Strawberry is a small, low-lying, spreading shrub. It bears small white flowers which eventually develop into small conical, light green, immature fruits. They turn red upon maturity with each berry featuring red pulp with tiny, yellow color seeds piercing through its surface from inside. Its top end carries a green leafy cap and stem that is adorning its crown.
Each berry features conical shape, weighs about 25 grams and measures about 3 cm in diameter. The berries have the taste that varies by cultivar type and ranges from quite sweet to acidic.
Although wild varieties are sometimes available in the market, the large-scale production uses the modern "plasticulture" system. In this method, raised beds are formed each year, fumigated, and covered with plastic which prevents weed growth and crop spoiling.
Health benefits of Strawberries
Strawberry is low in calories (32 cal/100 g) and fats but rich source of health-promoting phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
Fresh berries are an excellent source of vitamin-C (100 g provide 58.8 mg or about 98% of RDI), which is also a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents, counter inflammation and scavenge harmful free radicals.
The fruit is rich in a B-complex group of vitamins. It contains very good amounts of vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and folic acid. These vitamins are acting as co-factors help the body metabolize carbohydrate, proteins, and fats.
Furthermore, They contain the good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, fluorine, copper, iron and iodine. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation. Fluoride is a component of bones and teeth and is important for prevention of dental caries.
Strawberries are the only fruit that wears their seeds on the outside. The average berry is adorned with some 200 of them. No wonder it only takes one bite to get seeds stuck in your teeth.
Strawberries are members of the rose family. Should you come upon a bush of them growing, you’ll see: they smell as sweet as they taste.
The strawberry plant is a perennial. This means if you plant one now, it will come back next year and the following and the year after that. It may not bear fruit immediately, but once it does, it will remain productive for about five years.
Belgium has a museum dedicated to strawberries. In the gift shop at Le Musée de la Fraise (The Strawberry Museum), you can buy everything from strawberry jam to strawberry beer.
Strawberries are believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. They are low in calories and high in vitamins C, B6, K, fiber, folic acid, potassium and amino acids.
Strawberries contain high levels of nitrate. This has been shown to increase blood and oxygen flow to the muscles. Research suggests that people who load up on strawberries before exercising have greater endurance and burn more calories.
To store fresh strawberries, wash them and cut the stem away. However, if you plan to keep them in the fridge for a few days, wait until before you eat them to clean them. Rinsing them speeds up spoiling.
Strawberries can also be pickled. Especially when picked green or unripe. If your berries are overripe, make jam!