Fresh-picked strawberries a heart health booster

By Mercedes Kay Gold, CNP, CPT

Strawberries are synonymous with the summertime. June welcomes a bounty of ravishing red beauties ripe and ready for the picking. They are bursting with sweetness, juiciness and the perfect portable candy courtesy of Mother Nature. Strawberries are simply stupendous on every level. On hot and humid days, strawberries are a hydration helper due to their 91 per cent water content. In one cup, there is a mere 53 calories. With almost 13 grams of carbohydrates before subtracting the three grams of fibre, they are considered low carb and Keto-diet friendly.

Skip the stress, strawberries contain an ever-so-slight serving of sugar, but stocked with piles of potassium, manganese and folate. They are low on the glycemic index (GI) and have no roller coaster effect on the body’s blood sugar levels. One cup of succulent strawberries contains a whole day’s worth of the immune boosting vitamin C. They are a superlative start to an all-star smoothie. Strawberries are stocked with awesome anthocyanin content due to their intense red hue. Anthocyanins are antioxidants, and the high content in fresh strawberries are considered potent atherosclerosis fighters, according to 2016 research in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.

Buying local helps increase anthocyanins as storage and transporting strawberries reduces the anthocyanins content. Strawberries have a short growing season in Canada. Look for roadside markets and load up on local. Eating fruit ripened in nature provides more of the good stuff than produce ripened during transport. Picking your own strawberries is holistic happiness on every level. Digging in the dirt connects you to the earth’s vibration. The act of earthing or grounding reduces inflammation, improves blood flow and helps diminish stress throughout the body. Add fresh air, a dose of vitamin D from the sun and the strawberry patch beckons. A fun-filled day and all the bending, squatting and schlepping counts towards fitness goal. Picking strawberries is a healthy “berry” treasure and truly farm to table. Strawberries are vitamin packed, fabulously flavourful and a beautiful pop of color at every meal. Sliced strawberries crown yogurt, complement cereals, top toast, perfect pancakes, and wow on waffles. They are a supreme spinach salad summer side, a delight on desserts or divine dipped in chocolate. Summer is short and sweet! Reach for ruby red and swap apple, bananas and blueberries for summertime fun recipes.

Photo credit: © [By piyato] via Canva

Mercedes Kay Gold is a Certified Holistic Practitioner and Certified Mobile Personal Trainer living and working in Toronto. Her writing has been featured in various publications and has appeared on Daytime with Jacqueline Betterton. She spends her spare time blogging about all things healthy and enjoying time with her sons. She can be reached at mercedeskaygoldfitness@gmail.com or visit www.mercedeskaygold.com

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