I can’t believe it’s already February – is it just me or is time flying this year?
As I was trying to decide what super food to focus on this month, I learned that
- February is National Heart Month
- February is also Berry Fresh Month
- February 27 is National Strawberry Day
- February 14th is Valentines Day – okay, I’ll admit, I already knew this one.
But this is definitely a sign that I should focus on STRAWBERRIES this month!
What? Are you not seeing the sign?
Valentines Day is represented by hearts, National Heart Month is um… about hearts, strawberries are berries, and strawberries look like hearts.
Do you follow?
Well, either way.
Are wild strawberries really wild? Will they scratch an adult, will they snap at a child? Should you pet them, or let them run free where they roam? Could they ever relax in a steam-heated home? Can they be trained to not growl at the guests? Will a litterbox work or would they make a mess? Can we make them a Cowberry, herding the cows, or maybe a Muleberry pulling the plows, or maybe a Huntberry chasing the grouse, or maybe a Watchberry guarding the house, and though they may curl up at your feet oh so sweetly can you ever feel that you trust them completely? Or should we make a pet out of something less scary, like the Domestic Prune or the Imported Cherry, Anyhow, you’ve been warned and I will not be blamed if your Wild Strawberries cannot be tamed.
― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends
What food group do strawberries belong to?
It’s not actually a trick question.
People are often confused because strawberries are not technically a berry. But they are still a type of fruit.
The amount of fruit you need to eat depends on age, sex, and level of physical activity but most adults should be eating about 1.5 to 2 cups per day. Why not include 1/2 cup of strawberries?
Strawberry Nutrition Facts
Like most fruit, strawberries are naturally low in calories, sodium, sugar, and fat, and are cholesterol-free.
Strawberries are fantastic sources of several key nutrients and offer an outstanding variety of health-promoting phytonutrients. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese, a very good source of fiber, folate, and iodine and a good source of potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and vitamin K.
Plain English Summary: Strawberries are more than just a deviously juicy fruit – they’re nutritious too!
So with all this nutritiousness, what can strawberries actually do for you?
What are the health benefits of strawberries?
Heart health: Research indicates that eating strawberries increases blood levels of heart-healthy nutrients (vitamin C, folate, fiber, potassium, and flavanoids). Eating strawberries also lowers homocysteine levels and blood pressure.
Cancer prevention: When freeze-dried strawberries were added to breast cancer cells and cervical cancer cells growing in a lab, the strawberries inhibited the growth of the cancer cells.
Cognitive function: In an animal study, long-term feeding with strawberry extract slowed age-related decline in cognitive function. Further testing is needed but this suggests that strawberries could help prevent age-related decreases in balance, muscle strength, coordination, learning ability, and memory.
Blood sugar benefits: Several recent studies have found regular intake of strawberries to be associated with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.