Who wouldn’t like to bite into a ripe, sumptuous strawberry and feel that rich, tangy-sweet taste? Strawberry ice cream is a favourite across people of all age groups. The best part about strawberry is that it can be eaten fresh, or be used for a variety of cooking. Be it jams, sauces, ice creams, pies, or cakes, or a simple smoothie, strawberries add a lovely flavour to the food. It has even been adapted to the Indian cooking styles and strawberry kheer, phirni, etc. are also common desserts seen around.
Apart from the looks, this little bright reddish-pink fruit packs a punch with a lot of nutrients that are beneficial for us. These include better heart health, cancer-fighting properties, blood pressure regulation, and being diabetic-friendly. It contains highly beneficial fibre, Vitamins, and a good amount of antioxidants. Typically arriving in the summer months of Apr and May, in India, you get to see strawberries through to Jun and Jul also. Here is a rundown on what you gain by consuming strawberries.
Safe for diabetics
One of the grouses of diabetic patients is the fact that they are forbidden from eating many fruits, due to the high sugar content/glycemic index. However, strawberry if an exception to this as it is considered to be diabetic-friendly. The high amount of antioxidants present in it, coupled with the fact that it does not boost the blood sugar rapidly on consumption, is what makes it safe. Also, the fibre content in strawberry helps regulate the blood sugar. Another good impact of consuming strawberries is that this fibre content can keep you full, and prevent you from excessive snacking in between meals.
The fruit does not just look like a heart; it is also good for your heart, suggests the scientific evidence. It is a rich source of polyphenols that helps prevent heart diseases. Another compound present in strawberry known as anthocyanin has been linked to lower heart attacks of a certain kind. Besides, it also contains an anti-inflammatory flavonoid- quercetin, that reduces the risk of atherosclerosis. Additionally, the fibre content and potassium in Strawberries also help make it a heart-friendly food. Certain antioxidants like quercetin, kaempferol, and anthocyanin present in strawberry have also been linked with moderately reduced risk of stroke.
To stave off cancer, our body needs to have the ability to fight the free radicals and its effect on various bodily functions. It is antioxidants that we receive from the various foods we consume that helps us do this. Strawberries are a great source of antioxidants that help us fight the free radicals. It can prevent and limit tumour growth, which is usually the cause of cancer.
Constipation is a very common issue in old age, and the two things that can help you fight it are fibre and water consumption. You get both of these by consuming strawberries. They are high in water and fibre content that can ease the bowel movement, add bulk to your stool, and even keep you hydrated.
Blood pressure regulation
The high potassium content in strawberries can help regulate the blood pressure in the body; this is because it offsets the sodium effects in the body. As you may be aware, low potassium and high sodium, both can cause issues with the blood pressure, and strawberry consumption can help balance this. Strawberries increase the HDL-good cholesterol in the body as well.
Before the strawberry season runs out, try making strawberry phirni by making a slight variation, in the phirni recipe. All the ingredients and preparation method remains the same. To bring in the strawberry flavour, all you have to do is add a few sliced strawberries into the phirni before refrigerating it. Alternatively, you can blend in the puree into the dessert as the last step before taking it off the stove. A chilled phirni makes for a delicious summer dessert to beat the heat, and ring in the goodness of health.