By Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapist)
Strawberries are in season so enjoy! Strawberries are native to North America and part of the Rose family. They are great nutritionally and packed full of nutrients. Strawberries contain anthocyanins which help to reduce inflammation in the body and have shown to reduce CRP (C-reactive protein which is a medical marker of inflammation) levels when a portion a day is consumed.
Strawberries help support fertility as they are rich in folate. Folate is vital for cell division, growth and development and in the prevention of birth defects in the foetus. Folate may also help to counteract ovulation problems. 125g of strawberries provides 10 per cent of your daily folate needs along with a whole day’s amount of vitamin C. They are a good source of iron, potassium and manganese too.
Did you know strawberries are the only fruit to have seeds on their exterior and these contain a small amount of omega 3. Omega 3 fatty acids have been linked to improving blood flow to the uterus, ovulation, improving sperm quality and motility and reducing post-natal depression (further studies are needed).
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which supports the immune system, fights infection and helps iron absorption into the body. Vitamin C also helps to prevents damage by free radicals to the DNA in egg and sperm cells. It is also important for sperm motility and in the prevention of sperm agglutination.
Why not grow some yourself? Wash strawberries just before you are about to eat them in order to preserve that vitamin C content.
Strawberry Basil Salsa
4oog British strawberries (organic or home grown where possible)
3 tsp lemon juice
3 tsp finely chopped basil
1tsp of olive oil
2tsp of finely chopped shallots
How to make
Whisk together the pepper and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir into this the basil and shallots. Remove the stems from the strawberries, wash and chop up. Add to the lemon juice mixture and stir together. Yummy with avocado, cheese and crackers, grilled chicken, seafood and pork. Enjoy!