Strawberries belong to the genus Rose

Strawberry

"It's been many years since I've been free to eat everything I want, and I want a plate of strawberries." / Mark Blackthorn /

Wild strawberries and a full belly with them are pierced on the grass stalk. A scent that everyone recognizes. Oh, those childhood memories. 

Nothing in the summer can be better than self-selected fruits and berries. Have you already started your strawberry season?

I'm one of those people who can eat a lot of strawberries and has no mention of allergies. It seems to me that strawberries can be eaten in any way, boiled, fried, frozen, fresh, as additives, etc. What a lot there - I really like strawberries!

In this article, let’s look at what strawberries are; what health benefits they provide and, of course, prescriptions. 

What are strawberries?

Strawberries (Fragaria) belong to the genus Rose. There are 18 species in the genus Strawberry. There are 3 species in the wild in Latvia, as well as garden strawberry or large strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa), which is a cross between Chilean strawberry and Virginia strawberry.

Although strawberries have been around for thousands of years, strawberries were only actively grown in Europe during the Renaissance.

The plants can grow for five to six years, but most farmers use them as an annual crop, replanting every year. It takes 8 to 14 months for strawberry seedlings to mature.

Strawberries are low-growing herbaceous plants with a fibrous root system and a crown from which the basal leaves emerge. The leaves are folded, usually with three leaflets, with saw teeth and usually hairy. The flowers, usually white, rarely reddish, are sent in small clusters on slender stems, which, like the creeping stems on the surface, arise from the armpits of the leaves. As the plant ages, the root system becomes woody, and the "mother's" crown sends out runners (such as stolons) that touch the ground and the root, thus expanding the plant vegetatively. Botanical strawberry fruits are considered "complementary fruits" and are not real berries. The flesh consists of a greatly enlarged flower container and is embedded with many real fruits or achenes, which are popularly called seeds.

Strawberry species

Fragaria virginiana
Fragaria virginiana
  • Wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca) (growing in Latvia)
  • Fragaria moschata (growing in Latvia)
  • Fragaria viridis (growing in Latvia)
  • Chilean strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis)
  • Virginia Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)
  • Fragaria daltoniana
  • Fragaria gracilis
  • Fragaria hayatae
  • Fragaria iinumae
  • Fragaria iturupensis
  • Fragaria mandschurica
  • Fragaria moupinensis
  • Fragaria nilgerrensis
  • Fragaria nipponica
  • Fragaria nubicola
  • Fragaria orientalis
  • Fragaria pentaphylla
  • Fragaria tibetica

Nutritional value of strawberries per 100 g

Strawberries consist mainly of water (91%) and carbohydrates (7,7%). They contain only a small amount of fat (0,3%) and protein (0,7%).

  • Calories - 32
  • Water - 91%
  • Protein - 0,7 g
  • Carbohydrates - 7,7 g
  • Sugar - 4,9 g
  • Fiber - 2 g
  • Fat - 0,3 g

What are the health benefits of strawberries

Strawberries contain the following vitamins, such as:

  • Vitamin C. Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C, an antioxidant needed by the immune system and skin health. 
  • Manganese. This trace element is often found in large quantities in whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and it is important for many processes in your body.
  • Folate (vitamin B9). One of the B vitamins, folate, is important for normal tissue growth and cell function, and is essential for pregnant women and older adults.
  • Potassium. This mineral is involved in many important body functions, such as the regulation of blood pressure.
  • Strawberries also contain iron, stem, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin B6, K and E.

It is believed that if you eat a lot of strawberries, then it is possible to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. For example, strawberries can improve heart health, lower blood sugar and help prevent cancer.

5 health benefits of strawberries

 1. Heart health

Strawberries are rich in colored pigments that have a protective effect - these anthocyanidins are believed to have a number of potential health benefits, including the prevention of inflammatory diseases and heart disease. 

2. You can regulate your blood sugar

Strawberries slow down glucose digestion and reduce insulin intake, especially when taken with a high carbohydrate meal.

3. Helps with type 2 diabetes

Strawberries contain plant protection compounds called polyphenols, two of which - ellagic acid and ellagitans - have been shown to be promising in helping to manage some of the effects of type 2 diabetes. In particular, they regulate blood sugar levels and control blood pressure. But it is still being studied. 

4. Helps against cancer

The protective effect is thought to be due to a combination of polyphenols, including elagic acid and ellagitans, which stop the growth of cancer cells in animal studies.

5. Weight loss

Strawberries have a low glycemic index (GI), which helps to release blood sugar more moderately. Studies show that a diet high in low-GI foods can be helpful in controlling weight and reducing the incidence of obesity-related diseases. 

It should be borne in mind that overeating any product can cause health problems. Although most of us can enjoy strawberries without any problems, they are a common allergen, especially in young children.

Strawberries, along with fruits like apples, peaches, avocados and blueberries, contain natural chemicals called salicylates. Some people are sensitive to these compounds and may experience an allergic reaction, including skin rash and swelling.

Strawberries also contain goitrogens, compounds that can interfere with thyroid function, so those with thyroid problems should avoid using strawberries diet.

Interesting facts about strawberries

  • Strawberries are the only fruit whose seeds are outside. On average, the berry is decorated with about 200 seeds.
  • Strawberries are not really even a berry. Technically, there are seeds inside the berry. Botanists consider each strawberry seed to be their separate fruit.
  • In Belgium, there is a museum dedicated to strawberries - Le Musée de la Fraise (Strawberry Museum).
  • The ancient Romans thought that strawberries had healing powers. They used them to treat everything from depression to fainting, to fever, kidney stones, bad breath and sore throat.
  • Strawberries are high in nitrates. They have been shown to increase blood and oxygen flow to the muscles. Studies show that people who eat strawberries before exercise have more stamina and more calories.
  • The strawberry flower has an average of five to seven petals.
  • Strawberries are the first fruits that ripen in spring.
  • At harvest, the aroma is influenced by weather, variety and ripeness.
  • Strawberries can be obtained by sowing one fruit in the ground.

Strawberry recipes

Look for more recipes in the website - Recipes!

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