27 Feb Why We Love Strawberries (And maybe you should, too)
It’s time to celebrate National Strawberry Day!
So what makes the strawberry so special that it earned its own nationally-recognized day anyway? First, a few facts…and a little history lesson…
Putting the Berry In Strawberry
The strawberry is actually not a berry at all. It’s a member of the rose family, and is unique to all other fruits because its seeds are grown on the outside of the fruit.
Unlike many other plants, strawberries can be grown successfully in most climates. In fact, they are are grown in every state in the US, and every province in Canada. However, California alone is responsible for producing about 75% of the nation’s strawberries, while Florida is the second largest producer.
Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen, and are often called “the taste of spring.” They are widely recognized as a romantic fruit. And why shouldn’t they be? They’re delicate, heart-shaped, with a vibrant red coloring, and are decadent. And since they are part of the “rose bush” family, they also give off a very sweet smell.
The Strawberry: A Short History
The strawberries you eat today were actually developed back in the 15th and 16th centuries. The wild Virginia strawberry (of North America) was cross bred with a Chilean strawberry by a bunch of French horticulturists in France, and was brought back to the states in the 18th century. This hybrid strawberry is what most of us consume today. They’re much larger and sweeter than the wild strawberries native to the United States.
In the 18th century, strawberries were commonly served for dessert fresh from the garden. Today, strawberries are still a favorite among many people, especially in England. In fact, over 166,000 servings of English strawberries were served at the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament in London in 2017.
The Strawberry: Nutrition In a Heart-Shaped Package
Aside from its taste, the strawberry has a number of health benefits associated with it. Anciently, many Romans believed that strawberries helped with fainting, kidney stones, fevers, depression, sore throats, and inflammations. While they weren’t completely accurate, studies have since found that strawberries can improve certain functions of the human body. They contain several key vitamins, antioxidants, and fibers, and are free of sodium, cholesterol, and fat (Heck! One cup of strawberries only has 50 calories!). They’re also a good source of potassium, manganese, and folic acid.
So what does all this actually mean? Basically all these nutrients packed in that delicate little strawberry help with the following areas:
- Improves eye ailments
- Reduces hypertension
- Reduces inflammation
- Boosts your immune system
- Helps maintain normal blood pressure
- Regulates the nervous system
- Reduces risk of gout, arthritis and cancer
- Is good for your skin (helps with anti aging and anti-pigmentation)
- Acts as a good cleanser for your skin and hair
With all those benefits, who wouldn’t want to indulge in this delicious fruit? You can see why it’s earned a day to itself. It’s simply amazing!
If you’re looking for some ways to change it up and enjoy more strawberries throughout your day, try some of these simple gluten-free recipes:
- For breakfast, try this yummy Vegan Strawberry Peanut Butter Breakfast Smoothie. This dairy free recipe only has four ingredients and is rich in protein and taste!
- For lunch you’ll definitely want to try this low-carb Strawberry Spinach Salad. It’s sweet, crunchy, and packed full of flavor.
- You’ll have everyone begging for seconds at dinnertime if you try this Strawberry Basil Chicken. The tangy flavor of the balsamic glaze complements the chicken well, and is also paleo-friendly. And with only 20 minutes to cook, you can’t go wrong.
- For dessert, try this simple Strawberries and Cream recipe. With only four ingredients, this dish is super easy to make and is ready within minutes. It’s a classic treat you’re sure to love!
Is your mouth watering yet?
Of course we like to suggest you celebrate National Strawberry Day by indulging in one of our delicious Strawberry Sorbet Pops! Delicious Enlightenment guaranteed.