University of North Florida Nutrition Professor Discusses Strawberry Myth Busters

Article ID: 674440

Released: 10-May-2017 10:05 AM EDT

Source Newsroom: University of North Florida

  • Jackie Shank, nutrition instructor and undergraduate program director in the Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program at the University of North Florida.

Myth: It’s best to eat strawberries during the summer months when they’re in season.

Truth: Strawberries are now available just about year-round, and Florida is the top U.S. supplier of fresh strawberries from December until April. So, think about the winter and spring seasons to enjoy delicious Florida grown strawberries.

 Myth: You should buy unripened strawberries, so they will last longer when stored.

Truth: Buy strawberries at their peak of ripeness. Strawberries are considered a nonclimacteric fruit, which means the inner tissue won’t continue its metabolic processes and ripen after harvest. Choose strawberries that look red all over the surface. They should be firm but not hard, and they should have a nice, light fragrance. The caps should be bright green and look fresh. Don’t remove the caps or wash the strawberries until you’re ready to use them. They should keep for three to four days at the optimal storage temperature of 32 to 36 degrees.

Myth: Serve strawberries cold for maximum flavor.  

Truth: It’s best to serve strawberries at room temperature to fully showcase the flavor. Simply remove the strawberries from the refrigerator one to two hours before serving and rinse. Some of the aroma compounds in strawberries include a complex caramel-like molecule called furaneol, sulfur compounds and ethyl esters, which create a pineapple-like aroma.

Myth: Strawberries contain a fair amount of vitamin C but other than that they don’t contribute much to a healthful diet.

Truth: Strawberries have several redeeming nutritional qualities. One cup of strawberries (eight large ones) provides 152 percent of the daily value for vitamin C (an excellent source) and three grams of dietary fiber. Strawberries are fat-free and devoid of cholesterol. In addition, strawberries contain antioxidant compounds, including the red anthocyanin pigments. Scientists around the world are actively studying the role of these antioxidant compounds in fighting oxidative stress within the body.

Myth: Many people need to avoid strawberries because of the sugar content.

Truth: Most people would benefit from including more strawberries and other deeply-colored fruits and vegetables into their diet. Our bodies are well equipped to process carbohydrates throughout the day. In fact, carbohydrates are a major energy source for us. However, for different reasons, some people need to be more mindful of their fruit intake. For example, people who have diabetes or irritable bowel syndrome may need to limit some types of carbohydrates that aren’t well tolerated.    

Easy Strawberry Smoothie

1 container (about 5.3 oz.) Greek yogurt, vanilla flavored

1 cup fresh strawberries (about eight large, rinsed, caps can be left on)

4 ice cubes

 Add all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Makes one serving, about 1¼ cups.

 Nutritional Analysis per serving:

 Calories- 176, Total Fat- 0 grams, Saturated Fat- 0 grams, Cholesterol- 10 milligrams, Protein- 15 grams, Total Carbohydrate- 29 grams, Dietary Fiber- 3 grams, Sodium- 70 milligrams, Vitamin C* 152 percent   Calcium*- 15 percent * Percent Daily Value

 

 


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