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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 November 17, 2019

            20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

            20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

            Saying, “Thank you,” can be difficult to do. Some things just demand a little something extra because of the magnitude of the favor or the depth of appreciation involved. But what can you do to say thank you in a meaningful way? Sometimes you have to get a little more creative than just firing off an email. Here are 20 creative ways to say thank you that your friends and family will remember and cherish!

            1. Make a gift bag.

            A unique, homemade gift bag with a custom label or a note is a simple but heartfelt way to show your appreciation for the wonderful things your friends or family have done for you.

            2. Give a toast.

            Many people fear public speaking more than death, giving this particular thank-you a little extra meaning. Composing a sincere, eloquent toast and delivering it is a nice way to show appreciation that truly comes from the heart.

            3. Write a poem.

            “Roses are red, violets are blue…” Uh, you could write that...but why not put a little extra zing in it? Find out what their favorite kind of poetry is: haiku, free verse, iambic pentameter, and so on. (Google them if you don’t know what they are.) Then write one that expresses why they deserve your thanks…and why you’re glad to give it!

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            4. Create your own labels.

            There are a number of websites that offer custom gift labels. Find one that fits your personality and that of your friends and create a personalized thank-you label!

            5. Give a gift card.

            Sometimes choosing what to give a friend can be tough. A gift card is a good way to get around this problem. As always, be sure to include a personalized note or card thanking the recipient for their friendship and help.

            6. Send a letter.

            Snail-mail is a largely lost art form. Don’t worry about how long the letter is, though. What really matters here is that you took the time to put pen to paper and express your feelings sincerely and honestly!

            7. Use social media to send a special message.

            If someone’s done something you think the whole world should know about, why not put out a social media blast? Use your blog, your Facebook, your Google+ account, and your Twitter to spread the word about why this person’s someone your friends will want to know too!

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            8. Make your own digital greeting card.

            While an email isn’t always the best way to go when saying thank you, a digital greeting card that you put time and effort into creating can really brighten someone’s day! Make the card reflect the recipient’s personality and compose a short message of thanks for their generosity.

            9. Make a YouTube video.

            Sometimes, actually hearing someone say, “Thank you,” can make all the difference. Why not take it a step further and create a special video of thanks for your friends, family, and those special people who helped make your day so important…or who helped you through that rough time?

            10. Deliver cookies or candies.

            Making something yourself is a fun and delightful way to say thank you to someone. Create a sampling of baked goods or homemade candies and decorate them with a simple message, or make them so they form letters! (Think Valentine’s candies, only situationally appropriate.) Attach a thank-you note or label and surprise those special people with the gift of your time and creativity.

            11. Make surprise gifts for guests.

            There’s no need to wait until “later” to send a thank-you message. Why not do it at the time? Create little gift packets or bags for your guests with surprises inside. This is a great way to say thanks to the people who attended your event, and make sure they won’t want to miss the next one!

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            12. Put together a flower basket.

            Whether you prefer fresh or artificial flowers, assembling a flower basket with a thank-you note is an excellent way to brighten someone’s day and show you appreciate them.

            13. Take a picture.

            Sometimes capturing the moment is the best way to put a smile on someone’s face. Have someone take a picture of you receiving that special gift or opening that surprise package and send the giver a copy with a quick but sincere note to say thanks!

            14. Repay their generosity by paying it forward.

            The best gifts come from the heart, and the best way to repay a gift is to pay it forward. If your friend has a special cause they care about or something they believe in passionately, why not make a donation in their name or volunteer some of your time to the cause? This will mean more than any number of cookies, candies, or thank-you notes because you’re taking your friend’s love and spreading it around to others.

            15. Do something special for them.

            Take them out to dinner. (See “make a toast.”) Give them that movie they’ve been wanting forever. Cook them dinner and give them a present when they arrive. Any of these are good options for showing someone you really appreciate them and how grateful you are to have them in your life.

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            16. Reciprocate their help.

            Everyone needs help sometime. Whether it’s holding their hand through a particularly traumatic incident or helping them replace the alternator in their car, being there when they need it shows you remember what they did for you and how much it meant. It also shows that you’re willing to be just as good a friend to them as they were to you!

            17. Be there for them.

            Not every thank-you gesture has to be a grand public spectacle. Sometimes just giving them a place to come hang out when they’re lonely or showing up to offer them a sympathetic shoulder means the world to a person.

            18. Listen to them.

            Listening is almost as lost an art as the handwritten letter. When your friend or family member needs to talk, listen to them. Ask questions when appropriate, but just letting them know you’re there and paying attention to them to the exclusion of all else for a little while is a great way to say thank you for the times they listened to you.

            19. Say it in another language…or two…

            A simple thank you is great…but why not spice it up a little? Instead of just saying, “Thank you,” write or make a video of you telling them thank you in different languages. Some examples might be, “Gracias! Merci! Danke schoen! Spasibo! Mahalo!” and any other ways or languages you can think of. (The ones listed above are Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Hawaiian, in case you were wondering.) If you want to really get tricky about it, say a short phrase in each language that conveys why you’re thanking them!

            20. Show them some love.

            A simple touch, a hug, or helping out when they need it without being asked may be the most powerful gratitude message you can send. Offer to take the dogs for a walk, sit for the kids for a few hours, or run to the grocery store so they don’t have to. The little things are often the most important and meaningful. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still send a note, but sometimes your simple presence and willingness to help is all that really matters.

            Featured photo credit: Hanny Naibaho via unsplash.com

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