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Strawberries are the most popular berry fruit in the world. Tasty, colored in cheerful red, available all year round, strawberries are used for juices, cakes and food decorations. There are more than 600 different varieties of strawberries. Most of them are cultivated but there are also varieties that grow wild. Wild strawberries are smaller but their flavor, which is more intense, makes them a real treat.

Health benefits of strawberries

Strawberries are rich sources of phenols, potent antioxidants that may help to protect cell structure and prevent oxygen damage caused by free radicals. This mighty compound may prevent coronary diseases and the formation of cancerous tissue. Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, strawberries are efficient in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, asthma and arteriosclerosis.

Compound found in strawberries, called ellagitannin, is associated with lower rates of deaths by cancer. Strawberries are also good for our sight. At least three servings per day are sufficient for lowering the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

As an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese, strawberries may help to prevent rheumatoid arthritis and many other degenerative diseases.

Nutrition information about strawberries

One serving size of raw strawberries has approximately 152 grams and only 49 calories. Strawberries are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. One serving of raw strawberries is enough to satisfy 149% of recommended daily value for Vitamin C. One serving has 12 grams of carbohydrates: 3 grams of fiber and 7 grams of sugar. Strawberries are also excellent sources of manganese, and one serving may satisfy 29% of recommended daily value for this important mineral. The only bad point about strawberries is that a large portion of the calories in this food comes from sugars. Therefore, strawberries should always be consumed unsweetened, in order to enjoy their full health benefits.

How to enjoy strawberries

Strawberries are very fragile and they should be handled with care. It is best to wash them just before eating or using in a recipe. Their caps should stay on even during the washing to prevent water from entering the inner parts of the berries and spoiling the flavor.

Strawberries may be used fresh in a fruit salad. This easy to made dish will not lose any of the healthy nutrients, if properly stored in the refrigerator.

Strawberries may be sliced and mixed with green salad. Mixed with whole blueberries and plain yogurt they make an excellent parfait dessert. Combined chopped with cinnamon, lemon juice and maple syrup strawberries are great toppings for waffles and pancakes.

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