Pharma Tips

Strawberry : Pharmacognosy & Medicinal Uses

By: Pharma Tips | Views: 2503 | Date: 26-Sep-2013

Red, juicy, delicious strawberries are one of the healthiest fruits to include in your diet. Strawberries are chockfull of antioxidants and other essential nutrients that can flavorfully help you reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, inflammatory diseases, and birth defects as well as mouthwateringly manage your weight. Here are the bountiful health benefits of strawberries.

 
Strawberry : Pharmacognosy & Medicinal Uses
 
Red, juicy, delicious strawberries are one of the healthiest fruits to include in your diet. Strawberries are chockfull of antioxidants and other essential nutrients that can flavorfully help you reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, inflammatory diseases, and birth defects as well as mouthwateringly manage your weight. Here are the bountiful health benefits of strawberries.
 

Selection and storage

Strawberries are available year-round in the stores but are fresh and plentiful from the spring through the mid-summer.

In the stores choose berries that feature shiny, firm, deep red with attached green caps, plump, free of sand and mold. Avoid those appear dull, sunken or flattened and those with signs of mold, cuts or discolored patches on the surface. Unripe berries have green or yellow patches on their surface. Since the berries cease ripening soon after their harvest, they should be avoided as they are likely to be sour and of inferior in quality. The berries are easily perishable; and therefore, should only be purchased a few days prior to use.

Before storing in the refrigerator, remove any berries that got affected by mold or damaged so that they should not spoil others. Place them in a wide bowl or spread out on a plate covered with a paper towel, then cover with plastic wrap. They keep fresh in the refrigerator for a day or two. Use them as early as possible, unless otherwise they are frozen and stored in the freezer compartment.

 

 

Preparation and serving tips

To wash strawberries, dip them in cold water in a large bowl for few seconds and swish gently few times. This helps remove any sand and insecticide/fungicide residues. Then, gently pat them dry using paper towel or cloth. This method also helps berries bring to room temperature, increase their flavor and enrich the taste. Then remove the stems and caps by simply pinching off with your fingers or using a paring knife.

Here are some serving tips:

  • Sliced fresh strawberries can be a great addition to fruit or green salad.

  • They can be a great snack between meals. Dried strawberry slices can be added in muffins, pie, cakes and are used in cereal flakes as a breakfast recipe.

  • The berries are a popular addition to dairy products, as in strawberry flavored ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies and yogurts.


Safety profile

Strawberries may cause serious allergic reactions in some sensitized individuals. Some of the most common symptoms of strawberry allergy include swelling and redness of mouth, lips and tongue, eczema, hives, skin rash, headache, runny nose, itchy eyes, wheezing, gastrointestinal disturbances, depression, hyperactivity and insomnia. Individuals who suspect allergy to these fruits may want to avoid.

 

Nutritional Benefits of the Strawberry

The heart-shaped silhouette of the strawberry is the first clue that this fruit is good for you. These potent little packages protect your heart, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and guard against cancer.

Packed with vitamins, fiber, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols, strawberries are a sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie food. They are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and are a good source of manganese and potassium. Just one serving -- about eight strawberries -- provides more vitamin C than an orange.

This member of the rose family isn’t really a fruit or a berry but the enlarged receptacle of the flower. Choose medium-sized berries that are firm, plump, and deep red; once picked, they don’t ripen further. First cultivated in ancient Rome, strawberries are now the most popular berry fruit in the world. In provincial France, they were regarded as an aphrodisiac. These red gems may be good for your heart in more ways than one.

 

Nutrition facts of strawberries

 

Strawberries nutrition facts

Delicious and nutrition-rich red colored strawberries are among the most popular berries. Native to Europe, however, nowadays the berries are widely cultivated as an important commercial crop in many temperate regions all over the world. Botanically, the plant is a runner (creeper), belongs to the family of Rosaceae, of the genus: Fragaria.

 

Want other ways to get your vitamin C? Try brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, mango, papaya, red peppers, watermelon, and winter squash.

These berries have the taste that varies by cultivar, and ranges from quite sweet to acidic. The berry features red pulp with tiny yellow color seeds piercing through its surface from inside. Top end has small, green leafy cap and stem that is adorning its crown. Each berry features conical shape, weighs about 25 g and measures about 3 cm in diameter.

Although wild varieties are sometimes available in the market, large-scale production uses the modern "plasticulture" system. In this method, raised beds are formed each year, fumigated, and covered with plastic, which prevents weed growth and soiling of berries.


 

 

Strawberry Nutrients

One cup of strawberries provides 50 calories and about 3 grams of fiber, most of which is soluble fiber. Studies have shown that fiber, particularly soluble fiber, can help lower LDL or “bad cholesterol”.

