Strawberry Nutrition Facts & Health BenefitsBy: Branden Hank | Nutrition And Recipes
Strawberries are one of the most easily recognizable berries – coveted for both their texture and taste. They’re also a nutritional powerhouse that can benefit your health and diet in numerous ways.
Here’s everything you need to know about this red, plump, watering juicy fruit, including strawberry nutrition facts.
History Of Strawberries
Fragaria Ananassa, as nerds know it, is the botanical name for strawberries.
Fun Fact – Inspite of the term “berries” clearly attached to its name, strawberries are actually considered a member of the rose family – mostly because they grow in clusters, bare their seeds outside their bodies and have a sweet pleasing scent and taste. Your whole life’s a lie!
Another fun fact – Those small seeds on strawberries are considered “fruits”. So when you pop one into your mouth, you’re technically eating one giant strawberry and about 200 other tiny berries. Cool right?
As much as Americans consume them, strawberries are actually thought to have originated from Europe. They evolved into the species you know and love in the 18th century, but can actually be traced back as far as the 13th century in France.
Strawberries are also perennial crops – Meaning once you grow one plant, it keeps producing fruit many years afterwards (for about 5 years).
Strawberry Nutrition Facts (Per Cup)
There are over 600 species of strawberries in existence today, all growing in different seasons (June berries anyone?) and coming in different tastes and sizes.
So it’s quite possible to find differring strawberry nutritional information – such as how many carbs are in strawberries. Here’s a breakdown. The estimate is one cup of fresh strawberries (cause no one is satisfied eating just one berry).
Carbs in strawberries
How many carbs are in strawberries? Because fresh strawberries contain a lot of water, you can get away with eating a whole cup and not fill up on carbs.
You can expect about 12 grams of carbonhydrate – which is quite low. This is regardless of the sizes of strawberries you’ve diced into a cup for one serving.
Besides, the carbs in strawberries come from easily digested simple sugars like glucose sucrose and fructose, so they won’t cause an immediate spike in your blood sugar levels.
Calories in Strawberries
If you’re looking to lose weight, you’ll be delighted by how many calories are in strawberries. One cup can contain as little as 45 calories, while certain species may go higher – though not more than 55 calories per cup.
Vitamins In Strawberries
Strawberries are famous for their high vitamin C content. In fact, one cup of strawberries can provide 160% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C. But that’s not the only vitamins.
There’s also vitamin A, which is great for eyesight, vitamin k, as well antioxidants like ellagic acid, and anthocyanins. Strawberries also contain a significant amount of potassium, one of the most forgettable nutrients in foods.
Fiber In Strawberries
One fourth of the carbs in strawberries are fibers. How much fiber is in a cup of strawberries? About 3 grams – both soluble and insoluble. Note that fiber is one half of synbiotic foods – they’re prebiotics, which helps probiotics work well.
Sugar In Strawberries
The sweet juice busting with flavors in your mouth should give you a clue that strawberries contain a lot a sugar. So how much sugar is in strawberries? One cup contains about 4.9 grams – which is a ton of sugar. Fortunately, the body digests this type of sugar (and other naturally occuring sugars in whole foods) very easily. It’s much better for you to binge on strawberries than doughtnuts – any day.
Other minor strawberry nutrients included minerals like magnesium, copper, vitamin K & E, as well as iron. These are so small in quantity, they may not contribute much towards your overall diet, so ensure you eat other foods high in them.
What Makes Strawberries Red?
Half of the attraction to strawberries is their bright red color. It’s the red color that signals a berry is ripe for the plucking. Most fruits contain some anthocyanins – the pigment found mostly on flowers and outer skins of fruits.
Strawberries however contain about 25 different anthocyanins – present in both the inner flesh and outer skin of the strawberry. And this anthocyanin becomes more potent, the longer the strawberry is left to become ripe. In the benefits section, you’ll see more about how beneficial anthocyanins are to the body.
Summary Of Strawberry Nutrition Facts Per Cup
- Calories: 52 kcal
- Carbs: 12.75 grams
- Sugar: 4.9 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein: 1.1 gram
- Potassium: 254 mg
As irresistible as they are to the eyes, strawberries also come packing a ton of benefits.
