Strawberries are one of the most popular berries in the world. As well as being sweet and juicy, they have a number of health benefits. They’re a source of vitamin C, manganese, folate (vitamin B9), and potassium, and packed with fiber and antioxidants. But new research indicates that they may also contribute to heart health, improve cognitive function, and reduce the risk of several chronic diseases.
The research, conducted by Michelle Tsang at San Diego State University, was presented at the Nutrition 2023 conference in Boston, Massachusetts. Strawberries’ impact on cognitive function and heart health was monitored, with a particular focus on looking at daily consumption. Thirty five people aged 66 to 78 who were deemed healthy were studied over the course of eight weeks. Divided into two groups, one group would have 26 grams of freeze-dried strawberry powder every day. This represented two servings of the fruit. The other group had a placebo-like control powder.
Those who had the strawberry powder had a 5.2 percent increase in cognitive processing speed. They also had a 3.6 percent decrease in systolic blood pressure, and 10.2 percent increase in total antioxidant capacity. The conclusion of the study was that “daily consumption of 26 grams of freeze-dried strawberry powder moderately improves cognitive processing speed, lowers systolic blood pressure, and increases total-antioxidant capacity, potentially promoting cognitive function and improving cardiovascular risk factors.”
One of the findings is that strawberries don’t have to be consumed fresh. Giving a helping hand to reduce costs of buying and storing fresh produce.
Strawberries have an incredibly rich nutritional composition, which might just be why they’re so good for the body. A cup of strawberries has three grams of filling fiber and a low carb count, at 11 grams. But they’re a big source of vitamin C, coming in at 85mg for that cup. That almost meets the total desired daily intake of the vitamin. The benefits of this intake are thought to be increased immune function, healthy skin, and a reduced risk of some chronic diseases while working as a natural anti-inflammatory.
Strawberry recipe ideas
If you’re feeling inspired to incorporate more strawberries into your daily diet, check out the below vegan strawberry recipes:
This recipe is a new take on an old favorite. It’s low on ingredients and quick to make for a breakfast, while packed with enough flavor that it could feel more like a treat.
- 1 avocado peeled, pitted, and quartered
- 4 whole wheat bread slices, toasted
- 4 ripe strawberries cut into 1/4 (inch slices)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze or reduction
- Mash one-quarter of the avocado on a slice of toast.
- Layer one-quarter of the strawberry slices over the avocado, and finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
- Repeat with the remaining ingredients, and serve.
A simple smoothie to cram in all those nutritional benefits on the go. The recipe uses frozen fruits, too, meaning you can keep them in the freezer and make it at any time.
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 banana frozen
- 3/4 cup soy milk or any other plant milk
- maple syrup optional (to taste)
- ice cubes optional
- Place all ingredients into a high powdered blender and blitz until smooth and creamy.
- If you’d like your smoothie a little sweeter, add up to 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or agave nectar.
- To make your smoothie thicker, add an additional 1/4 cup frozen strawberries or a handful of ice cubes! Enjoy!
If you feel like spending a bit more time in the kitchen, this tart could be an opportunity to pack in a bunch of vitamins without compromising on taste. It’s zesty, fresh, and colorful.
- 2 cups almond flour
- 2 tbsp tapioca starch
- 3 tbsp coconut oil melted
- 5 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp pink salt
- 1 1/2 can coconut cream
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 5 lemons (just the juice)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp corn starch
- 1/3 cup soy milk
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Mix crust ingredients together in a bowl and then put it on a parchment paper lined 9 inch tart pan. Distribute the crust evenly, pressing around the edges. Poke few holes in the center of the crust then bake the crust for 15 min at 350 F oven. Cover the edges to prevent from browning too quickly. Take it out set it aside.
- In a med saucepan, bring the coconut cream to boil stirring it frequently. Add the sugar, lemon juice, zest, turmeric, vanilla extract, Keep stirring over a low heat.
- In a separate bowl, Mix 4 tablespoons of corn starch with 1/3 cup of coconut milk or soy milk, mix well to get rid off any lumps. Add the mixture slowly the filling mix in a saucepan, keep stirring to avoid lumps for 5-8 min until custard thickens. The filling should be thick and custard like. Cook it little longer of the custard is not thick enough. Remove from the heat. Pour the filling into the crust. Distribute the filling evenly.
- Put the tart in a flat surface in the fridge for at least 5 hours to set.
- Decorate your tart with fresh strawberries, blueberries and more lemon zest.
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