Fiber helps regulate digestion, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and possibly reduce risk of some cancers. Strawberries contain more vitamin C than other berries. Just one cup of strawberries provides 100% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C for adults. Strawberries are also good sources of manganese, iodine, potassium, and folate.

Strawberry Salad With Grilled Shrimp

Makes 4 servings

 

Salad:

2 cups baby spinach, rinsed and dried

2 cups arugula, rinsed and dried

2 cups strawberries (about 1 pt), hulled and sliced

2 oz crumbled goat cheese

3 tbsp pecans, toasted and chopped

2 small green onions, sliced

1 lb shrimp, cleaned and deveined

Dressing:

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp honey mustard

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp fresh chopped basil

Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Combine all salad ingredients (except shrimp) in a large bowl. Toss gently.
  2. Make the dressing: Whisk the vinegar and mustard together in a small bowl; slowly whisk in olive oil. Add basil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill the shrimp: Heat and oil an outdoor or stove-top grill. When hot, add shrimp and grill 3 to 4 minutes on each side until slightly charred and cooked through. Remove from heat.
  4. Divide salad among four plates. Arrange grilled shrimp on top.
  5. Drizzle dressing over each and serve.

Per serving: 251 calories, 23 g protein, 12.5 g carbohydrate, 12.8 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 177 mg cholesterol, 2.5 g fiber, 306 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 45%.


 

Health Benefits of Strawberry

 Sweet, juicy strawberries, with their vibrant red color, can brighten up the flavor and look of any meal. They are not only delicious, they are low in fat and calories, high in fiber and packed with antioxidants, which protect the human body from cellular damage caused by free radicals.

 

 

 

Straberry Juice

  • Strawberry is low in calories (32 kcal/100g) and fats but rich source of health promoting phyto-nutrients, minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.

  • Strawberries have significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phyto-chemicals called anthocyanins and ellagic acid. Scientific studies show that consumption of straw berries may have potential health benefits against cancer, aging, inflammation and neurological diseases.

  • Strawberry has an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity, a measure of anti-oxidant strength) of about 3577µmol TE per 100 grams.

  • Fresh berries are an excellent source of vitamin-C (100 g provide 58.8 mg or about 98% of RDI), which is also a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents, counter inflammation and scavenge harmful free radicals.

  • The fruit is rich in B-complex group of vitamins. It contains very good amounts of vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and folic acid. These vitamins are acting as co-factors help the body metabolize carbohydrate, proteins and fats.

  • Strawberries contain vitamin A, vitamin E and health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin, and beta-carotene in small amounts. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.

  • Furthermore, They contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, fluorine, copper, iron and iodine. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation. Fluoride is a component of bones and teeth and is important for prevention of dental caries.


Strawberry is a wonder fruit. It is rich in antioxidants and helps in preventing cardiovascular diseases, cancer and also helps in delaying aging. Strawberries are also rich in vitamins and minerals and are low in calories. During the season when strawberries are widely available, make a point to include it as a part of your daily food intake considering the enormous health benefits that the strawberries have.

Health Benefits Of  Strawberries:   

  • Studies suggest that the high antioxidant levels in the strawberries can help neutralize the negative effects of free radicals in your system. Antioxidants also boost the immune system and help keep off diseases like cold and flu.
  • Strawberries are also used to whiten teeth. The acids in the fruit are said to help remove stains from the teeth. Cut a strawberry into half and rub it on your teeth and gums. This removes tartar and strengthens and heals the gums. Leave the juice on the teeth for a while and then gargle with warm water.
  • Do you know that strawberries are beneficial in lowering the risk of heart attack? Yes, strawberries are rich in potassium, a mineral that helps regulate the electrolytes in your body, thereby lowering the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Strawberries also contain folate, a key ingredient in the manufacture of red blood cells.
  • Though you can eat strawberries by adding them in a number of foods, but it is more beneficial if you eat them raw. Start your morning breakfast by eating strawberries along with your morning cereal, this will give your energy a boost for the whole day.
  • Strawberries are virtually fat free, therefore they are ideal and perfect food for your diet. Studies suggest that one cup of strawberries contain only 0.6 grams of fat. They suppress your appetite and stimulate your metabolism, they also help keep your weight reducing hormones functioning properly.
  • Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C and contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits. Because of this quality it is helpful in fighting some forms of cancer and also helps to control bad cholesterol. Strawberries are loaded with B2, B5, B6, vitamin K, copper and magnesium. Strawberries also contain omega fatty acid and fibre.

So the next time you buy fruits, do not let strawberries slip from your mind. If fact who would like to do that after having read the above health benefits of strawberries? Strawberries are a single good source of number of vitamins and minerals which otherwise we are unable to get from our regular diet and this one fruit does the needful for our requirements of essential vitamins and minerals.


