Super Fruit

Meet the super fruit!

You may find this hard to believe, but strawberries were first grown and harvested in ancient Rome. Today, there are about 600 varieties of strawberries, customized for growing in various parts of the world. Strawberries are some of the most popular fruits, not just because they are delicious, but also because they are among the top fruits in terms of simply being good for you.

As proof, simply look at the strawberry in silhouette. There aren’t many foods that tell you in advance if it is good for you. The strawberry does. The silhouette looks a bit like a heart, doesn’t it? There is a good reason for that.

The red, sweet, tart berries have been shown to protect your heart, increase your good cholesterol (that’s the HDL) and even reduce the risk of cancer.

Oh, and did I mention they also taste good?

Strawberries pack about 100g of Vitamin C per cup. You only need to eat about nine strawberries to get the same amount of Vitamin C that is in an orange or in a glass of orange juice. Strawberries are also sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free and low in calories. One cup of strawberries only contains 54 calories. In addition, strawberries are high in fiber.

Want more good strawberry news? The berries contain potassium, calcium and magnesium, all of which are good for bone health. Studies also show strawberries contain nutrients and antioxidants that can improve memory function and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Of course, you can toss some of those low calorie numbers out the window if you do what I do: place the strawberries on a piece of angel food cake and add whipped cream. But I figure if I’m going to eat the super fruit, I may as well make it even more super!

- Frank Graff

Frank Graff is a producer/reporter with UNC-TV, focusing on North Carolina Science Now, a weekly science series that airs Wednesdays, beginning in August 2013, as part of North Carolina Now on UNC-TV. In addition to producing these special segments, Frank will provide additional information related to his stories through this North Carolina Science Now Reporter's Blog!


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