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Amazing Benefits of Strawberries (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

Amazing Benefits of Strawberries (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

Dieting isn’t always easy, particularly if you have a sweet tooth. But by adding strawberries to your diet, you can enjoy a range of guilt-free dishes, drinks and snacks any time of day. Best of all, strawberries are low in calories, high in fiber, fat-free and feature a wide range of additional health benefits.

Here are some of the amazing benefits of strawberries you can enjoy:

1. Strawberries provide energy

We need healthy meals and snacks throughout the day to maintain energy levels. Strawberries are a great choice when it comes to fighting fatigue as they contain nitrate to promote healthy blood flow.

2. Strawberries can boost your libido

It’s true, strawberries really can make us feel more romantic. The luscious fruit was even used in a traditional soup served to newlyweds in 13th century France. What a great reason to start eating more strawberries!

3. Strawberries can reduce the risk of heart attack

A study conducted by The Harvard School of Public Health in the US and the University of East Anglia in the UK analyzed the diets of over 93,000 women aged 25 to 42. The researchers found that eating three servings of strawberries or blueberries per week could reduce the risk of a heart attack by 32 per cent.

4. Strawberries improve short-term memory

Strawberries aren’t just good for our bodies, they’re great for our brains too. In an article published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers found that the high levels of antioxidants in fruits such as strawberries can boost memory and protect against mental decline.

5. Strawberries have anti-aging properties

As we age, our bodies produce less collagen and this leads to lines and wrinkles. The Vitamin C found in strawberries is important in the production of collagen. Strawberries also contain anti-inflammatory enzymes and antioxidants which help slow the rate that skin ages.

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6. Strawberries promote bone health

When looking to boost our health, it’s easy to forget about our bones but as we age, our bone density reduces. Strawberries contain a range of nutrients that can improve bone health including Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin K and magnesium.

7. Strawberries boost immunity

Busy lives, stress, and a poor diet are just some of the things that can weaken our immune system. The problem is, if our immune system isn’t working properly we become susceptible to illnesses. If you feel constantly under the weather, a weakened immune system could be to blame. The good news is that strawberries are a great source of Vitamin C which helps protect the immune system.

8. Strawberries help burn stored fat

When the body stores more fat than it burns, it leads to weight gain. However, antioxidants found in strawberries can increase the body’s metabolic rate so the body burns fat rather than storing it. The Vitamin C in strawberries also plays an important role in maintaining a healthy metabolism to aid weight loss.

Another fat-burning compound found in strawberries is anthocyanins – it’s this compound that gives strawberries their vibrant color. In a study published by The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, researchers discovered that when animals were fed anthocyanins alongside a high-fat diet, they gained 24 per cent less weight than animals that were not fed anthocyanins.

How to maximize the health benefits 

To maximize the benefits of strawberries, always eat the freshest strawberries you can find and choose big red strawberries which will have the most Vitamin C. Enjoy your strawberries at room temperature to bring out the best flavor.

Commercially-produced strawberries are often treated with a range of pesticides so always choose organic strawberries.

So versatile and easy to prepare, you can enjoy strawberries in a whole host of different ways. They are delicious simply sliced and served with natural yogurt or cereals or can be added to water to create a refreshing drink. But why not be adventurous and try something new? Here are a range of healthy sweet and savoury dishes that make the most of this wonderful ingredient.

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Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Strawberry frozen yogurt

    We know that ice-cream is not a dieter’s friend but for a creamy treat, frozen yogurt makes a great alternative.

    via bbc good food

    Strawberry and Cucumber Ice Pops

    Strawberry Ice Pops

      Keep your cool with this sweet treat. Stash these ice pops in the freezer and you’ll always have a fat-free treat to hand.

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      via bon appetit

      Strawberry, Almond and Pea Salad

      strawberry almond and pea salad

        Strawberries are just too good to keep for dessert. Try them in this tasty main course salad.

        via bon appetit

        Strawberry and Arugula salad

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        Salad with arugula and strawberries

          Strawberries are the star of the show in this delicious salad.

          via food network

          Stuffed Strawberries

          stuffed strawberries

            When you want something truly indulgent, these stuffed strawberries are just the thing. You can eat just one or two to feel like you’ve had a delicious treat without blowing the calories.

            via all recipes

            Featured photo credit: alisalipa via shutterstock.com

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            Last Updated on May 22, 2019

            10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

            10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

            There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

            One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

            In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

            Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

            1. Cat Camel Stretch

            Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

            Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

            Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

            Here’s a video to guide you through:

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            2. Go for a Walk or a Run

            This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

            Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

            The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

            Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

            Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

            3. Jumping Jacks

            Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

            Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

            4. Abductor Side Lifts

            Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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            Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

            5. Balancing Table Pose

            This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

            Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

            ablab

              6. Leg Squats

              Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

              Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

              The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

              7. Push Ups

              You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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              An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

              Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

              This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

              8. Bicycle Crunches

              There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

              Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

              9. Lunges

              Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

              Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

              This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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              10. Bicep Curls

              You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

              Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

              Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

              Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

              Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

              These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

              You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

              Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

              More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Reference

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