Strawberries, spring’s super fruit

Published 9:33am Monday, April 15, 2013

First, strawberries are a great source of folic acid, potassium, and fiber. They’re loaded with vitamin C too. Just eight berries have more vitamin C than an orange. That’s 140 percent of our daily value. Eating strawberries is also recommended by the American Cancer Institute as part of their five-a-day program to reduce the risk for cancer and heart disease. Strawberries contain “ellagic acid,” which can help fight cancers.

Ellagic acid is a natural phenol antioxidant found in several fruits and vegetables like blackberries, raspberries, pecans, walnuts, cranberries, grapes, pomegranates, and strawberries, among other foods.  Research shows ellagic acid prevents cancer cells from replicating and allows them to go through normal apoptosis (cell death), without harming healthy cells.

Ellagic acid also shows promise in helping control high blood pressure. Flavonoids which form part of the strawberry’s color help reduce artery clogging cholesterol. Strawberries are great for those trying to watch their weight too, because they’re fat free and one cup only contains 55 calories.

Strawberries can help whiten teeth, because of acids found in them. They can even help reduce inflammation from sunburn. Just combine strawberry juice with a little honey and rub the mixture thoroughly onto skin before rinsing with warm water and lemon juice. So enjoy loads of fresh strawberries all Summer.

The peak season is between April and October. Careful in your handling of the berries though. Capping, injuring, cutting, or juicing will reduce a strawberry’s nutrient content.

Diet or exercise question? Email me at dwcrocker77@gmail.com or visit fitness4yourlife.org. David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 26 years. He served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A.,  head strength coach for the USC-Spartanburg baseball team, S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team and the Converse college equestrian team.

He served as a water safety consultant to the United States Marine Corps, lead trainer to L.H. Fields modeling agency and taught four semesters at USC-Union. David was also a regular guest of the Pam Stone radio show.

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