Note that strawberries are entirely fat-free, sodium-free and contain very few calories. So they’re beneficial not just in their content, but in what they lack. Here are a few strawberry benefits:
Reduces Risk Of Heart Disease
One of the very first cue you have that strawberries are good for your heart is that it’s a heart-shaped, blood colored fruit.
All those anthocyanins embedded in the skin and flesh of the juicy berry have been known to drastically cut down the risk of heart attacks – particularly in young and middle aged women.
A study published in the circulation journal (with an 18 year follow up) showed that high anthocyanin consumption correlates with decreased myocardial infarction risk.
Considering the high anthocyanin content in strawberries, consuming them regularly can reduce your risk of heart disease – one of the world’s leading causes of death.
Strawberries are also high in polyphenols, known to cut down the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Reduces Cancer Risk
The body often finds it difficult to break down junk foods. Additionally, other factors – like eating inorganic foods – can trigger free radicals to roam in your body. These free radicals have been known to accumulate and become cancerous when ignored for too long.
The polyphenol and flavonoid quercetin contained in strawberries have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors, decreasing inflammation, and clearing away free radicals from the blood.
Consuming at least 3 servings of strawberries per week have also been shown to prevent changes in the DNA cell structure – something cancer has been known to change.
Regulates Blood Pressure
The high potassium content in strawberries helps negate the high blood pressure inducing effects of sodium.
While most people consume sodium in their meals, without even thinking about it (its found in salt), potassium is usually forgotten.
So unless you’re filling up on bananas day in and day out, strawberries are a great way to negate all the salt that will accumulate in your body. The more balanced your salt – potassium level is, the less easily triggered your blood pressure will be.
Helps With Diabetic Reactions
Most diabetic patients know the pain of having blood spikes – even when consuming something as innocent as an orange. What usually triggers sugar spikes in the body depends on the glycemic index of a food. The higher the glycemic index a food has, the more dangerous it is if you’re diabetic.
In spite of the relatively high sugar content when you look at strawberry nutrition facts, strawberries are very low on the glycemic index (40). Flavonid found in strawberries have also been shown to reduce other complications that may arise as a result of diabetics. Like maintaining the neurons responsible for memory that may die off and trigger amnesia.
Helps During Pregnancy
Pregnant women are encouraged to consume foods rich in folic acid. One cup of fresh strawberries contains about 9% of the folic acid you’ll need per day. So if you’re looking for an alternative to folic acid pills, this is one fruit you can incorporate into your diet.
Keeps Your Skin Healthy
The rich antioxidants in strawberries work wonders on the elasticity of your skin.
Whether you’re rubbing it on your face, as a face mask, or eating it,
There are a ton of meals you can make with strawberries. You can spring for a strawberry smoothie, or go for a strawberry salad. It really doesn’t have to be boringly eating chopped strawberries out of a cup.
Here are two strawberry recipes you can try. They don’t cost too much or take a lot of time.
Strawberry Honey-Lime Salad
- 3 Medium apples (cube them)
- 4 cups of Strawberries (halved)
- 1/4 cup of honey
- 1 tablespoon of mint (minced)
Mix all the chopped fruits in a large bowl. Mix the lime, honey and mint in a small separate bowl, then pour the mixture into the bowl of fruit. And voila!
- 1 cup of Almond milk
- 1 cup of fresh strawberries
- Iced Cubes
Blend all these ingredients together. Add sweetener if you have a sweet tooth.
Caution When Buying Strawberries
Strawberries tend to test heavily for pesticides – more than other foods. However, even if you can’t afford organic strawberries, remember that the chemicals in strawberries are subjected to FDA testings. Hence those at the grocery store have undergone safety tests.
From strawberry nutrition facts, you can tell that these berries are a great source of vitamins, minerals and a plethora of other nutrients. Most of which have been shown to have many health benefits. From regulating blood pressure and sugar levels to fighting cancer causing free radicals.
What’s more, their low calorie content makes strawberries an especially healthy diet choice – especially those looking to shed a few pounds.