Cooky has certainly touched on a nutritional powerhouse when she talks strawberries. We all know just how delicious they are but did you know that:
• one cup of strawberries contains over 13% of the recommended daily intake of dietary ﬁbre, yet only carries 43 calories. The dietary ﬁbre found in strawberries helps to keep our digestion regular, lowering blood pressure and can curb overeating.
• strawberries contain a chemical compound called phenols. Anthocyanin (a type of phenol) found in strawberries, lends itself to the rich red colour we see in this fruit. When anthocyanin-rich foods are eaten, the body’s uric acid levels increase and this in turn serves as an antioxidant agent.
• the phenols in strawberries also help the ﬁght against many inﬂammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis, asthma and atherosclerosis. The beauty of these phenols is that they assist by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase in the same way that the drugs aspirin and ibuprofen do. Fortunately, strawberries do not carry the unwanted side effects like stomach and intestinal bleeding that comes with drugs.
• strawberries are a delicious defense against potentially cancerous cells; the combination of antioxidant and anti-inﬂammatory agents found in these wonderful berries are well-known to ﬁght against the onset of many different forms of cancer.
• a recently published study by The Archives of Opthalmology found that having three or more servings of strawberries (and other fruits) daily can decrease the possibility of contracting age-related macular degeneration by over one-third.
• one cup of strawberries contains an incredible 136% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C; an effective antioxidant that can help lower your blood pressure, ward off the development of age-related ocular diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration and can also ensure a healthy immune system.
• one cup of strawberries contains 21% of manganese (an essential nutrient that acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inﬂammatory agent). Manganese helps your body utilise several key nutrients like biotin, thiamine, ascorbic acid and choline; it will help keep your bones strong and healthy (the potassium, vitamin K along with the magnesium are important here) and help your body synthesise fatty acids and cholesterol. Manganese also helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels, promote optimal function of your thyroid glad and helps maintain the health of your nerves.
Whilst, the health benefits of strawberries are long and extensive; it is also a fruit that can lend itself to some pretty amazing desserts. In the past few posts I have spoken about the benefits of yoghurt so I have prepared a recipe for you that combines both these superfoods.
Everybody loves to indulge in a bowl of creamy ice-cream and we all know that regular ice-cream is full of fat and sugar. For those of you who want a yummy and equally satisfying alternative try this frozen strawberry yoghurt treat. I have used reduced-fat Greek-style yoghurt and sweetened condensed skim milk.
This recipe will serve 10; takes about 15 minutes to prepare and needs to be frozen overnight.
What you need:
395g can sweetened condensed skim milk
1 kilo reduced-fat Greek-style yoghurt
To put this together:
1. Chop half of your strawberries roughly and put aside. Puree the remaining strawberries in a food processor or with a stick blender (Cooky get that naughty thought out of your head!).
2. Combined the condensed skim milk and pureed strawberries in a large bowl and gently stir in the yoghurt until well combined. Gently fold through the remaining chopped strawberries.
3. Now, transfer your mixture to a 15cm x 25cm loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. It is important to freeze this overnight, until solid. It is important you remove your strawberry delight from the freezer 10-15 minutes before serving.
Sweet treats really don’t come much healthier than this one! Enjoy!