Benefits of Strawberries
The garden strawberry is a widely grown hybrid species of the genus Fragaria.
1. An introduction to strawberries
The strawberry,Fragaria, is one of the most popular berry fruits in the world. There are more than 10 species of Fragaria that differ in flavour, size and texture yet they all have the same characteristic heart-shaped, red flesh and seeded coat together with small, regal, leafy green caps and stems that adorn their crowns.
Fragrantly sweet strawberries are the most popular type of berry fruit in the world. Although they have become increasingly available year-round, they are at the peak of their season from April through July when they are the most delicious and most abundant. While there are more than 600 varieties of strawberries that differ in flavor, size and texture, one can usually identify a strawberry by its red flesh that has small seeds piercing its surface, and a small, regal, green leafy cap and stem that adorn its crown. Most commercially grown strawberries come from the genus-species Fragaria ananassa.
Strawberries have grown wild for millennia in temperature regions throughout the world. While cultivation of strawberries doesnt date back this far, it still dates back hundreds and hundreds of years. It was not until the 18th century, however, when cultivation of strawberries began to be pursued in earnest. In 1714, a French engineer sent to Chile and Peru to monitor Spanish activities in these countries discovered a strawberry native to this region that was much larger than those grown in Europe.
4. Big up the strawberry
Strawberries have a long history and have been enjoyed since the Roman times. Native to many parts of the world, hundreds of varieties of strawberries exist due to crossbreeding techniques. In 1714, a French engineer commissioned to Chile and Peru, observed that the strawberry native to those regions was much larger than those found in Europe. He decided to bring back a sample of this strawberry to cultivate in France. The end result was a large, juicy, sweet hybrid (the modern garden strawberry) that became extremely popular in Europe.
5. Health Benefits
Its not surprising to see strong research support for strawberry health benefits in three major areas: (1) cardiovascular support and prevention of cardiovascular diseases (2) improved regulation of blood sugar, with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, and (3) prevention of certain cancer types including breast, cervical, colon, and esophageal cancer. In this section, well review the outstanding research-based benefits of strawberries in each area.
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SuperFood - Tomatoes
Tomatoes are one of nature’s best sources of lycopene. Cooking tomatoes makes the lycopene more available, but that doesn’t mean you need to avoid raw ones.
One cup of raw tomato still provides plenty of lycopene, as well as lutein, vitamins A and C, carotenes, anthocyanins, and potassium.
It is the lycopene, however, that has made tomatoes a SuperFood. It may be the best substance for quenching oxygen free radicals, and it helps protect the skin from the aging effects of ultraviolet light. Lycopene has been researched for its potential in combating several types of cancers, including prostate, breast, pancreatic, and intestinal cancers. Interestingly, however, in some studies lycopene alone did not convey the same protection as eating a diet rich in tomatoes. So there are certainly more health-protecting treasures inside this versatile food.
A study in 2007 found that broccoli and tomatoes together were better at fighting prostate cancer than either vegetable was alone. Although the study was done on rats, the tomato-broccoli combination was effective enough to have strong implications for humans as well.
The fiber and antioxidants in tomatoes have been shown to lower cholesterol levels and stabilize blood sugar levels. In at least one study, a high dietary intake of tomato products significantly reduced both low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels, while making the cholesterol less vulnerable to oxidation.Nutritional Facts
One raw red tomato provides 26 calories, 5.7 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, 0.4 g fat, 1.4 g dietary fiber, 766 IU vitamin A, 23 mg vitamin C, 18 mcg folic acid, 273 mg potassium, 11 mg sodium, 30 mg phosphorus, 6 mg calcium, and 14 mg magnesium.