Come Wimbledon, the time for some hard serve-and-volley tennis, and there will be talk about strawberries and fresh cream. How the two came together is a mystery, but one could stretch one’s imagination and find how nutritionally superb are strawberries, possibly helping in the fast grass-court game at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
According to the authoritative United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service nutrient database, every 100 gms of strawberries (a medium-sized strawberry will be approximately 12 grams, which means 8 strawberries) adds up to just 32 kcals, but is packed with nutrients. In fact, it provides 98% of Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of Vitamin C!
The Goodness Within
As per USDA, every 100 gms of strawberries contains:
- 58.8mg Vitamin C (98% RDI)
- 2.2mcg Vitamin K (3% RDI) (said to be useful for building bones)
- 13mg Magnesium (3% RDI) (required for a number of biochemical reactions in the body)
- 153mg Potassium (4% RDI) (needed for electrolyte balance and improved metabolism)
- 0.4mg Manganese (19% RDI) (needed for normal nerve and brain function)
This is over and above other minerals.
So, strawberries seem to have as much goodness in them as a vegetable and a fish diet put together!
RDI = Recommended Dietary Intake. This is also sometimes referred to as Recommended Daily Intake, which is the average daily intake level of a particular nutrient that is likely to meet the nutrient requirements of 97-98% of healthy individuals in a particular life stage or gender group.
And There is More to Strawberries
According to the renowned book, ‘A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs,’ (Steven Foster, James A. Duke; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000) strawberries are a source of several folk remedies: American Indian tribes made root tea to act as a nerve tonic and treat stomach problems, gonorrhoea, lung ailments, jaundice and heavy menstrual bleeding. The leaves and roots also treated bladder issues, scurvy, gout and diarrhoea. In Europe, leaf teas were used as blood purifiers and to remedy kidney stones.
There have been scientific studies on the fruit and the plant:
A 2009 study published in Phytomedicine says leaves from wild strawberries exhibit vasodilatory activities, thus showing positive effects on the body’s cardiovascular system.
In 2003 Cornell University published a paper in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, which said human liver cancer cell proliferation was significantly inhibited after being exposed to strawberry extracts.
In a 2006 study conducted at the University of California’s Center for Human Nutrition, it was found that strawberries markedly inhibited the growth of colon cancer cells.
And it goes on and on! The benefits of this sweet-bitter fruit we all love seems immense.
And Zizira explorers have met with a few strawberry farmers of Meghalaya, and seen the healthy produce they harvest from their fields.
Strawberry farming in Meghalaya seems to be like a gold mine waiting to be ‘discovered’, is it not?
Wait, not just the fruit, the leaves too may be important! Research studies cited above seem to indicate that the leaves of the strawberry plant may have medicinal properties! The Zizira explorers will dig in, find out and update you, our readers.
Meanwhile, do you know anything more about strawberries that you would like to tell us about? Please add as comments.