Latin Name: Fragaria x ananassa

What is a Strawberry?
Widely enjoyed for it sweet, fragrant flavor and bright red color, the garden strawberry is a common plant of the genus Fragaria, cultivated worldwide. The star of jams, preserves, juice, and pies, strawberries make their appearance at the end of spring, though they are increasingly grown year round. Strawberries are the only fruit whose seeds grow around the exterior instead of the interior.

For thousands of years, strawberries have grown wild in temperate regions throughout the world and they enjoyed huge popularity during the Roman Empire. These smaller wild varieties were also prized in the Middle Ages for their purported medicinal properties. The bigger garden strawberry we know today began in 1740 in Brittany, France, where the flavorful Fragaria virginiana from eastern North America was crossed with the large sized Fragaria chiloensis from Argentina.

What are the health benefits of Strawberries?
Cooling in nature, strawberries are used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat dry cough, sore throat, difficult urination, lack of appetite, and are thought to detoxify after alcohol intoxication.

The strawberry’s content of folate, fiber, high antioxidants (such as vitamin C), and phytochemicals are an ideal combination for heart health. When added to a cholesterol-lowering diet, it was found that the antioxidants in strawberries helped lower coronary heart disease risk. And just one serving of strawberries, about 8 strawberries, provides more vitamin C than an orange. Additionally, strawberries are naturally low in sugar, which makes them a naturally sweet indulgence, helpful for today’s dieters.

Evidence supports that antioxidant-filled strawberries are important for neurological function and memory. Studies have found strawberries to be one of the biggest suppliers of cellular antioxidant activity, which may lead to a reduced risk of cancer.

Are there any precautions for Strawberries?
Strawberries can occasionally cause severe allergic reactions in infants, so it is best to wait until they are above the age of one to introduce them to strawberries.

Where can I find Strawberries?
Strawberries can be found in grocery stores and outdoor markets in the summer season.

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This entry was posted in Foods, Natural Health Dictionary.