 

Strawberries + Phytonutrients

Strawberries are loaded with phytonutrients, plant chemicals that contain protective, disease-preventing, compounds, which have been shown to have health benefits. Phenolic compounds are complex organic molecules that a plant produces for protection against diseases and environmental elements. They are also responsible for a fruit’s color, flavor, and aroma.

Flavonoids are a type of phenol known to be potent antioxidants. They have also been shown in studies to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by inhibiting the oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad cholesterol”, improving blood vessel function, and decreasing the tendency for blood clotting. In addition, studies have shown that flavonoids decrease the inflammatory process in the body, which helps protect the heart.

About Strawberries

Strawberries have grown wild for millennia throughout the world. Today, there are over 600 varieties of strawberries that all differ in flavor, size and texture. Strawberries are available year round, but peak strawberry season is April through July. California is one of the leading strawberry producing regions in the world, producing almost 2 billion pounds per year.

Strawberries do not ripen after they are picked, so look for ones that are shiny with a deep, red color and are firm, plump, and free of mold. Avoid ones that are dull in color or have green or yellow patches.

Strawberries are extremely perishable, so store them loosely covered in the refrigerator. Be sure to rinse them well right before eating them.

Did you Know?

Strawberries are a member of the rose family, which is characterized by showy flowers with five separate petals. Strawberries are the only fruit with their seeds on the outside.

How to Enjoy Strawberries

  • Add sliced strawberries to a mixed green salad.
  • Layer sliced strawberries and other fruit with plain yogurt to make a parfait dessert.
  • Add strawberries to a smoothie with yogurt and orange juice.
  • Mix chopped strawberries with cinnamon, lemon juice, and maple syrup to use as a topping for waffles and pancakes.
  • Create a coulis sauce for desserts by blending strawberries with a little bit of orange juice.
  • Place sliced strawberries on toast instead of jam.
  • Dip strawberries in antioxidant rich dark chocolate for a delicious and nutritious dessert.

The Superpowers of Strawberries

Long-term use of ibuprofen or alcohol can hurt your stomach, but researchers may have found an all-natural solution: strawberries.

Researchers at Marche Polytechnic University in Italy fed strawberry extract to rats for 10 days. (The dose was equal to about 3.5 cups of strawberries daily for a human.) When the researchers gave rats stomach lesions using ethanol, the strawberry extract helped prevent the onset of ulcers.

Strawberries, blueberries, and even some vegetables could end up helping to protect humans from stomach problems caused by long-term drinking or excessive use of anti-inflamatory drugs like ibuprofen, explains study researcher Sara Tulipani, Ph.D., of the University of Barcelona.

Credit anthocyanins—a type of antioxidant that gives certain fruits and vegetables their color. Tulipani hypothesizes that anthocyanins activate antioxidant enzymes in the stomach lining that protect against ulcer-inducing oxidant damage from ethanol.

Previous studies have found that anthocyanins reduce blood pressure, improve eye health and help protect against cancer. Aim for at least 2 cups of fruits and 2.5 cups of vegetables each day; a serving is 1 cup of berries.

Strawberries help fight cancer

Dozens of studies over the past 20 years have associated diets high in fruit and vegetables with reduced risk of cancer. Recently, researchers have been testing individual foods for their cancer-fighting ability.

Studies examining the freeze-dried strawberries and strawberry extracts indicate that strawberries can fight breast, cervical and esophageal cancers. The compounds – such as antioxidants and other phytonutrients – found in strawberries (and other fruit and vegetables) are credited with health-protecting effects. Strawberries are a rich source of these antioxidants (vitamin C in particularly), flavonoids, and ellagic acid.

According to the California Strawberry Commission, a serving of strawberries (about 8 strawberries) provides 160 percent of the recommended daily intake for vitamin C. Further, vitamin C has been associated with reduced rates of stomach, cervical, breast and non-hormone-dependent cancers. 

The flavonoids, such as anthocyanins, quercetin and kaempferol, exhibit antioxidant properties that have been proven beneficial in suppressing colon cancer cells, inhibiting prostate and breast cancer cancer cells, and inhibiting chemically-induced cancers of the lung, tongue, mouth, mammary and colon.

The antioxidant power of strawberries has been measured and scored by researchers of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) using the ORAC method. Strawberries score in the fruit group with the highest antioxidant values, or highest ORAC values. Strawberries are certifiably a super food!

In addition, strawberries contain folate, a B vitamin that has been associated with reduced risk of several cancers as well as a decreased risk for birth defects, such as spina bifida.

Strawberries for heart health

A new analysis of data from the Harvard Women's Health Study offers another potential link between strawberries and heart health. Researchers found that women with high strawberry consumption were more likely to also lead a healthy lifestyle.

The heart-health benefits of strawberries are attributed to their high levels of key nutrients. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that has been correlated with lower death rates from cardiovascular disease, lower prevalence of cardiovascular disease and reduced risk of angina. Further, supplementation with vitamin C has been shown to reduce serum levels of C-reactive protein (a substance in the body that indicates the presence of injury or inflammation).

