Foods for the arteries Fruits

Strawberry – Properties and health benefits / medicinal uses

The properties and health benefits / medicinal uses of strawberries are discussed below.

Botanical name: Fragaria vesca L.
Other species: Fragaria chiloensis Duch., Fragaria virginiana Duch.

Strawberry is the false fruit of the strawberry plant, Fragaria vesca L., of the botanical family Rosaceae. The true fruits are the small grains adhered to the surface of the strawberry, which contains seeds.

Properties of strawberry
Below are the nutritional components of strawberry:

• Strawberry contains very low amounts of proteins and fats.

• It contains moderate amount of sugars.

• It is among the fruits with the lowest calorie content, provides just 30 kcal/100 g. This calorie content is even lower than that of watermelon or lemon.

• Strawberry contains minerals in significant amounts such as iron, magnesium and potassiuum. It however contains very low amount of sodium, which is good for coronary health.

• When it comes to vitamins, It contains significant amounts of folates as well as vitamin C.

Apart form the nutritional components of strawberry, it also contains some substance mentioned below.

• Anthocyanidines – This substance is a vegetable pigment which is responsible for the color of strawberry. It also helps reduce the production of cholesterol in the liver.
The most important function of anthocyanidines found in strawberry is its ability to act as a powerful antioxidant. Its helps in neutralizing free radicals.

Studies carried out have shown that strawberries have the greatest antioxidant capacity of any fruit

Health benefits / medicinal uses of strawberry
Strawberry’s nutritional composition, as well as its alkalizing and antioxidant effects, accounts for its medicinal values. Its consumption is purposely indicated in the following cases:

The consumption of strawberries is an effective way of avoiding arteriosclerosis, which involves the depositing of cholesterol on artery, thereby making them to become thicken and narrow. This effect of strawberry in preventing arteriosclerosis is due to its outstanding antioxidant capability, which helps neutralize the effect of free radicals. Moreover, strawberries contribute to arterial health by their lack of fat and sodium, and their richness in potassium (a mineral that helps prevent hypertension).

The consumptiom of strawberries helps prevent arteriosclerosis and its further complications. The inclusion of strawberries in the diet of patients with the following disorders is considered beneficial:

» Those who have suffered from heart attack (angina pectoris).
» Those suffering from poor circulation to the lower limb arteries or cerebral arteries.

The consumption of strawberry is highly indicated in cases of constipation, due to their richness in soluble vegetable fiber which facilitates the passage of feces through the intestine.
Moreover, the consumption of strawberries help decongest venous circulation in the veins of the bowel, making them useful in cases of:
» Liver disorders such as hepatitis and cirrhosis
» Ascites
» Hemorrhoids.

Excess uric acid
The consumption of strawberries is recommended in cases of excess uric acid such as gout and uratic arthritis. This is because of their diuretic effect as an ability to increase urine production, as well as their alkalizing effect which facilitates the elimination of excess uric acid with the urine.

The great antioxidant effect of strawberries explains this. Its consumption helps neutralize free radicals that cause cancer.

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