Home FruitsSemi-acid fruits Strawberry: Origins, Production, Preservation, and Health Benefits

Strawberry: Origins, Production, Preservation, and Health Benefits

by Ellie Lauderdale
Strawberry

The strawberry is a delicious fruit that falls in love with its appearance and surprising nutritional properties that benefit our health.

What is a strawberry?

The Fragaria (Fragaria vesca), more commonly known as strawberry or strawberry, is the plant’s fruit of the same name as the Rosaceae family.

The strawberry is classified within semi-acidic fruits such as mandaringuava, or quince and stands out for its striking bright red colour. In addition to its appearance, its smell is extraordinary. It is a very fragrant fruit with a very particular fragrance.

Origin of the strawberry

Origin of the strawberry

The first garden strawberry was created in the 1750s by crossing Fragaria virginiana from eastern North America with Fragaria chiloensis from Chile, which was introduced to France by Amédée-François Frézier in 1714. This breeding took place in Brittany, France.

Ancient cultures do not consume the strawberries we currently consume in our homes. It is a different variety that comes from the American continent.

These fruits were introduced to Europe by settlers between the 18th and 19th centuries. These varieties were much more significant, although with a less intense flavour. It was not until a few years later that it was possible to cross types, obtaining the kind we currently know—a delicious, larger, meaty, and very fragrant fruit.

Strawberry production

Strawberry production

Europe is the epicentre of world production of these fruits. Almost half of all show is concentrated on this continent. This is due to the high demand for these foods—increased consumption not only for their taste but also for their beneficial nutritional properties for our health.

The American continent closely follows Europe. Between Central America and North America, they produce almost 30% of the total world production.

The vast majority of Spain’s production is concentrated in Andalusia, specifically in Huelva.

Strawberry season

The optimal period for picking succulent strawberries in Northern California is typically from April to July, with May and June being the busiest months. The prominent planting regions in this part of the state consist of Monterey, San Benito, Fresno, and Santa Carla.

On the other hand, intensive greenhouse crops are increasingly used, and strawberries can be grown yearly.

We always recommend consuming fruits in season to enjoy various fruits with different healthy properties.

You can check the calendar of the fruit season to be able to consume these foods at their most optimal moment. In addition, when they are in season, they provide us with more benefits for our health. They have a better aroma and are tastier, among other advantages.

How is the strawberry preserved?

How is the strawberry preserved

  • When we buy strawberries, we must identify if they are of good quality: For this, we must choose them thick and shiny with the appearance of fresh stems intact. It is a very delicate food that spoils very quickly.
  • We must know how to preserve the strawberries we buy since they are delicate and perishable. When we purchase many strawberries, we can use them and eat them raw to make different recipes for jams, preserves, or fruit smoothies. The fruits do not stop ripening when they are picked. For this reason, we have to follow the following tips so that they last us for more days in perfect condition.
  • Keeping the strawberry in the refrigerator: Although it seems obvious, we can get confused and leave these foods in the fridge. It is important to refrigerate them for conservation. Going them at room temperature for a day can be catastrophic.
  • Discard the brown strawberries: When storing them, it is a good idea to check to identify any spots quickly. If we recognize any mould, we discard it so it does not affect others. The discarded, we can clean and consume them that same day.
  • Please do not wash the fruit when storing it: To store strawberries, it is not recommended to clean them. We only have to wash them when we are going to consume them. Humidity can affect its conservation. If we find any affected part, we must cut it with a knife to clean the area.
  • The container is essential: If we use a large container where they are aired and separated from each other, we can make them keep for longer. In this container, we can put a kitchen paper base to absorb moisture and delay the appearance of mould.
  • Frozen strawberries: If we buy a lot of quantity and think we cannot consume all of them, we can freeze them. We can use them later to make recipes or our favourite fruit smoothies. It is recommended, in this case, to wash them and remove the green part before freezing.

How do you eat strawberries?

We recommend that fruits are always eaten curd and fresh to take advantage of all their beneficial properties for our health.

In the case of strawberries, we will not make an exception. The queens of fruits as this food is known in many western regions.

It can also be eaten in a jam, compote, or other desserts. In addition to different smoothies or ice creams, we can make strawberry gazpacho recipes or add them to salad recipes.

Types of strawberries

We have to distinguish the strawberry from the strawberry. The first grows wild in different forests. We can find it in the wild in other forests of Europe.

When we talk about what we usually consume and can generally find in our markets, we refer to the strawberry. It is a hybrid fruit with a size more significant than the one that grows wild.

