If you’re a strawberry addict like me, then this time of year must make you very happy. Local organic strawberries are the best. Unlike their oversized waterlogged conventionally grown cousins that are picked unripe and shipped from far away, berries grown locally can be teeming with flavour.
The common garden strawberry that we find in stores today is actually a hybrid of the French (for flavour) and Argentinean (for size) varieties. In our modern world, we’re accustomed to strawberries being available year-round, but nothing can compare to the first sweet taste of a fresh organic strawberry. Local berries also mean a much smaller carbon footprint. Unfortunately, conventionally grown strawberries are #1 on the top 12 list for the highest pesticide content of produce so it is best to eat organic.
Why You Should Eat Organic Strawberries
1. They are an excellent source of folate: Strawberries are an amazing source of folate (the folic acid found in food). Inadequate amounts of folate in the ageing population can contribute to atherosclerosis, vascular disease and even a decline in cognitive function. (1) Medications used for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis can actually deplete folic acid in the body, so stock up on strawberries to replenish!
2. They could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease: Strawberries are being studied for their unique ability to suppress the inflammatory responses of the body and reduce our risk of hypertension by lowering LDL cholesterol. (2) A 2013 study published in Circulation found women who ate three or more servings of strawberries and blueberries in a week reduced their risk of heart attack by 32 percent. (3)
3. There’s more than enough vitamin C: Strawberries contain more than 100 percent of our daily recommended intake of vitamin C in just 3/4 cup. Recent studies show that when vitamin C is consumed during times of stress, it actually has the ability to decrease our blood pressure to a normal level, preventing the development of hypertension — especially in kids. (4)
4. They’re a great source of fibre: Strawberries are high in fibre, which is important for moving food through your digestive system and helping bowel movements. This can help improve digestion, especially for those with constipation or irregular stools.
5. They’re high in antioxidants: Strawberries contain anthrocyanin, which is a powerful antioxidant that protects us from the damaging effects of our environment, especially the sun. The antioxidant power of the anthrocyanins found in strawberries lasts up to 24 hours after consumption; this makes them a great defence against free radical damage. (5)
1. Sara Tulipania, Bruno Mezzettia and Maurizio: "Impact of strawberries on human health: insight into marginally discussed bioactive compounds for the Mediterranean diet" Battinoa Public Health Nutrition / Volume 12 / Special Issue 9A / September 2009, pp 1656-1662
2. Arpita Basu, Marci Wilkinson, Kavitha Penugonda, Brandi Simmons, Nancy M Betts and Timothy J Lyons: "Freeze-dried strawberry powder improves lipid profile and lipid peroxidation in women with metabolic syndrome: baseline and post intervention effects" Nutrition Journal 2009, 8:43 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-8-43
3. Aedín Cassidy, PhD; Kenneth J. Mukamal, MD; "High Anthocyanin Intake Is Associated With a Reduced Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Young and Middle-Aged Women" Lydia Liu, MSc; Mary Franz, MSc; A. Heather Eliassen, ScD; Eric B. Rimm, ScD 2013; 127: 188-196 doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.122408
4.Pricilla Regina Oliveira Fernandes Fernandes, Fabio Alexandre dos Santos Lira, Vanessa Vieira Lopes Borba, Maria José Carvalho Costa, Ivani Credidio Trombeta, Maria do Socorro Brasileiro Santos, Amilton da Cruz Santos: "Vitamin C Restores Blood Pressure and Vasodilator Response During Mental Stress In Obese Children" Clinic of Endocrinology, University Hospital, Federal University of Paraíba.Rua Severino Massa Spinelli, 191/202 - Tambaú - 58039-210 - João Pessoa, PB - Brazil: February 03, 2011.
5. Catherine Felgines, Se ́ verine Talave ́ ra, Marie-Paule Gonthier, Odile Texier, Augustin Scalbert, Jean-Louis Lamaison and Christian R: "Strawberry Anthocyanins Are Recovered in Urine as Glucuro- and Sulfoconjugates in Humans" The Journal of Nutrition 133: 1296–1301, 2003.