Strawberries are more than simply a tasty treat – they also have amazing health benefits.
In the summer season and with Wimbledon well underway, there is one fruit that comes to mind: strawberries. As well as tasting great, strawberries have a number of health benefits which make them more than just a refreshing treat.
Strawberries have a low Glycemic Index. The Glycemic Index of a food is a numerical unit describing how far eating a food will raise one’s blood sugar level. The Glycemic Index uses a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 is pure glucose. As a rough basis, mid-50s to mid-60s in a food’s GI is considered average, while 70 and above is considered high. Foods with a GI of less than 55 are considered to have a low glycemic index, and thus will have smaller impact on blood sugar levels. The typical portion* of strawberries has a GI of only 40, making them the perfect healthy choice.
As well has having a low GI, strawberries are also rich in Vitamin C. In fact, one portion of strawberries gives you 160% of the daily minimum recommendation. Strawberries are also abundant in folate, potassium and fibre. The rich reds of strawberries give out their antioxidant content and these powerful compounds (quercetin, kaempferol, anthocyanin) have been linked to reducing heart disease and inhibiting cancer.
In season, strawberries are often delicious and can simply be eaten on their own. For other healthy options, you can sprinkle chopped strawberries on natural yoghurt and muesli, or blitz them with ground almonds and non-dairy milk for a summer smoothie.
*typical portion: 1 cup/152g
Dr Marilyn Glenville (www.marilynglenville.com)