What’s So Great About…Strawberries

What’s So Great About…Strawberries

What’s so great about strawberries. No word of a lie, last night as my husband was washing strawberries, and my 4 year old daughter poking her nose into the sink, asked “are those Ontario strawberries?” “Yes” says husband, “Mmmmmmm” says daughter. I’m not sure if she truly understands the geographic difference between California strawberries and Ontario strawberries, but she sure knows what tastes better. When Ontario strawberries are in season, we eat them almost daily. Which, as it turns out, is good news.Photo by Maya Visnyei Photography
 
I’m certain you already know that strawberries are good for you. But did you know that strawberries rank #3,  only behind blackberries and walnuts for their antioxidant capacity? This is according to a US study ranking the top 50 foods for their antioxidants, which included spices, fruits and vegetables.  I particularly like this study because it takes into consideration the amounts of foods people tend to eat as well as their nutritional make up. A cup of cinnamon may contain more antioxidants, but who’s eating a cup of cinnamon? The website whfoods.org, where I discovered this study recommends that we eat at least 3 servings of berries a week in order to achieve health benefits.  Done, done and done and its only Tuesday!
 
Strawberries, unfortunately also holds the #3 spot on a less distinguished list. Sadly, it is on the Environmental Working Groups (EWG) http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/  dirtiest foods list, which examined foods for pesticide residue. While EWG does say that eating fruits and vegetables is more important than pesticide residues, it does provide a very helpful guide for selecting organic produce where possible.  It is a fine line we walk with our food and its safety. My personal rule? Just try to do the best with what you have.
 
Putting aside the pesticide issue for now, strawberries do have a lot to boast about. In addition to being an antioxidant powerhouse, and one of the highest sources of Vitamin C, they are also rich in soluble fiber, which is especially important to cardiovascular health, folate, that ever important B vitamin and potassium and manganese. And, recent studies have shown strawberries to help to regulate blood sugar which is extremely important for those suffering from diabetes. Then there’s the fact that even the pickiest of eaters wouldn’t complain to a bowl of bright, red berries plonked down in front of them.

Check out the guide below of the top 10 best rated foods for low pesticides and the top 10 worst culprits:

2011EWGPesticideGuide

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1 Comment

  1. Jyll Weinberg-Martin
    June 29, 21:45 Reply

    Awesome! I want a bowl right now. And I do appreciate hearing that the EWG says that actually eating fruit/veg is more important than pesticide residue – it at least makes you feel a bit better about not always being able to buy/afford organic for gawd’s sake!! We do the best we freakin’ can. Love it.

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