The Juice of Summer’s Bounty – Strawberries!

Yesterday a friend of mine gave me a whole case of plump and juicy strawberries as a gift! Initially I was overwhelmed by the bounty I had just come to inherit, and soon my imagination started running wild.

Strawberries are so versatile as the list of things that can be made with them is endless. When I came home with my delicious little  red treats, my roommate casually asked, “Where are you going to put all of those strawberries? The fridge is full”, and sure enough, our refrigerator was packed.

So naturally, I decided to juice the whole lot of them. Strawberries and their juice are one of those fruits that are not only flavorful and loved by all, but they pack a healthy wallop, too.

Strawberries contain a chemical compound called phenols. Anthocyanins, a phenol abundant in strawberries, are responsible for the rich red color of the fruit and when anthocyanin-rich foods are consumed, the body’s uric acid levels increase, serving as an antioxidant agent.

The phenols in strawberries also guard against many inflammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis, asthma and atherosclerosis, by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase much in the same way drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen work. But of course strawberries do not cause unwanted side effects like stomach and intestinal bleeding.

The combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents found in strawberries help in the fight against many different forms of cancer, like vitamin C and folate; and the flavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol, that strawberries contain make for a delicious defense against potentially cancerous cells.

But this post would be nothing without the mention of vitamin C. One cup of strawberries contains an incredible 136% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, an effective antioxidant that helps to lower blood pressure, sustain a healthy immune system, and ward off the development of age-related ocular diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

Here’s my straw-orange recipe:

  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

In a blender, combine strawberries, orange juice, ice cubes and sugar, and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve! This recipe is great because it’s delicious, without the calories (only 52) and fat (just .2g).

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