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Strawberries: 5 Powerful Things I Wish I’d Actually Learned Sooner

Updated: Jan 26

Bright red strawberries in a white enamel bowl.
Photo credit: Strawberries-Wix

When I was a kid growing up in rural Iowa, I watched my mother pick and clean mountains of strawberries.

Seriously.

Like... Mount Everest or Denali-worthy.

She’d be out there in the furthest corner of the farm, clad in a bright floral apron. She’d have carabiners dangling off her apron strings and use a grappling hook to make her way through the jungle of produce.

My mother had a large strawberry patch.

I mean…huge.

Yuuuge.

If she ever wanted to leave the earth without a trace, she could do it by stepping into her garden time machine. Swallowed whole by miles of snaking vines and life-size flowers. I had the feeling we were living in the Land of the Lost – Sleestacks and all. I never could locate the secret crystals. But I’m sure they were there.

When my mom was out there picking strawberries, I always knew we were in for a treat. She’d make strawberry shortcakes, strawberry syrup, and homemade ice cream with strawberry toppings. These were some of my favorites.

Now I'm drooling like one of Pavlov's dogs. Excuse me for a moment while I wipe this long string of thick, gelatinous slobber from my chin with the sleeve of my shirt.

Anyway...

It felt like she spent hours in that strawberry patch. She probably felt that way too. No doubt she was fighting off Sleestacks most of the time.

Now that I am an adult, my imagination gives way to more important things.

Like…

Pain.

The physical pain that tortures a person while picking strawberries.

Back pain, that is.

Searing,

burning

pain.

The type of pain that says you’d rather have an ice pick jabbed into your thigh than deal with bending over to pick even one more little red strawberry.


Ugh. I'll never know how my mother kept at it all those years. And she had the extra weight of carabiners and grappling hooks.

I salute you, Mom.

Eventually, my dad built raised garden beds for her.

Wait a minute.

Back up that truck.

Come to think of it, Dad started picking strawberries once the raised beds were built.

Hhhhmmm. I see what you did there, Dad. Nice move, you sly ol’ dog.

Anyway, I knew how to pick berries. I knew how to clean berries. I knew that they were deliciously sweet. But what I didn’t know were all the benefits that came in this small, ruby-red package.

If you’re a strawberry lover – and really, what maniac isn’t – this article is written for you. I’ve shared four benefits of strawberries below and some sneaky little bonus tips.

Some of these may surprise you.

Oh, and before we dig in...you can always click here for more information about having blogs like these for your business.

Ok...continue.

1. Strawberries are Low Calorie

dark haired young woman in green shirt on balance scale
Photo credit: unknown

For anyone mindful about their weight and food intake – ahem…ME – these low-calorie fruits are a great choice. These sliced gems have only 53 calories per cup. That’s a lot of yumminess for such a small caloric load. Can you imagine the extra bulk a cup of strawberries adds to a bowl of oatmeal? Sign me up!

It’s hard to believe something so sweet and delicious could be so low in calories. It’s kind of like trying extra hard to believe your ex is really a great person. Ain’t happening.

But it’s true.

About the berries – not your ex.

The garden gods don’t lie.

And you can eat them just as they are. They come perfectly wrapped in their own little packages.

Whoot! Whoot!

The next time you’re looking for a snack, compare the calories of a chocolate candy bar to a cup of strawberries. An average candy bar has around 300 calories. You could have almost six cups of delicious strawberries instead.

I feel like I’m trying to convince a 3-year-old to eat his asparagus: C’mon, they’re great. Nom, nom, nom. I’m going to eat them if you don’t.

::makes airplane noises while silently gagging and pretending to land a healthy snack::

Not that anyone would eat six cups of strawberries as a snack. Or would they? Ok…I think I would. I love strawberries. I could bathe in them.

You get the picture. Or maybe you should forget about that hideous picture.

Me…bathing in strawberries.

Not a pretty sight.

The bottom line: A chocolate bar may taste great, but how long after you eat a candy bar are you hungry again? And what about the nutritional value of a candy bar?

Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself. There’s obviously more to this little jewel. Keep reading.


2. The Nutritional Value of Strawberries

Strawberry cut in half in the center of a heart shape made from leaves and flowers
Photo credit: Ruyan Ayten

Let’s use the same one-cup measurement I mentioned previously. That one cup of strawberries has more than 100% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C.

Most people think of oranges for their vitamin C content. Oranges are such attention hogs. Oink, Oink Mr. Orange.

But let’s not forget about the power of strawberries.

Not only do these delectable nuggets contain vitamin C, but also manganese and other nutrients. All combined, this amazing fruit gives health benefits such as:

  • Antioxidant

  • Collagen

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Brain Health

  • Reduce Pain

  • Reduce the Risk of Cancer

  • Improve Circulation

  • Protect against LDL (aka bad cholesterol)

I sure wish I would have known about the nutritional benefits of strawberries a long time ago. My choice for a quick afternoon pick-me-up has definitely changed.

