Strawberry

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Strawberries are a sweet, delicious fruit that are also a nutritional superfood.

The garden strawberry is a widely grown hybrid species of the genus Fragaria.

It is cultivated worldwide for its fruit. The fruit is widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness.

They are rich in antioxidants which boosts their ability to rebuild, repair, and rejuvenate the body. They also have high levels of phenols, which act as an anti-inflammatory for illness such as asthma, arthritis, pms, & autoimmune disorders.

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Loaded with Vitamin C they help to boost the immune system by warding off colds, flu’s, and infections.

One cup of fresh strawberries contains 160% of your daily needs for vitamin C, for only 50 calories!

Vitamin C is a well-known immunity booster, as well as a powerful, fast-working antioxidant. A 2010 UCLA study discovered that the antioxidant power in strawberries becomes “bioavailable” or “ready to work in the blood” after eating the fruit for just a few weeks.

strawberry-kitty

Strawberries are a low glycemic index food and high in fiber, which helps to regulate blood sugar and keep it stable by avoiding extreme highs and lows.

 

Strawberries are a smart fruit choice for diabetics, as they have a lower glycemic index (40) than many other fruits do. They are also well known for improving eye sight and skin elasticity.

Strawberries contain ellagic acid and flavonoids which are good for the heart and help to lower cholesterol.

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During the summertime, look for locally grown strawberries for the most nutritional and health benefits. Organic frozen strawberries are also a good alternative when fresh are not available.

 

Strawberries are an excellent addition to smoothies, fruit salads, and mixed green salads; dice strawberries and add them to your chicken salad.

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Make your own fruit cocktail with fresh fruit and include grapes, pineapple, sliced peaches and strawberries. Drizzle a small amount of honey on top of the fruit mixture for an extra sweet treat.

Slice strawberries and add them to plain Greek yogurt with a drizzle of agave nectar and sliced almonds.

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Top whole grain waffles, pancakes or oatmeal with fresh strawberries, or fold them into muffins and sweet breads.

 

 

You can also blend strawberries in a food processor with a little water and used as a fresh syrup to top desserts or breakfast foods.

They are the perfect snack anytime of the day.

Growing

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Homegrown strawberries are a thousand times tastier than the hard, flavorless supermarket options.

 

Strawberries are cold-hardy and adaptable, making them one of the easiest berries to grow. Growing strawberries in containers is a quick small-space solution.

Growing strawberries requires sun and acidic soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Plant strawberries as early as six weeks before your last frost and cover when needed.

Choose a sunny, fertile site free of perennial weeds. A strawberry patch will produce well for three to four years, so enrich the site with plenty of organic matter.

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Raised beds or planters are ideal for most types of strawberries, plus they make the berries easier to pick.

Mulch between all strawberry plants with pine needles, chopped leaves or another mulch that supports acidic soil conditions.

Pick strawberries with a short stub of green stem attached.

Harvest in the cool of the morning and refrigerate right away.

Wait until just before eating or preserving strawberries to wash them under cool running water and remove their green caps. Preserve berries within three days for optimal flavor and color.

For more reading:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271285.php

http://www.webmd.com/diet/nutritional-benefits-of-the-strawberry

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=32

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