Strawberries

Strawberries

StrawberriesThe strawberry is one of the most popular fruits in the world. It is probably one of the most famous fruits among the berry fruits. There are more than ten different types of strawberries. They do not only differ in texture, but they also differ in flavor and size. However, they do have the same characteristics. This article will address the history, the benefits of strawberries and give tips on how to store them.

Description

Sweet strawberries are probably the most popular types of strawberries in the world. While they are currently available all year round, their usual season is between April and July. During this time, they are not only available in high quantities, but they are also full of taste since they are not artificially grown. Strawberries are often considered to be a summer fruit and fit perfectly with a hot summer day. They can be eaten as a cold snack, or you can make delicious smoothies from them. While there are many different types of strawberries, they all have the same characteristics. They have red flesh and it has small seeds on its surface. Also, it has a small green leafy cap as its crown. Wild strawberries are said to have been around for over 2,000 years. While wild strawberries are often smaller in size compared to cultivated strawberries, they are usually more intense regarding their flavor. In the United States, the production of strawberries is limited to only a few regions. For example, the production takes place in the southern and the coastal regions. However, during the winter months the production of strawberries takes happens in Florida.

History

Strawberries have grown for many centuries in different regions around the world. However, it was in the 18th century that the cultivation of strawberries was found. A French engineer travelled to South America to monitor activities of Spain in this region. During his time in Chile and Peru he found that strawberries were native to the region. He also found that the strawberries which were growing in this region were much bigger than the ones growing in France. Since he was so surprised about the South American strawberries, he brought samples back to France in order for them to be planted there. Unfortunately the strawberries did not grow well in France. Nevertheless, not too far from where the South American strawberries were planted, were strawberries planted from North America. A natural crossbreeding took place between the two different kind of species. The result of this crossbreeding were sweet, large and juicy strawberries. These strawberries were loved by the French people and its popularity quickly spread to the rest of Europe. At the time, strawberries were considered to be a luxury product. The product was therefore only consumed by the higher class of society and was unaffordable for the lower class. This was not only the case for strawberries, but also for many other perishable fruits and berries at the time. It was only around the mid-19th century that strawberries could be enjoyed and consumed by more people. This was due to the fact that railways were built and there were various ways of transportation possible. Today, of all the berries, strawberries are probably considered to be the most popular berry in the world.

Cardiovascular benefits

Strawberries have different health benefits. This paragraph, and the next, will explore what the health benefits are of strawberries on the cardiovascular system  and what influence it could have on heart disease. The influence of strawberries on the cardiovascular system is an area where a lot of research has been conducted. Our cardiovascular system needs everyday protection from antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Strawberries contain high quantities of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. In different studies which have been conducted, it turns out that strawberries are considered to be one of the best fruits regarding its antioxidant properties. Strawberries contain a high number of Vitamin C. In a study which surveyed over sixty fruits which were consumed by adults in Iran, strawberries came out as being one of the healthiest fruits. This is due to the fact that it provided more than twice the amount of Vitamin C compared to any other fruit. Strawberries also contain a high amount of manganese. Only grapes and raspberries are the fruits which contain an even higher amount of manganese. This nutrient plays a key role for other antioxidant nutrients in the human body. Moreover, strawberries also contain nutrients which function have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.


Strawberries against heart disease

Strawberries are said to have a positive effect on reducing the change of a heart attack or hearth problems with over thirty percent among young and middle-aged women. This was the results of study conducted by Harvard University. This study found that by consuming strawberries, a nutrient called anthocyanins contributes to lowering the chance of heart problems among this group of women in society. Moreover, another study was conducted by the Norwich Medical School. This study found that women who consume at least three servings of strawberries, blueberries or raspberries, have an even lower change of facing heart problems. Another additional nutrient which has a positive effect on the body is called quercetin. This nutrient can also be found in strawberries and is a natural anti-inflammatory nutrients. This nutrient reduces the risk of atherosclerosis. Moreover, it is also speculated that quercetin could have anti-cancer effects. However, in order for this to be confirmed, more scientific research needs to be conducted in order to verify these statements. Another health benefit of strawberries is that it prevents the damaging of the inner lining of arteries. Once arteries are not damaged, this also means that the chance is lowered for heart problems.

How to select and store

Since the storage time of strawberries it is very limited, it is recommended to buy strawberries only a few days before consuming them. When buying strawberries in the supermarket, you should choose strawberries which are firm, free of mold and are plump. Also, the strawberries should have a deep red color and have a green cap attached to them. Moreover, once strawberries have been picked they do not continue to ripe. This means that once they change color, it does not imply that they have a better taste but rather that they are going bad. They are likely to have a sour taste or be of inferior quality. Strawberries which have a deep red color do not only contain more nutrients, but are also more sweet compared to others. Research shows that the maximum storage time is two days. After these two days strawberries do not only lose Vitamin C but also their antioxidant properties. After storing strawberries for two days it does not mean that strawberries have gone bad, it only means that they have lose more of its nutritional value. Regarding humidity, it is recommended to keep strawberries in a place where humidity is between 90 to 95 percent. Most refrigerators have a humidity of 90 percent, which is ideal for strawberries. Furthermore, strawberries which are medium sized have more flavor compared to those which are large. It is also important to pay attention when buying strawberries which are prepackaged in a container. It is important to buy those which are not packed too tightly. If they are packed too tightly, strawberries can often damage or be crushed. It is also possible to freeze strawberries. Before putting them in the freezer, it is recommended to first wash them and then dry them. It is recommended to arrange strawberries as a single layer. Once they are frozen you can transfer them to a plastic bag. They can be kept in the freezer up to one year. It is also possible to add some lemon juice to them in order to preserve the red color. Moreover, in order to keep most of its nutritional value it is recommended to freeze strawberries as a whole instead of cutting them.

How to add strawberries to your diet

Since strawberries are available all year round, they are very versatile and can be used and consumed in different ways. Strawberries are not only available fresh or frozen, but can also be bought as jams or syrups. When buying frozen strawberries, or jams, it is important to pay attention to the fact whether sweeteners are added. The fruit can be added to a chicken salad to give it a bit more of a sweet taste. It is also delicious when combined with goat cheese, walnuts and spinach salad. Strawberries are also ideal for making cocktails. You can add other fresh fruit, such as pineapple, peached and grapes, to create a fresh and healthy summer drink. Drizzle a little bit honey on top, and you have created a delicious drink for a warm summer night. They are also very tasty when added to some plain yoghurt in combination with fresh almonds and small pieces of peach or nectarine. Another delicious treat is to add strawberries to a fresh waffle, in combination with cream. You can also have them as a smoothie. Combine them with milk, ice and banana for an easy and fresh banana smoothie.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 1867x
Added: 02-09-2016 23:39
Last modified: 07-10-2016 16:51

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