Strawberries are tart, delicious and nutritious. Just one cup, says the World's Healthiest Foods, has over 100 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Vitamin C, 20 percent RDA for manganese and nearly 15 percent RDA for fiber.
This antioxidant-packed berry helps to protect against heart disease, cancer, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, macular degeneration, as well as certain skin issues.
Growth and Repair
The vitamin C in strawberries helps the body grow and repair its tissues, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). It also helps to make collagen, an important protein for skin and other parts of the body, and helps heal wounds more quickly.
Because vitamin C is water-soluble, the body doesn't store it so be sure to get enough every day.
UV Ray Protection
Strawberries also contain ellagic acid, an antioxidant that has recently been shown to have some health benefits, says the United States Department of Agriculture. According to Science Daily, a 2009 study by Korean scientists showed that ellagic acid used topically helped to protect the skin against the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays, a main cause of aging skin.
Raspberries, cranberries and pomegranates are also rich in ellagic acid.
Researchers in Japan, as per the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, recently conducted a study that suggests the oral ingestion of pomegranate extract, rich in ellagic acid, helps to lighten slight hyperpigmentation caused by UV rays, by inhibiting the synthesis of melanin, the chemical that gives skin its color.
By extension, strawberries, also rich in ellagic acid, may have a similar effect.
Free radicals occur when our bodies transform food into energy, according to UMMC. It has been suggested that a build-up of free radicals may be responsible for the aging process, and vitamin C and other antioxidants may block some of the damage caused by these free radicals.
While there currently isn't enough evidence to prove that free radicals definitely cause aging, or that antioxidants have any effect on the aging process, there's no denying the nutritional value strawberries have.
Eating strawberries or using topical products containing strawberries may help with skin health.
According to World's Healthiest Foods, strawberries are at their peak from April through July, and should be kept unwashed in the refrigerator to prevent molding. When freezing, wash and pat dry beforehand.
Two topical products containing strawberries are Sugar's Face Polish, an exfoliating mask with crushed wild strawberries, for all skin types, and Mario Badescu's Strawberry Tonic Mask, a clay mask with strawberry extract, best suited for oily skin.
Be aware of allergies you might have when ingesting strawberries or using topical products.
Oral allergy syndrome, according to CNN Health, occurs after eating raw fruit or vegetables, is characterized by an itchy mouth and is most common in those with seasonal allergies. In rare cases, anaphylaxis occurs, resulting in blocked airways, low blood pressure, anxiety, vomiting and diarrhea.
If you know or suspect you have oral allergy syndrome, limit your intake and consult your physician.
- World's Healthiest Foods: Strawberries
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin C
- Boosting Ellagic Acid in Strawberries
- Antioxidant Found In Berries, Other Foods Prevents UV Skin Damage That Leads To Wrinkles
- Effects of Oral Administration of Ellagic Acid-Rich Pomegranate Extract on Ultraviolet-Induced Pigmentation in the Human Skin
- Strawberries image by Robin Karlsson from Fotolia.com