By: Rabia Naz, department of Food Science and Technology, Government College Women University Faisalabad
Strawberries are a hybrid of the Rosacea (rose) family. Other members of this family include apples, apricots, and peaches. While popular in the United States, strawberries are thought to have originated in Europe, where the ancient Romans prized the berry for its ornamental value rather than as an edible fruit. It’s thought that strawberries were first cultivated for food in France around the 1300s. The French later discovered a version of the berry in Chile and brought it back with them in the 1700s.
The modern strawberry is believed to be derived from a combination of berries found across the America and Europe Strawberries are bright red, juicy, and sweet. Usually consumed raw and fresh, these berries can also be used in a variety of jams, jellies, and desserts.
Strawberries are a wildly popular fruit known for their sweetness and versatility. Naturally nutrient-rich strawberries are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals — a natural plant compound. The majority of health-promoting phytochemicals in strawberries are anthocyanins, which give strawberries their bright-red color.
Are Strawberries Good for You? Strawberries are classified as whole foods, or functional foods. Like other whole foods, strawberries themselves aren’t modified or processed. They are low in calories yet high in nutrients, so you get the most nutritional bang for your calorie buck, so to speak. Fruits also have a high water content, which can help keep you fuller for longer.
Berries are aesthetically appealing for their deep colors, but their beauty means so much more. Strawberries get their deep red color from pigments called anthocyanins, which also provide health benefits. These antioxidant-rich chemicals help control substances called free radicals, which are harmful to the body’s cells. Over time, free radicals can harm numerous systems in the body and promote disease.
Nutrition facts: A serving of 8 strawberries fulfills the recommended value of vitamin C for an entire day. Vitamin C not only plays a role in immune function, but it helps form vital parts of your body like blood vessels, cartilage, muscle, and collagen in bones. It also helps your body absorb iron from plant foods and is an antioxidant that fights free radicals believed to be linked to heart disease and cancer.