Peak in strawberry season bodes well for the body

Not only do Louisiana strawberries taste good, they’re good for you. And the season’s peak is right around the corner.
Laurie Acosta, a dietician at St. Charles Parish Hospital, says that strawberries are low in calories and are packed with the nutrients your body needs.

“Strawberries are packed with vitamins and minerals,”  she said. “Some beneficial vitamins they contain are B2, B5, B6, vitamin K, copper and magnesium.”

Acosta adds that 1 1/4 cup of strawberries is 60 calories, pointing out that they also contain omega fatty acids and are a good source of vitamin C and fiber.

Strawberries can also make for a healthy snack, whether eaten alone or in a nutritious drink.

“Strawberries can be included in salads, appetizers and desserts, but to get the best benefit, eat them raw” said Acosta. “Because they contain a full day’s supply of vitamin C per serving when raw, include a few strawberries with your morning cereal. It will do your body a big favor with little cost to your waistline.”

Acosta says that fresh strawberries can be easily pureed in a blender and  included with plain yogurt or fat-free milk for a refreshing drink, and points out that when buying berries, use your nose.

“Always pick the plumpest and most fragrant berries,” she continued. “They should be firm, bright and fresh looking with no mold or bruises, and have fresh green caps – which should also be bright and fully attached.

“It’s also a good idea to buy berries that are dry and clean, and the medium to small berries have a better eating quality than the larger ones.”

And because strawberries are loaded with potassium, they will help regulate the electrolytes in your body, lowering your risk of heart attack and stroke.

“They are small but are packed with antioxidants and phytontutrients help to fight against the damage of cells, improve memory loss, eliminate damaging toxins from the blood and stop contributions to formations of various types of cancers,” said Acosta. “It is important to have a variety of fruits and vegetables everyday for healthy diet.”

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