On the shelves of the supermarkets the strawberries start to appear, so delicious and juicy that these fruits are the joy of children and adults! But strawberries are also a powerful source of healthy substances whose action may be increased or, on the contrary, inactivated, by other food with which strawberries are served. Let’s see better in detail.
Strawberries contain iodine, in particular, a cup of fresh strawberries may have about 13 mcg of this essential micronutrient, a good quantity if you consider that the recommended daily intake of iodine is around 150 mcg (Choudhry et al, Food Sci Nutr, Sep 2018 - Gunnarsdottir et al, Food Nutr Res, Oct 2012). Moreover, strawberries contain bromine and this, together with iodine, results useful to stimulate the functionalities of the thyroid (Fausto Aufiero, The nutritional and therapeutic role of foods). Strawberries are also a source of calcium and vitamin C. But the most interesting characteristic of strawberries is that these fruits contain quinic acid and salicylic acid (Paterson, QJM, Aug 2001). These substances, together with vitamin C, make the strawberries a powerful anti-inflammatory food with an action similar to aspirin but without the side effects of the drug. For this reason, strawberries result helpful in case of cold, rheumatism or chronic inflammations (Afrin et al, J Agric Food Chem, Jun 2016). Strawberries show also an antioxidant action, able to counteract free radicals and to repair the damages on DNA, and an anticancer effect, indeed a scientific study has observed the protective and ant proliferative action of strawberries on a type of esophagus cancer (Giampieri et al, Food Funct, May 2015 - Pan et al, J Berry Res, 2018). Finally, these red and scented fruits, thanks to their content in ellagitannins, a type of antioxidant, show a protective effect on the cardiovascular system by increasing the HDL, good, cholesterol and by counteracting type 2 diabetes (Ariza et al, Int J Mol Sci, Jul 2016). The recommended portion of strawberries is 150 grams per person per day. Strawberries are contraindicated in case of hypothyroidism, ulcers and allergies.
A scientific study has proved that the combination of strawberries and other berries, such as blackberries, raspberries and blueberries, has a protective effect on the cardiovascular system, thus resulting in an increase of HDL cholesterol, a decrease of blood pressure, but only in case of high blood pressure values, and in an improvement of the platelet functionalities (Erlund et al, Am J Clin Nutr, Feb 2008). Another very healthy combination? According to doctor David Servan Schreiber in his book Anti cancer you can serve a fruit salad, prepared with strawberries and a tablespoon of freshly ground flaxseeds, rich in omega 3 fatty acids, able to protect the heart and to fight cancer. And what about a salad prepared with strawberries, avocado and scallops, marinated in lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and ginger? This is a very healthy dish rich in omega 3, fibers, magnesium and potassium! On the contrary, a combination that is better to avoid, but unluckily largely used, is cow’s milk and cow’s yogurt with strawberries because the milk proteins deactivate partly the antioxidants of strawberries (Oliveira et al, Food Chem, Mar 2015). For this reason, if you like strawberry smoothie or a cup of yogurt with these fruits a good alternative is represented by plant based milk and yogurt, for example soy, almond or rice.