What Are Strawberries?
Strawberries are a favorite summer fruit. They appear in everything from yogurt to desserts and salads. Strawberries are a low-glycemic fruit, making them a tasty option for people looking to control or reduce their glucose levels.
June is usually the best time to pick fresh strawberries, but they're available in supermarkets year-round. They are delicious raw or cooked in a variety of recipes ranging from sweet to savory.
Strawberries are good for your whole body. They naturally deliver vitamins, fiber, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols -- without any sodium, fat, or cholesterol. They are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and are a good source of manganese and potassium. Just one serving -- about eight strawberries -- provides more vitamin C than an orange.
Are Strawberries Berries?
This member of the rose family isn’t really a fruit or a berry but the enlarged receptacle of the flower. First cultivated in ancient Rome, strawberries are now the most popular berry fruit in the world. In France, they were once regarded as an aphrodisiac.
The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in strawberries can provide important health benefits. For example, strawberries are rich in vitamin C and polyphenols, which are antioxidant compounds that may help to prevent the development of some diseases.
In addition, strawberries can provide other health benefits related to:
The polyphenols in strawberries have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic adults. Not only are strawberries low in sugar themselves, but they may also help you metabolize other forms of glucose.
Strawberries have anti-inflammatory effects that may prevent skin damage when applied topically. In one small study, strawberry-based cosmetic treatments protected skin exposed to harmful ultraviolet A (UVA)-radiation, especially in combination with coenzyme Q10.
One small study showed the anti-inflammatory benefits of strawberries can also protect other parts of the body, including the joints. For people with osteoarthritis and knee pain, strawberries can help reduce pain and swelling and improve quality of life. In one study, adults who ate 50 grams of strawberries each day for 24 weeks experienced an overall reduction in pain and inflammation.
Strawberry Nutrition Facts
Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, which help reduce the risk of serious health conditions like cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
It’s also an excellent source of:
- Vitamin K
Nutrients per serving
A 100-gram serving of strawberries contains:
- Calories: 91
- Protein: 0.67 gram
- Fat: 0.3 gram
- Carbohydrates: 7.68 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Sugar: 4.89 grams
Strawberry serving size
Strawberries are a low glycemic food, and like most fruits are fat free. They do contain sugar, but it’s fructose, not sucrose or, obviously, added sugar. The fiber in strawberries also slows down the absorption of natural sugars. Moderating your portions and keeping your servings to about a cup or less will help keep you from consuming too many calories.
How to Choose Strawberries
Choose medium-sized ones that are firm, plump, and deep red; once picked, they don’t ripen further.
How to Store Strawberries
Store strawberries at 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) in the refrigerator. Wrap them in film packaging to preserve them even longer.
How to Prepare Strawberries
Strawberries are found in the produce aisles of most grocery stores and supermarkets. You can also pick your own strawberries at local farms during their peak season.
Strawberries are a versatile fruit that can be used in custards, fruit salads, baked goods, and salads.
Here are some ways to use strawberries in recipes:
- Make pancakes with strawberry slices instead of blueberries
- Slice strawberries into a kale salad with goat cheese and slivered almonds
- Top a cheesecake with whole or sliced strawberries
- Stir strawberries into plain yogurt
- Fill with whipped cream or crème fraîche for a dessert or snack
- Add frozen strawberries to smoothies
Strawberry Salad With Grilled Shrimp
Makes 4 servings
2 cups baby spinach, rinsed and dried
2 cups arugula, rinsed and dried
2 cups strawberries (about 1 pint), hulled and sliced
2 oz crumbled goat cheese
3 Tbsp pecans, toasted and chopped
2 small green onions, sliced
1 lb shrimp, cleaned and deveined
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp honey mustard
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
- Combine all salad ingredients except shrimp in a large bowl. Toss gently.
- Make the dressing: Whisk the vinegar and mustard together in a small bowl; slowly whisk in olive oil. Add basil and season with salt and pepper.
- Grill the shrimp: Heat and oil an outdoor or stove-top grill. When hot, add shrimp and grill 3 to 4 minutes on each side until slightly charred and cooked through. Remove from heat.
- Divide salad among four plates. Arrange grilled shrimp on top.
- Drizzle dressing over each and serve.
Per serving: 251 calories, 23 g protein, 12.5 g carbohydrate, 12.8 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 177 mg cholesterol, 2.5 g fiber, 306 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 45%.