The Royal Strawberry & Vitamin C

Once enjoyed only by the wealthy because of their highly perishability and difficulty to transport, strawberries are now readily available and affordable throughout most of the year in South Africa.

The Royal Strawberry is a natural whole food, and the proper place to start when discussing health properties of any natural food would be its “total nutrient- richness”!

According to “The World’s healthies foods” written by G. Mateljan, strawberries boasts with an excellent vitamin C content which acts as a powerful antioxidant.

The nutrient richness strawberries provide does not end here, they also contain good amounts of:

Manganese (skin health), dietary fibre (digestive health), folate (energy production), iodine (thyroid hormone synthesis), copper (heart health), potassium (electrolyte balance), biotin (hair and nails), phosphorus (cell health), magnesium (muscle health), vitamin B6 (metabolic reactions) and omega 3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory action)!

The healthy nutrient focus for this week in strawberries, will be on vitamin C.

  • Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron, and iron is important for oxygen transport to all body cells needed in energy production (or cellular respiration).
  • Mentioned earlier that vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, means the following: Antioxidants mops-up damaging free-radicals. Free-radicals are often caused by pollution, environmental toxins or a bad diet. These bad guys, steel oxygen electrons from healthy cells, damaging these cells. Oxidation of healthy cells, may lead to tissue damage if not regulated or stopped by ingesting natural foods providing proper amounts of antioxidants.
  • Vitamin C is often referred to as the stress vitamin. This is because when the body is in fight or flight mode the adrenal glands rapidly uses vitamin C to cope with the effect of stress on the body.

Important:

Nutrient-rich ways to store strawberries helps keep them fresh and preserve texture and flavour. To reduce nutrient loss and preserve its shelf life, the following could help:

  • Never wash strawberries before refrigeration.
  •  Studies show that two days isthe maximum time for storage before the loss of vitamin C and other phyto-nutrients occur.
  •  Enjoy strawberries at room temperature as soon as possible to maximize the benefit of their nutritional benefits.