Folate is another nutrient in promoting heart-health – lower folate concentrations have been associated with increased coronary disease risk and increased fatal coronary events. In addition to folate, strawberries are high in fiber and potassium, both associated with heart health benefits, such as lower cholesterol and blood pressure, respectively.

Maybe there is something truly fitting about heart-healthy strawberries being the preferred fruit for Valentine's Day and other romantic encounters!

The direction of current research suggests that eating just eight strawberries a day can improve heart health, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of cancers and even improve cognitive function. There is no reason not to eat strawberries as part of a healthy lifestyle. Strawberries are available nearly year round (though best in the summer), ripe for you to take advantage of the health benefits of this luscious, juicy fruit.

9 Reasons to Eat More Strawberries


Every June when strawberries burst into gardens and markets near my home, I am reminded of my strawberry-picking expeditions as a child with my dad and sister. My mom agreed to make dozens of pies or fresh jam if we’d pick the strawberries needed. Well, that was all the incentive I needed to spend some serious time in the massive strawberry patches in the countryside near where I lived.  Nowadays, I try to eat fresh strawberries to benefit from their many healing properties. Here are some of the best reasons to eat more strawberries:

1. They’re antioxidant powerhouses. Actually, as fruits go, strawberries have the fourth highest level of antioxidants of foods recently tested. Antioxidants protect your body from free radicals linked to aging and disease.

2. They’re excellent sources of vitamin C which boosts the strength of arteries, prevents bruising, and strengthens your body’s stress glands—the adrenals—which require the highest levels of vitamin C of all organs or glands in your body.  Eight strawberries have more vitamin C than an orange.

3. Strawberries have been shown in studies to regulate blood sugar levels.  Eating one cup of fresh strawberries caused a significant reduction in blood sugar spikes.  Blood sugar spikes are linked with weight gain, mood swings, diabetes, and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).  That’s because the spikes are followed by plummeting blood sugar levels soon afterward.

Keep reading to learn about strawberries’ anti-pain and anti-cancer properties…


4. Strawberries have anti-inflammatory and anti-pain properties.  Studies show that they lower levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP).  One study showed that they need to been consumed at least 3 times per week to capitalize on their anti-inflammatory nature.  But, since they taste so good, that’s not likely to be a problem for most people.

5. They’ve been proven helpful in the management of heart disease and arthritis.

6. Strawberries contain anthocyanins which stimulate the burning of stored fat in the body to use as fuel.  Research published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed reduces weight gain in animals fed a high fat diet.  Research also shows anthocyanins boost short-term memory by 100 percent in eight weeks.

7. They have anti-cancer properties.  Their flavonoid content causes the body to interfere with the stages of development of cancer cells, preventing their ability to multiply.

8. Strawberries’ phenolic acids demonstrate anti-allergenic properties, meaning they help reduce the biochemical processes that are linked to allergic reactions.  Of course, as with any food, some people are allergic to strawberries, so if you suspect an allergy you should avoid them.

9. They’re delicious and versatile. Add fresh or frozen strawberries to smoothies, shakes, or blender “juices.”  Top whole grain waffles or pancakes with fresh strawberries, blend them with avocado to create a delicious pudding, or just enjoy them on their own.

 

Whiten Your Teeth

 

The acids in strawberries help remove teeth stains. They remove tarter and strengthens and heals the gums.

Regulate the Thyroid Glands

 

Strawberries are rich in iodine which plays an important part in normal functioning of the thyroid glands problems and control the basic metabolic rate of the body.

Cancer Fighter

Vitamins C, Folate, Anthocyanin, Quercetin and Kaempferol (Flavonoids in strawberries) are potent anti-oxidant that effectively fights cancer. Daily uses of strawberries down the growth of cancerous cells.

High in Omega-3’s

 

Strawberries contain omega-3’s, with just one cup containing 5% of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s help regulate high blood pressure, blood clotting, inflammation, and are critical for proper brain function.

Blood Pressure

 

The potassium found in Strawberries can help control blood pressure and fight stroke.

Reduce Total Cholesterol level

 

Strawberries contains Antioxidants, Fiber and Phytochemicals have been shown to reduce total cholesterol levels.

Diabetes

 

Strawberries are packed with vitamins, antioxidant and dietary fiber that’s why Strawberries are used as one of the top 10 super foods for a diabetes meal plan.

Source of Nutrients

Strawberries are excellent source of nutrients. They contain Vitamin C, Vitamin K, manganese, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B1, iodine, folic acid, biotin and Vitamin B6.

Chronic Disease

 

Strawberries also contain high level of antioxidants which can decrease the risk of chronic disease.

Heart Disease

 

Strawberries also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and prevent Alzheimer’s disease by reversing the course of neuronal and behavioral aging.

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