Summer’s here, the stores, and countryside are filled with strawberries. It is definitely the perfect time to have an overdose of fresh succulent strawberry for breakfast. They are not only deliciously enticing but also filled with a zillion health benefits. If a bowl of fresh strawberries for your breakfast doesn’t excite you much, then here is an article that will make you think otherwise…
Strawberries are a rich source of phenolic compounds, which are a known class of anti-oxidants. Anthocyanin – a potent phenol is abundantly found in strawberries and is responsible for red color of the fruit. Moreover, research has shown that when anthocyanin-rich foods are consumed, the body's uric acid levels increase, which augments the free radical fighting potency of the body. These actions together help prevent free radical damage, pre-mature aging, and gene mutations of the cells.
Apart from being a good source of beta carotene (the precursor of Vitamin A and the pigment that gives the yellow/saffron color to the strawberry flesh), strawberries contain several trace metals like zinc, potassium, and selenium that help improve vision. Moreover, the phyto-nutrients present in the fruits prevent free-radical related aging of the retina and prevent age related macular disease and cataract risk.
The phenolic compounds in strawberries help fight against many inﬂammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis, asthma, and atherosclerosis. It is purported that these compounds have a similar action in the body as that of analgesics like ibuprofen and aspirin, i.e., they inhibit the action of cyclooxygenase – an enzyme involved in the inflammatory actions in the body. Strawberries, however, do not carry unwanted side effects like stomach and intestinal bleeding commonly associated with the common OTC NSAIDs.
Degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are purported to be prevented and in certain rare cases reversed by regular morning consumption of strawberries. The antioxidant agents and certain unidentified compounds in strawberries have shown promising effects in reversing these morbid brain conditions in animal studies.
One cup of strawberries contains 21% of manganese – an important mineral involved in bone building and maintaining proper bone structure. The potassium, vitamin K, and magnesium in strawberries are also important for bone health. Regular morning consumption of strawberries is known to improve bone density and in long run prevent occurrences of osteopenic disorders.
Strawberries are rich in dietary fiber and contain the right amount of simple sugars. Moreover, they are loaded with phytonutrients and trace elements like Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Regular consumption of strawberries has shown to help improve probiotic quality in the large gut, enhance gut motility, and villi cell health. What’s more, these effects are best seen when the fuit is consumed between 4.00am to 10.00am.
Each cup of strawberry provides over 50% of the daily needs for Vitamin C (One serving of strawberries contains 51.5 mg of ascorbic acid). These fruits also contain an effective antioxidant that helps lower blood pressure and ensures a healthy immune system, which in turn acts towards preventing the proliferation pathogenic organisms – a necessity in the world plagued with flus, colds, and “never heard of before” viral attacks.
Strawberries contain high levels of potassium and magnesium, two elements which are effective in combating the effects of sodium on the body. Moreover, these fruits are known to have mild diuretic effect too. The 2 action in unison help prevent hypertension and balance the blood pressure levels within the normal range.
Strawberries are a rich source of several Vitamin B complex nutrients. All that Vitamin B in strawberries also reduces the chances of birth defects in babies, especially in cases of spina bifida.
Last but not the least, strawberries are a rich source of natural simple sugars. These sugars provide the all too important glucose to the body and help stabilize the blood sugar levels. This helps improve brain activity, promotes better cognition, and improves concentration.
Eating strawberries as is might be the best and easiest way to consume strawberries during breakfast. However, many find eating strawberries as is messy (especially if you come across a real juicy variety). To help you with this task here are some scrumptious ways to include them in your 1st meal of the day
· Fresh Strawberry sorbet: Sorbet is the perfect breakfast drink. For this, all you need to do is blend the fruits with some water or crushed ice and you are ready. Add a little mint garnish for that special touch.
· Strawberry crepes: Fill your traditional crepes with some exotic yet healthy strawberry sauce. You can prepare this by cooking strawberry puree with sugar, butter, and spices, or use readymade sauce.
· Quick crispy strawberries: A modified version of fruit crumble, all you need to do is mix whole-wheat flour with butter and molasses. Next cover a layer of strawberries with this mixture and bake for 10 mins, your crispy and delectable breakfast will be ready.
· Strawberry sandwich: A perfect delight for those who prefer a twist in their food. You can use both the raw green strawberries and the ripe yellow ones. Just add slices of strawberries between 2 buttered breads along with some peanut or almond butter and jam. You and the kids your house will surely love this treat.
· Strawberry and oatmeal porridge: Bored of the same old oatmeal preparations, add a new zing to the dish with some colorful strawberry. You can add slices of the fruit at the end of the preparation, or mix in some strawberry puree for delightful splash of color in your morning meal.
· Strawberry milkshake: Some believe fruit milkshakes are not healthy, while other say it is the perfect combination of nutrients + energy. However, I say it is a perfect food in terms of nutrition, taste, and aesthetics. Just blend cold milk with sugar, and fresh ripe berries and youar ready!
With all these benefits and delectable breakfast dish ideas, it is but obvious that summer means strawberries which bring on the health. So give your day a healthy start and have a wholesome serving of fresh strawberry for breakfast today.
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