Discover the incredible weight loss benefits of strawberries, how to best prepare them and how much you should eat to get maximum benefit from strawberries - one of nature's amazing fat burning foods.
Benefits of Strawberries - A Natural Fat Burning Food
by Steve O'Connor
The number one berry in the United States, strawberries have been known and enjoyed for many thousands of years all around the globe. Actually, they were eaten in ancient Greece and Rome. This plant has been sown and harvested dating back to the early 17th century. The East Coast is where they were first planted, sometime during the 1800s. Strawberries traveled Westward with our forefathers.
In the West today, strawberries maintain their dominance, with a high concentration of strawberries grown in California (although Florida contributes a lot to the crop as well). At present, over 70 different type of strawberry specimens exist.
Strawberries, which are really part of the rose family, are the earliest fruit to become ripe in the spring.
While they're not technically a berry because they grow from the plant's base rather than from a flower's ovary, they're called a berry for nutritional purposes -- and to please consumers.
The strawberry is a tiny fruit that grows on the ground level. Unlike any other fruit, their seeds are found on the outside of the skin. A single strawberry typically has about 200 seeds.
Try to find berries with a vibrant red shade. Make certain that the berry caps appear fresh and bright green. Green, yellow or pale pink strawberries are insufficiently ripened. Consumed like this, they will be quite tart.
Because they are naturally sweet and a beautiful red color when ripe, strawberries are liked by everyone -- no matter their age. Strawberry fairs and festivals have helped make this yummy fruit even more popular. Nearly every American family eats these berries, and more than half of the kids between 7 and 9 years old pick strawberries when they get to choose from different fruits.
Fat Burning Benefits of Strawberries
Strawberries (such as Seascape Strawberry Plants) have no fat, are low in calories, and are high in fiber and folic acid. They are also rich in Vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C boosts metabolic rate and potassium aids in BP regulation. There is more ascorbic acid in strawberries than in any other kind of berry. Moreover, they contain no sodium or cholesterol. Fructose contained in berries give them their sweet flavor and also help suppress appetite.
One serving (approximately 8 medium-sized strawberries or one cup) has a mere 50 calories and absolutely zero grams of fat.
The pectin contained in strawberries provides fiber, which prevents you from overeating, because the fiber makes you feel full.
Strawberries also have phytonutrient anthocyanine, which is responsible for its rich, dark red appearance. Furthermore, your body reaps the benefits of anthocyanine, which assists the liver in breaking down toxins and flushing them out of your system.
Strawberries are rich in phenylalanine, an amino acid that releases cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone people have that helps suppress the appetite. When CCK is released into the system, it curbs cravings for food. Tryptophan, which helps curb cravings for sugar, is also an essential component of strawberries.
Glycine, another important amino acid found in strawberries, assists in the production of bile salts. The body requires these to aid in digestion, particularly digesting fats. Glycine assists insulin in regulating blood glucose in the system.
Isoleucine, leucein and valine (considered the branch chain amino acids or BCAAs) are three more amino acids strawberries have that assist with low blood sugar. In addition, they play a major role in maintaining muscle bulk.
Threonine aids in digestion and prevents digestive problems. Methionine works to regulate fluid levels in our system.
Arginine, an amino acid that helps prevent weight gain, is found in strawberries. Arginine plays an important part in keeping cell energy levels steady.
In addition, strawberries have an abundance of ellagic acid, which provides many benefits, among them -- protecting your cells against cancer.
How To Prepare Strawberries
Serve them just as they are, raw, to get the most nutritional value and fat-burning capabilities. The healthiest ones are those raised organically.
Because they don't last long on the shelf, you should only purchase quantities that you can consume within a few days if you want to enjoy them at their peak of freshness. You can also choose to keep some in the freezer.
Do not rinse them until it's time to eat them. Don't let them sit in the water. Keep the stems on and the berries can be stored for longer periods than strawberries without stems. Start by throwing away the smashed ones and ones with bruises. Put the unwashed berries in a storage container with a paper towel or paper napkin over the top to cover them. Invert the covered container and refrigerate the berries until ready to use. This will keep the strawberries fresh for a number of days. When freezing, use the technique recommended for blueberries.
Strawberries are delicious all by themselves, but for a special treat, you might consider topping your yogurt with them. Prepare a smoothie drink using strawberries blended with soy milk. Put them into a protein shake for an additional jolt of energy. Toss a few berries into your salad recipes for a pleasant flavor surprise!
You can also juice them, bake them in pies, make jellies and jams with them, or even use them to marinate organic meats and poultry. They are good dehydrated, or toss them into granola for a tasty treat.
What Constitutes a Serving?
For strawberries, a 'portion' fills an 8-ounce measuring cup.
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