THE STRAWBERRIES ARE COMING

A great way to grow strawberries!
[Learn more about growing strawberries from Storey’s Country Wisdom Bulletin: http://tinyurl.com/agx8eud]
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Strawberries nutrition facts

Delicious and nutrition-rich red colored strawberries are among the most popular berries. Native to Europe, however, nowadays the berries are widely cultivated as an important commercial crop in many temperate regions all over the world. Botanically, the plant is a runner (creeper), belongs to the family of Rosaceae, of the genus: Fragaria, 

These berries have the taste that varies by cultivar, and ranges from quite sweet to acidic. The berry features red pulp with tiny yellow color seeds piercing through its surface from inside. Top end has small, green leafy cap and stem that is adorning its crown. Each berry features conical shape, weighs about 25 g and measures about 3 cm in diameter.

 

Although wild varieties are sometimes available in the market, large-scale production uses the modern “plasticulture” system. In this method, raised beds are formed each year, fumigated, and covered with plastic, which prevents weed growth and soiling of berries.

 

Health benefits of strawberries

 

  • Strawberry is low in calories (32 kcal/100g) and fats but rich source of health promoting phyto-nutrients, minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.

  • Strawberries have significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phyto-chemicals called anthocyanins and ellagic acid. Scientific studies show that consumption of straw berries may have potential health benefits against cancer, aging, inflammation and neurological diseases.

  • Srtawberry has an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity, a measure of anti-oxidant strength) of about 3577µmol TE per 100 grams.

  • Fresh berries are an excellent source of vitamin-C (100 g provide 58.8 mg or about 98% of RDI), which is also a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents, counter inflammation and scavenge harmful free radicals.

  • The fruit is rich in B-complex group of vitamins. It contains very good amounts of vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and folic acid. These vitamins are acting as co-factors help the body metabolize carbohydrate, proteins and fats.

  • Strawberries contain vitamin A, vitamin E and health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin, and beta-carotene in small amounts. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.

  • Furthermore, They contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, fluorine, copper, iron and iodine. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation. Fluoride is a component of bones and teeth and is important for prevention of denta

    See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:

    Strawberries (Fragaria X ananassa),
    ORAC Value 3577,
    Nutrition Value per 100 g.
    (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

    Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
    Energy 32 Kcal 1.5%
    Carbohydrates 7.7 g 6%
    Protein 0.67 g 0.1%
    Total Fat 0.30 g 1%
    Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
    Dietary Fiber 2.0 g 5%
    Vitamins    
    Folates 24 µg 6%
    Niacin 0.386 mg 2.5%
    Pantothenic acid 0.125 mg 2.5%
    Pyridoxine 0.047 mg 3.5%
    Riboflavin 0.022 mg 2%
    Vitamin A 12 IU 0.5%
    Vitamin C 58.8 mg 98%
    Vitamin E 0.29 mg 2%
    Vitamin K 2.2 µg 2%
    Electrolytes    
    Sodium 1 mg 0%
    Potassium 153 mg 3%
    Minerals    
    Calcium 16 mg 1.6%
    Iron 0.41 mg 5%
    Magnesium 13 mg 3%
    Manganese 0.386 mg 17%
    Zinc 0.14 mg 1%
    Phyto-nutrients    
    Carotene-ß 7 µg
    Lutein-zeaxanthin 26 µg

    Selection and storage

    Strawberries are available year-round in the stores but are fresh and plentiful from the spring through the mid-summer.

    In the stores choose berries that feature shiny, firm, deep red with attached green caps, plump, free of sand and mold. Avoid those appear dull, sunken or flattened and those with signs of mold, cuts or discolored patches on the surface. Unripe berries have green or yellow patches on their surface. Since the berries cease ripening soon after their harvest, they should be avoided as they are likely to be sour and of inferior in quality. The berries are easily perishable; and therefore, should only be purchased a few days prior to use.

    Before storing in the refrigerator, remove any berries that got affected by mold or damaged so that they should not spoil others. Place them in a wide bowl or spread out on a plate covered with a paper towel, then cover with plastic wrap. They keep fresh in the refrigerator for a day or two. Use them as early as possible, unless otherwise they are frozen and stored in the freezer compartment.

    Preparation and serving tips

    To wash strawberries, dip them in cold water in a large bowl for few seconds and swish gently few times. This helps remove any sand and insecticide/fungicide residues. Then, gently pat them dry using paper towel or cloth. This method also helps berries bring to room temperature, increase their flavor and enrich the taste. Then remove the stems and caps by simply pinching off with your fingers or using a paring knife.

    Here are some serving tips:

  • Sliced fresh strawberries can be a great addition to fruit or green salad.

  • They can be a great snack between meals. Dried strawberry slices can be added in muffins, pie, cakes and are used in cereal flakes as a breakfast recipe.

  • The berries are a popular addition to dairy products, as in strawberry flavored ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies and yogurts.

 

Safety profile

 

Strawberries may cause serious allergic reactions in some sensitized individuals. Some of the most common symptoms of strawberry allergy include swelling and redness of mouth, lips and tongue, eczema, hives, skin rash, headache, runny nose, itchy eyes, wheezing, gastrointestinal disturbances, depression, hyperactivity and insomnia. Individuals who suspect allergy to these fruits may want to avoid. (Medical disclaimer).

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One response to this post.

  1. Hello, I log on to your new stuff like every week.
    Your story-telling style is awesome, keep up the good work!

    Reply

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