I was reminded once again at the grocery store how cost effective and nutritionally beneficial it is to grow our own food!
Although strawberries are in season, organic strawberries for a pint were almost $6.00! For those who know me, I will not hesitate to spend my money on good, no great, food! I am a big believer that we either pay now for good food or pay later for poor health. Makes no sense to me to focus on eating ‘cheap food’ and then as a result, have to use the money saved to pay a fortune for drugs and medical care!
So back to the strawberries…when we hear the word “strawberry,” we might think about a very commonplace fruit. But the antioxidant capacity of the strawberry is anything but common!
Researchers have recently ranked the 50 best antioxidant sources among commonly eaten foods and found strawberries to be exceptional. When only fruits were considered, strawberries came out 4th among all fruits (behind blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries). When the evaluation was based on common serving sizes, strawberries came out 3rd among all U.S. foods including spices, seasonings, fruits, and vegetables!
Strawberries are a fragile, perishable and delicate fruit and as with any food stored, its nutrients are substantially reduced. In fact, studies have shown storage of strawberries on average is 2 days as the maximal time without major loss of vitamin C and polyphenol antioxidants. Hence growing and eating fresh from our gardens rewards us with much more nutrients from our food and of course subsequently better health.
In terms of ripeness, studies have found that both under ripeness and over ripeness can have an unexpectedly large impact on the phytonutrient content of strawberries, especially their antioxidant polyphenols.
For optimal antioxidants and phytonutrients consume your strawberries when their amazing pinkish-red color is most vibrant and rich in luster. Enjoying strawberries raw will provide you with the best flavor and the greatest benefits from their vast array of nutrients and digestion-aiding enzymes. They are a delicious ending to a meal while assisting in digestion.
For the health of it!