Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Wimbledon may be over, but the strawberry season isn't...


Strawberries are not only flavoursome and incredibly easy to prepare, but they have vast health benefits and due to the cold weather we’ve had recently, this year they are going to be bigger and sweeter than ever!

So I am going to give you seven reasons why you should eat more strawberries whilst they are in the height of season:

1.       High amounts of Vitamin C – being one of the few mammals that cannot produce their own source of Vitamin C, it is essential to our diet. It helps protect cells and keep them healthy. It is necessary for the maintenance of healthy connective tissue, which gives support and structure for other tissues and organs. It can be helpful towards boosting immunity, protecting eyes against UV rays, and promoting healthy skin. With an average serving of strawberries providing more than half your daily requirements, it is a great way to help stay on top this summer.

2.       Cancer fighting properties – Not only are strawberries high in vitamin C which has cancer preventing properties, but it also contains a phytochemical called Ellagic Acid. Ellagic acid has been shown to yield anti-cancer properties like suppressing cancer cell growth in extensive animal research.

3.       Heart disease fighting properties – Strawberries also contain antioxidants lutein and zeathancins, which have a positive affect against harmful free radicals in the body.

4.       Can ease inflammation A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health shows that women who eat 16 or more strawberries per week are 14 percent less likely to have elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) – an indication of inflammatory diseases in the body, such as arthritis

5.       High in fibreis a necessity for healthy digestion, and strawberries naturally contain about 2 g per serving. Problems that can arise from lack of fibre include constipation and diverticulitis—an inflammation of the intestines—which affects approximately 50 percent of people over 60.

6.       Strawberries aid in weight management - Strawberries are very low calorie, with an avergae serving amounting to around 28kcal, in addition they are fat-free and low in both sodium and sugar.

7.       Strawberries promote pre-natal health – Strawberries are rich in folate is a B-vitamin recommended for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive, and strawberries are a good source with 21 mcg per serving. Folate is necessary in the early stages of pregnancy to help in the development of the baby’s brain, skull and spinal cord, and the folic acid in strawberries may help to prevent certain birth defects, such as spina bifida.

 So if you have some left over strawberries, or are having an in prompt barbeque, here’s a very quick recipe perfect for the summer sun and sharing:

Strawberries and Cream


·         Strawberries
·         Icing sugar
·         Vanilla essence
·         Mascarpone cream

Add the icing sugar and vanilla essence to the mascarpone cream to taste, and chop the strawberries. Add to glass tumblers alternating between the cream and strawberries to create layers, and serve. Easy-peasy!

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