Most people think of the strawberry as a humble fruit, but the strawberry is actually quite a powerhouse of nutrients, ranking as the third best U.S food when compared in serving sizes. This tasty berry packs a punch with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. They are great for cardiovascular health, and have anticancer benefits as well. They also help relieve inflammation in the joints and digestive system.

The most impressive thing that strawberries do, however, is help control blood sugar levels. In a study done to test the effectiveness of strawberries on blood sugar, researchers had participants eat table sugar and then strawberries, and found that the participants’ blood sugar didn’t spike as they expected it to.

For cardiovascular health, the strawberry is great. Our heart and blood vessels need constant support and repair from the damage done by oxidants and inflammation. Since strawberries pack a punch full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories in the form of vitamin C, they are a great addition to our diet.

The anti-inflammatory benefit is also great for lowering the risk of cancer. It is known that inflammation is a contributor to some cancers. The anti-inflammatory properties also help with arthritis–including rheumatoid arthritis. This tasty berry has long been used as a dessert, but it’s not just a healthy sweet treat–it also helps with the digestive system.

It’s best to buy fully ripe strawberries, as they do not continue to ripen after being picked. A fully ripe strawberry is a vibrant red color, has tiny seeds piercing the skin, with a pretty cap of green leaves and a stem. For the best nutrition, you don’t want either overripe or under-ripe strawberries. They are very fragile, and are best eaten within two days of buying/picking them. They like high humidity, 90-95%, and a cold 34 degrees Fahrenheit. Most refrigerators are not this humid or cold so it is best to keep your strawberries in the crisper or, if you don’t have a crisper, keep them in a sealed container.

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