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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 January 21, 2020

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

            your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

              Why You Need a Vision

              Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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              How to Create Your Life Vision

              Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

              What Do You Want?

              The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

              It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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              Some tips to guide you:

              • Remember to ask why you want certain things
              • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
              • Give yourself permission to dream.
              • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
              • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

              Some questions to start your exploration:

              • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
              • What would you like to have more of in your life?
              • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
              • What are your secret passions and dreams?
              • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
              • What do you want your relationships to be like?
              • What qualities would you like to develop?
              • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
              • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
              • What would you most like to accomplish?
              • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

              It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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              What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

              Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

              A few prompts to get you started:

              • What will you have accomplished already?
              • How will you feel about yourself?
              • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
              • What does your ideal day look like?
              • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
              • What would you be doing?
              • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
              • How are you dressed?
              • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
              • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
              • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

              It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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              Plan Backwards

              It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

              • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
              • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
              • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
              • What important actions would you have had to take?
              • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
              • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
              • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
              • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
              • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

              Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

              It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

              Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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