Strawberries are one of the most popular berries in the world, and they are also one of the top superfoods when it comes to fighting a vast array of diseases and health issues. From fighting inflammation and controlling diabetes, to protecting brain function and improving heart health, strawberries can boost your health in countless ways.
Spring is peak season for strawberries, and I love to find reasons to incorporate them into a variety of dishes including smoothies (see my Immunity Boosting Blend), salads, or just as a snack by themselves.
If you need more reasons to eat strawberries? Here are a few:
- Strawberries are loaded with antioxidants, which help defend cell structures in the body and protect the body’s organs. Strawberries are second only to plums as the richest fruit in phenols and antioxidants, and are especially high in cancer- and heart disease-fighting flavonoids, quercetin, catechin, and kaempferol.
- Strawberries can offer enhanced protection against crippling inflammation-related diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
- Strawberries have shown an ability to inhibit tumor growth and to slow the progress of tumors as they begin to develop, according to a study using rats with esophageal cancer.
- In a study done by the Institute of Biochemistry in Ancona, Italy, researchers found that when subjects consumed strawberries daily for two weeks, an average 3.4% increase in serum folate levels was observed, meaning regular strawberry intake could have a beneficial effect on folate status and heart health.
In addition to being delicious, strawberries are also very high in vitamin C and flavonoids, which is just one more reason I have included them in my Strawberry-Avocado Relish, which I often serve with my Summertime Grilled Chicken recipe. However, the relish also makes a great topping for any grilled fish or chicken, and it’s a satisfying dip for whole-grain tortilla chips. No cooking is required for this condiment.
YIELDS about 2 cups
1 1/2 cups diced strawberries
1 diced medium-size avocado
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 Tbs. chopped cilantro
1 tsp. sugar
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon.