Thursday, February 17, 2011

Strawberry health benefits

Strawberry is a succulent and fragrant fruit of bright red color, obtained from the plant with the same name. It is almost considered as the ‘queen of the fruit’. The fruit can be eaten raw and used to make jam, stewed fruit etc,

Strawberries (Fragaria vesca) grew impulsively in the forests. It is used with medicinal purposes, as it has excellent benefits for health. Its culture started quite late, since it is a very fragile fruit. The edible fruit is commonly known as ‘etaerio’. It is a false fruit consisting of a receptacle bearing the achenes, small and pale color in the part that was exposed to the shade and a dark reddish color in the part that has been exposed to the sun. The achenes can be inserted in the flesh, superficial or protuberant. The protuberant achenes increase the resistance of the surface, but during washing many of them come off. The consumer normally prefers the fruit with few achenes, since they remain between the teeth when we bite them.

Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and fiber. A portion of 125 g provides with 160% of vitamin C, 20% of folic acid and 16% of the daily recommended fiber. Strawberries do not contain fat. Vitamin C is a great antioxidant that helps to reduce the risk of cancer and at the same time intensifies the immunological system.

Vitamin C also helps to protect the gums, skin and muscles and facilitates the iron absorption. Folate is important for healthy pregnancies and to protect against cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Fiber protects from disorders in the alimentary canal, including intestine cancer. Potassium is good for the muscles and the nervous system. Strawberries contain phytochemicals, like flavonoids, that seem to help to diminish the risk of contracting cancer.

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