Delicious and nutrition-rich red colored strawberries are among the most popular berries. The berries are native to Europe but now they are widely cultivated as an important commercial crop in many temperate regions all over the world. The plant is a runner (creeper) and belongs to the family of Rosaceae, of the genus: Fragaria.
These berries have the taste that varies from quite sweet to acidic. The berry features red pulp with tiny yellow color seeds piercing through its surface from inside. Top end has small, green leafy cap and stem that is adorning its crown.
Strawberries are available year-round in the stores but are fresh and plentiful from the spring through the mid-summer. Avoid those appear dull, sunken or flattened and those with signs of mold, cuts or discolored patches on the surface. The berries are easily perishable; and therefore, should only be purchased a few days prior to use.
They keep fresh in the refrigerator for a day or two. Use them as early as possible, unless otherwise they are frozen and stored in the freezer compartment.
Health benefits of strawberries
– Are low in calories (32 k cal/100 g) and fats but rich source of health promoting phyto-nutrients, minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
– Are an excellent source of vitamin-C which is also a powerful natural antioxidant.
– Strawberries contain vitamin A, vitamin E and health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin, and beta-carotene in small amounts which protects scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
– The fruit is rich in B-complex group of vitamins. These vitamins are acting as co-factors help the body metabolize carbohydrate, proteins and fats.
– They contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, fluorine, copper, iron and iodine.
Strawberries may cause serious allergic reactions in some sensitized individuals. Some of the most common symptoms of strawberry allergy include swelling and redness of mouth, lips and tongue, eczema, hives, skin rash, headache, runny nose, itchy eyes, wheezing, gastrointestinal disturbances, depression, hyperactivity and insomnia. Individuals who suspect allergy to these fruits may want to avoid.