Among them, we can find the following varieties:

  • Queen of the Valleys: Slightly smaller in size than the average variety. It is whitish red with variable intensity and a sweet taste. It is the variety that we find most frequently in the Spanish markets.
  • Charisma: They are larger than the average cone-shaped varieties and have a not-very-intense red colour. It adapts to all types of soils, and for this reason, it is very productive.
  • Bird: It stands out for its bright red colour with a slightly fuller pulp.
  • Camarosa: Intense and bright red, it is larger than the average size. Its origin is from the American continent, more specifically from California.
  • Big Bear: Like the Camarosa, it comes from California. Its colour is more orange, and its shape is more flattened.
  • Cartoon: It stands out for its sweetness and its bright red colour. It is conical in shape and very uniform in size.
  • We eat: Its size is more elongated than the average and conical. This variety stands out for its resistance.
  • Selva: It is the latest variety that can last until September.
  • Irving: Unlike the previous ones, this one is round and not very intense in colour.

Strawberry properties

They are fruits with properties that are ideal for including in our diet. We can highlight that they provide us with few calories since they have a lot of water content. They also provide us with carbohydrates that are mainly sugars (fructose, glucose, and xylitol) and superficial fibres.

In addition, fibres can help us regulate intestinal transit. 100-gram strawberries serve us approximately 2 grams of soluble and insoluble fibre.

Similarly, they have a low glycemic index (GI), about 40. Therefore, they should not cause large spikes in blood sugar levels.

It is a source of vitamin C and vitamin E. In addition, both are antioxidant vitamins that are very beneficial to keep free radicals that accumulate in our body at bay.

Likewise, they also provide us with other nutrients such as citric acid with disinfectant properties and vitamin C enhancer. Salicylic acid is an anti-inflammatory. Minerals such as potassium are essential for the optimal functioning of the nervous system and muscles.

Nutritional value per 100 grams of fresh strawberry

Calories35 kcal
Carbohydrates7,2 g
Fiber2,3 g
C vitamin60 mg
Vitamin E0,3 g
Folic acid64 mg
Potassium150 mg
Magnesium14 mg
Football29 mg

Strawberry benefits

Strawberries contain high levels of antioxidants and vitamin C, which can lower the chances of developing severe health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Furthermore, they are an excellent source of Magnesium and Phosphorous.

We list some of its benefits.

1. Intestinal regulator

Being rich in fibres, they help us regulate intestinal transit. Additionally, dietary fibres are essential for nourishing the beneficial bacteria in your gut and improving digestive health.

They are also helpful for weight loss and can help prevent many diseases.

2. Ideal for weight loss diets

As mentioned, 100 grams of strawberries provide us with only 35 kcal. Therefore, its consumption in a weight loss diet can help us with our purpose.

Due to their high water content, consuming them helps us to experience a satiating sensation.

We must consider that the calories vary if we add sugar, whipped cream, or another sweetener.

In addition, it is a source of anthocyanins, an antioxidant that increases the body’s production of a hormone called adiponectin. This hormone promotes metabolism and suppresses appetite. It could also induce fat burning.

3. Natural depurative

These fruits have a purifying and diuretic effect because they stimulate urination. Consequently, it helps in the elimination of toxins through the urine. Therefore, it is an excellent diuretic favourable to combat fluid retention.

4. Natural antioxidant

They are foods with a high vitamin C content and a powerful antioxidant. In addition, it is rich in citric acid, increasing vitamin C properties. It also has other antioxidants, such as flavonoids and vitamin E.

As it is a natural antioxidant, it helps us to delay the oxidation of our body and to balance the presence of free radicals. An imbalance of free radicals can cause health problems such as degenerative diseases.

6. For a healthy heart

Heart disease is the most common cause of death on the entire planet. Therefore, eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables is essential.

Strawberries are in the group of berries that various studies link their consumption with good heart health.

7. They strengthen our natural defences

These berries are rich in vitamin C. They provide us with more vitamin C than an orange.

It has been revealed in different studies that vitamin C triggers antibodies that stimulate the immune system. Consequently, they improve your body’s ability to fight infection.

8. It can fight inflammation

Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which plays an essential role in preventing inflammation.

9. Favorable for blood sugar control

Strawberry is a food that seems likely to slow down the digestion of glucose, reducing the spikes in glucose and insulin after eating foods rich in carbohydrates.

Consequently, consuming strawberries can favour people with type 2 diabetes.

10. Helps us regulate cholesterol

Strawberries are known to contain pectin. A study shows that this type of soluble fibre reduces LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in the body.

Conclusions

As a result of everything explained, we find ideal fruits to add to our diet. Besides being a delicious fruit, the strawberry gives us the necessary nutrients to consider it a healthy breath.

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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