No more sugar-filled junk food or candy bars for me. Nope. This is a no-brainer.

Good thing these berries promote brain health – some of you are going to need an extra serving.

That’s right. I said it.


3. Regulate Blood Sugar Levels with Strawberries

person in pink fleece sitting on multi-color rug holding glycosometer
Photo credit: unknown

Instead of that after dinner mint, try eating a few strawberries.

Studies show eating a bowl of strawberries after a meal can help manage insulin levels. This is an advantage for providing more stable mental and physical energy. This may also result in reduced obesity and heart disease. A decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes stands to reason as well.

It’s tempting to dive into the relationship between increased insulin and fat storage. But that will have to wait for another time. Relationships are complicated anyway, and this is a drama-free zone.


4. Strawberries Fight Age-Related Impacts

Older couple with grey hair jogging. Man in grey t-shirt and denim pants. Woman in Yellow shirt and white pants.
Photo credit: unknown

I mentioned antioxidants as part of the nutritional benefits. Strawberries also contain flavonoids. These benefits are free and better than the perks you have to beg for at a large, corporate organization. I'm looking at you, Mr. CEO.

These amazing strawberry benefits include:

  • Fighting against age-related processes

  • Fighting against age-related weight gain

  • Providing a great source of fiber

  • Protection for the digestive system

  • Promotes growth of good gut bacteria

  • Increased protection for immune system support

  • Providing a low-carb friendly snack alternative

We’re all aging.

We can’t avoid it.

Well, we could – but the alternative is not pleasant. It involves coroners, caskets, and dirt naps. Are you really all that tired? Yeah, me neither.

But we can take care to drench our bodies with nutrients that help us through our aging journey. A prescription of strawberries seems to be a great way to open the floodgates.

Speaking of being drenched – you can reap the rewards of flooding your website with blogs like these. Come chat with me here. Let's get your business growing.

Enough of that shop talk. Check out these bonus tips I promised you.


5. Bonus Tips for Keeping Strawberries Fresh and Flavorful

metal colander full of strawberries on top of wooden crate with grass in background
Photo credit: Lucinda Hershberger

When you buy these fruits, they should be dry and loosely packed. They tend to absorb moisture. Once they are wet, they will spoil more rapidly. Berry pickers should avoid picking this type of produce after rain or in the early morning dew.

Only wash the berries and remove their tops when you’re ready to eat them. Although, I leave the tops on if I’m using them in a smoothie. I throw the entire berry - leaves, stem, and all – into the blender.

I know, I know. Call me crazy.

Who is this mad woman?

Opinions differ on whether rinsing the berries in a mild vinegar solution helps remove pesticides and bacteria from the fruit. This is supposed to help with strawberry longevity. I’ve tried this trick and it seems to work for me. Then again, it could have been the fact that I had a dinosaur refrigerator. Once I replaced that hunk of junk, spoilage wasn’t much of a problem anymore. Go figure.

You may want to experiment with the vinegar solution to determine if it helps extend strawberry freshness. Or get a new fridge. Just sayin'.

The main concern for spoilage is moisture. If the container you buy doesn’t have proper ventilation, be sure to remove the berries from the container. Place them in a single layer on a paper towel in your refrigerator.

Cold temperatures help keep the strawberries fresh but also reduce flavor. For optimum flavor, allow the strawberries to warm to room temperature before eating.

This is also helpful for people with cold-sensitive teeth. Nothing spoils the dream of a juicy, delightful strawberry like the sudden pain of a sub-zero arctic blast shooting through your mouth and out through your toes.

Trust me on this… let them warm up to room temperature.

My teeth ache just thinking about it.

Unless you’re preserving for long-term storage, your container of strawberries should be consumed within a few days of purchasing.

They never last more than a day or two in my house. There is no such thing as long-term storage for much of anything here.

Unless it’s asparagus. That stuff is nasty.


Reach for a Bowl of Strawberries

Red ripe strawberries with stems in a bowl. The bowl has black and white designs
Photo credit: Anastasia Zhenina via Unsplash

Strawberries are more than just a summertime fruit.


The next time you’re in the mood to satisfy your sweet tooth, ditch the candy bars.


Try reaching for a bowl of strawberries instead. Packed with so many vitamins and minerals, it’s difficult to believe they are great tasting and good for your health.

Junk food may give you instant, short-term gratification. But these little treasures of goodness provide lasting, long-term health benefits.

Unless you have an allergy to strawberries – sucks to be you – I can’t imagine anyone thinking of these treats and not instantly getting a big dopey, slobbery grin on their face.

And now that you know the health benefits, you may even jump for joy.

Just don't hurt your back.

And keep an eye open for any Sleestacks.






Resources:


Cover photo: Louis Hansel

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