thickened, make for a quick, put-on-everything jam.
10. Strawberry Butter
Mix 1/4 cup chopped strawberries, a stick of unsalted butter and your favorite sweetener (to taste) to create a luxurious topping for waffles, pancakes and toast.
11. Caprese Salad
Think of strawberries as tomatoes: Strawberry, basil and mozzarella are killer together. As is this Strawberry Spinach Salad.
12. Greek Salad
Similarly, slice strawberries and toss them with chopped cucumber, feta and mint with a bit of high-quality olive oil.
13. Spicy Snack
Chopped or sliced strawberries with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of chipotle powder make a simple snack inspired by Mexican street-food vendors.
Slice and dehydrate strawberries for snacking on the go: Use a dehydrator or a wire rack over a baking sheet in an oven at its lowest temperature.
Stack strawberries onto a skewer, brush with balsamic vinegar and grill for 3–4 minutes on each side.
Spread hulled strawberries in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 15–20 minutes at 375°F. Serve with sweet or savory dishes.
In a small bowl, mix half a cup of Neufchatel cheese, a couple teaspoons lemon juice, a splash of vanilla and one tablespoon powdered sugar. Spoon or pipe into hulled strawberries for a “one-bite” dessert.
Put 2 cups frozen strawberries, a touch of your favorite sweetener and a little bit of water or coconut water, start to blend on low then gradually increase speed to the highest setting. Voila! A soft sorbet. Or try this Strawberry Granita.
19. Ice “Cream”
For something creamier, whirl 2 frozen bananas until they look crumbly, scraping down the sides as needed. Add a few strawberries and a splash of almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk) and continue to blend until it looks like soft-serve ice cream.
20. Quick Sauce
To use up strawberries that are getting too ripe: Put them in a bowl, add a touch of sweetener and mash or blend into a simple sauce.
21. Fruit Roll-Ups
Another overripe option: puree, pour onto a dehydrator tray and dehydrate for homemade fruit roll ups. A parchment-lined baking sheet and the lowest oven temperature setting can work if you don’t have a dehydrator. A big thank you to BernadetteDeGramont for contributing this excellent content.