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Strawberries

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Strawberries Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 91 g
Calories: 32 kcal
Protein: 0.7 g
Carbohydrate: 7.7 g
Dietary fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 4.9 g
Fat: 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2 g
Vitamin C: 58.8 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.4 mg
Vitamin B9: 24 μg
Vitamin A: 1 μg
Vitamin E: 0.3 mg
Vitamin K: 2.2 μg
Calcium: 16 mg
Iron: 0.4 mg
Magnesium: 13 mg
Phosphorus: 24 mg
Potassium: 153 mg
Sodium: 1 mg
Zinc: 0.1 mg

A sweet and succulent summer fruit, the strawberry is one of the few examples where it is possible to honestly say that eating an extremely healthy diet can taste better than one high in sugars, salts, and saturated fats. Strawberries are an essential (and delicious) part of any diet that it is lacking in fresh fruit.

While strawberries taste great on their own, they can be eating as part of almost any dessert, or perhaps with some nuts as a healthy snack. Regardless of how you eat them, they are notable for their exceptional vitamin C levels, and the advantages they provide for your long term cardiovascular (and whole body) health.

Strawberries are extremely high in vitamin C: the USDA database entry states that 100g of strawberries contains just 33 calories, but a staggering 97% of your daily value of vitamin C, and 4% DV of potassium.

The high levels of vitamin C, and small amount of potassium are great for the strawberry’s reputation as a food that really benefits the cardiovascular system, but aside from this the main nutritional benefit of strawberries is simply their high levels of fresh water.

In addition to high levels of vitamin C, strawberries are great for the cardiovascular system in a multitude of other ways. Atherosclerosis is a disease characterised by the build-up of plaque on the walls of the arteries, and it can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Strawberries are excellent at managing a number of the risk factors of atherosclerosis, in particular high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal levels of fat in the bloodstream, and inflammation.

On a more direct level, strawberries are excellent at managing the risk factors of cardiovascular disease in people who are already obese, and thus already at a very high risk of cardiovascular diseases. That study found that simply giving overweight people freeze dried strawberries lowered fat levels in the blood, and reduced the markers of inflammation; quite an achievement!

Finally, strawberries also have potent anti-cancer properties, likely because of their long list of antioxidant phytonutrients: there are a couple of anthocyanins present (compounds such as those in the purple sweet potatoes that give foods their bright colours), but also a whole list of antioxidant flavonols, including kaempferol and quercetin.

The anti-cancer properties of strawberries are yet to be fully researched, but we do know, for example, that strawberries do prevent the proliferation of cancer in a number of cases. Specific examples studied include cervical and breast cancer.