Elderflowers are just one of the many things I love about May. Aside from being a time when the air is filled with the amazing fragrances of various flowers, it is also a time when the first outdoor strawberries arrive. These tiny red gems pop their head up in the wild, and they slowly appear in gardens as well. The cultivars you can find in the garden are amazing, too, but those living in the forest (the tiny ones) are by far the best.
No matter which variety you might come by – as long as it’s not that giant, tasteless supermarket variety – you can expect it to taste wonderful. And do something good for your health, too.
Strawberries: Nutrition facts
Strawberries are not just tasty and beautiful, but healthy as well. Just 100 grams of strawberries contain 70% of all the vitamin C you need in a day. Besides, they have a considerable manganese content, important for healthy bones, an almost full range of B vitamins, antioxidants, and a variety of other minerals. Some cultivars also contain higher levels of tannins, which can have antioxidant, anti-cancer properties when consumed in small amounts.
100 grams of strawberries have just over 30 calories, which makes them the perfect snack, especially if you try to lose fat and still indulge yourself with something overly delicious from time to time.
Strawberries and science
It seems that the oldest, best-known plants are the least important when it comes to research. Although these bright red wonders have been with us for centuries, their health benefits weren’t studied too much. The limited research done on the effects of the fruit shows its potential to help prevent cardiovascular disease. The studies have also shown that it can lower blood pressure, decrease LDL cholesterol levels, and attenuate blood sugar spikes after a sugary meal and cholesterol spikes after a high-fat dish.
But, as usual, more studies are needed.
Strawberries in folk medicine
The wild strawberries were collected and consumed fresh, as jams or baked goodies. But the leaves of the plant were collected, too, and dried out thoroughly (it’s a must, as the withered leaves have unhealthy compounds in them) to be mixed with other herbs for tea. While they were not associated with any specific health benefits, their aroma improved the taste of any concoction – and, as you may already know, sometimes herbal teas need a lot of that.
But science has discovered that it, indeed, has a potentially beneficial effect: it has vasodilatory effects, improving the blood flow throughout the cardiovascular system.