Eating healthy always involves eating an assortment of fruits, and one of the most popular to munch on is the strawberry. The bright red fruit, which is cultivated worldwide, is known for its juiciness and sweetness—and a favorite among many who love to eat strawberries.
Like other fruits, there are many health benefits to eating strawberries, including the vitamins and nutrients within the berry. Yet while there are some benefits, there are also unhealthy associations discussed when people eat strawberries, including the sugar content of the fruit.
Below we’ve highlighted five perks and pitfalls when you decide to eat strawberries, and for more healthy tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
Unless you spend your life alternating between meditating and sleeping, there’s a good chance that you feel some sort of stress. Although stress can be an emotional tension, it can manifest itself in physical ways and can contribute to long-term heart problems. Thankfully, there are simple ways to reduce stress that don’t involve going to a massage studio or heading off to a beach somewhere—including when you eat strawberries.
“Foods like strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which not only help the immune system, but it can help lower levels of cortisol, known as the stress hormone,” says certified nutritionist Philip Goglia, the co-founder of G-Plans.
Along with strawberries, here are 21 Best Foods to Eat When You’re Stressed, According to Dietitians.
Pesticides are useful for getting rid of insects or other harmful organisms that may be on produce as it’s growing, but once that produce gets to the store, you don’t want the pesticides entering your body. If ingested, pesticides can lead to a host of illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
Megan Wong, RD at AlgeaCal says that unfortunately, strawberries are one of the most frequent fruits that are contaminated.
“Strawberries are notorious for being contaminated with pesticide residues,” Wong says. “In fact, they’ve been on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list multiple times, holding the #1 spot for the past 5 years.”
Wong recommends thoroughly washing strawberries before consuming them and purchasing organic berries when possible. And for other foods you should thoroughly wash before eating, These Are the Foods With the Most Pesticides.
While COVID-19 deaths are skyrocketing in the United States, cancer still remains the number two leading cause of death throughout the country, with 599,274 Americans dying from cancerous diseases in 2018. While there are almost certainly ways to increase your odds of getting cancer, like smoking, there are also ways to help cut down your risk of it, like eating strawberries according to Reda Elmardi, a nutritionist and owner of StrongChap.com.
“Having strawberries lowers oxidative stress and decreases chronic inflammation which is linked to cancer cells formation and progression,” says Elmardi.
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Vitamin C is not just the name of the singer of the iconic 1999 song “Graduation (Friends Forever),” it’s also an essential vitamin that helps to boost immune systems and fight off infections. Thankfully for strawberry lovers, the fruit is jam-packed with them.
“Vitamin C works to boost your white blood cell production, and it also reduces inflammation,” says Megan Byrd, RD from The Oregon Dietitian. “This allows your body’s organ systems, including the immune system, to work more efficiently.”
Strawberries are packed full of nutritious fiber, with 0.2 grams of fiber in just one medium-sized strawberry. A normal serving of the fruit packs around four grams on fiber on average. All of this fiber helps to improve a body’s digestive system.
With that improved digestive system also comes, well, you know. Having good digestion always helps to make a body more regular, “Strawberries are a nutritional powerhouse—high in vitamin C and fiber, both of which are essential to good health, a strong immune system and healthy gut,” says Lynell Ross, nutritionist and certified health and wellness coach.
Now that we’ve convinced you to eat more strawberries, here’s How to Easily Hull a Strawberry in Seconds.