Strawberries : nutrition, shocking 3 medical uses & 2 adverse effects

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Strawberries Nutritional Profile

• Energy value (calories per serving): Low

• Protein: Moderate
• Fat: Low
• Saturated fat: Low
• Cholesterol: None

• Carbohydrates: High
• Fiber: Moderate
• Sodium: Low
• Major vitamin contribution: Folate, vitamin C
• Major mineral contribution: Potassium

How Many Nutrients strawberries Food

• Strawberries are high in dietary fiber: insoluble lignin in the tiny seeds that dot the surface of the berry and soluble pectins in the fruit itself. Strawberries are also a good source of B vitamin folate and high in vitamin C.

• One-half cup sliced fresh strawberries has 1.7 g dietary fiber, 20 mcg folate (5 percent of the RDA), and 49 mg vitamin C (65 percent of the RDA for a woman, 54 percent of the RDA for a man).

How To Serve Nutritious strawberries Food

• Fresh and ripe, to preserve the vitamin C.

Diets That May Restrict or Exclude Strawberries Food

• Low-fiber diet

How To Buying This Food

Look for:

Bright red berries with fresh green caps. Pale berries are immature; berries with dark, red wet spots are overmature; berries whose caps have browned are aging. Small berries are generally more flavorful than large ones.

How To Storing This Food

Refrigerate strawberries with their caps on. When you remove the caps you tear cells in the berries, activating ascorbic acid oxidase, an enzyme that destroys vitamin C. Keeping strawberries cool also helps keep them bright red; the anthocyanin pigments that make strawberries red turn brown faster at high temperatures.

How To Preparing This Food

• When you are ready to use the berries, rinse them thoroughly under cool running water. Then remove the caps. (If you hull the berries before you rinse them, water may run into the berry and dilute the flavor.)

• Don’t slice the berries until you are ready to use them. When you slice a strawberry, you tear cell walls, releasing ascorbic acid oxidase, the enzyme that breaks down vitamin C. This reduces the nutritional value of the strawberries. It may also be linked to the degradation of the pigments that make strawberries red.

• Acids retard the color loss; sprinkling the sliced berries with lemon juice helps preserve color. You can soften and sweeten strawberries by dusting them with sugar and letting them sit for a while.

• The sugar dissolves in moisture on the surface of the berry, producing a solution that is more dense than the liquid inside the strawberry’s cells. Then the liquid inside the cells will flow across the cell walls to the denser sugar-water solution (a phenomenon known as osmosis); the cell walls that were held apart by the water will collapse inward and.the strawberry will be softer.

What Happens When You Cook strawberries Food

• The red anthocyanin pigments in strawberries are heat-sensitive; they break apart and turn brown when you heat them. Adding sugar speeds up the process even further because some of the chemicals produced when sugars are heated also break down anthocyanins.

• That’s why strawberries cooked in boiling, sugared water turn brown faster than strawberries steamed quickly without sugar. Red anthocyanins also change color in acids and bases (alkalis). They are bright red in acids such as lemon juice and bluish or purple in bases such as baking soda.

• If you cook strawberries in an aluminum or iron pot, their acids will react with metal ions from the surface of the pot to create dark brown compounds that darken either the pot or the fruit. Strawberries also lose heat-sensitive vitamin C when you cook them.

How Other Forms of Processing Affect Strawberries Food

Heat processing (canning: making jams, jellies, and preserves).

As noted above, strawberries turn brown when you heat them with sugar. Lemon juice added to jams, jellies, and preserves makes the taste tart and helps preserve the color.


Medical Uses and/or Benefits Of Strawberries

 Lower risk of some birth defects.

Up to two of every 1,000 babies born in the United States each year may have cleft palate or a neural tube (spinal cord) defect due to their mothers’ not having gotten adequate amounts of folate during pregnancy.

• The current RDA for folate is 180 mcg for a woman and 200 mcg for a man, but FDA now recommends 400 mcg for a woman who is or may become pregnant.

• Taking a folate supplement before becoming pregnant and continuing through the first two months of pregnancy reduces the risk of cleft palate; taking folate through the entire pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects.

Possible lower risk of heart attack.

In the spring of 1998, an analysis of data from the records for more than 80,000 women enrolled in the long-running Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard School of Public Health/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, demonstrated that a diet providing more than 400 mcg folate and 3 mg vitamin B6 daily, either from food or supplements, might reduce a woman’s risk of heart attack by almost 50 percent.

• Although men were not included in the study, the results were assumed to apply to them as well. However, data from a meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in December 2006 called this theory into question. Researchers at Tulane University examined the results of 12 controlled studies in which 16,958 patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease were given either folic acid supplements or placebos (“look-alike” pills with no folic acid) for at least six months.

• The scientists, who found no reduction in the risk of further heart disease or overall death rates among those taking folic acid, concluded that further studies will be required to ascertain whether taking folic acid supplements reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

As an antiscorbutic.

Strawberries, which (ounce for ounce) have more vitamin C than citrus fruits, help protect against scurvy, the vitamin C–deficiency disease.

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Adverse Effects Associated with Strawberries Food

Allergic reaction.

According to the Merck Manual, strawberries and other berries are one of 12 foods most likely to trigger classic food-allergy symptoms: upset stomach, hives, angioedema (swelling of the face, lips, and eyes), and a hay-feverlike reaction.

• The others are chocolate, corn, eggs, fish, legumes (peas, lima beans, peanuts, soybeans), milk, nuts, peaches, pork, shellfish, and wheat (see wheat cereals).

Food-borne illness.

Small fruits such as berries appear to be a growing source of contamination by disease-causing organisms such as E. coli O157:H7 and salmonella.

• Common methods of decontamination such as vigorously washing the fruit are impractical with berries because they damage the fruit. In 2007, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania delivered a report at the annual meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, describing the use of pulsed ultraviolet light to decontaminate raspberries and strawberries with no observable damage to the fruit, offering growers and food distributors a way to make their products safer before shipping.


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