To the uninitiated, the paleo diet might seem like a strange system. The health benefits of fresh fruits are well documented, but the paleo diet advises against consuming large amounts of fruit. The domesticated fruits that we see in supermarkets today are bigger than the fruits our ancestors used to eat, but bigger is not always better. Modern fruits are juicier, contain more sugar and contain less fibre.
That doesn’t mean that fruit is evil, but consuming large amounts of sugar is never a good thing. Strawberries are a good low sugar choice.
The Health Benefits of Strawberries
Strawberries are a relatively low sugar fruit, containing just 5.3g of total sugars per 100g, with that sugar being made up of mostly glucose and fructose. In addition to containing less sugar than many other fruits, strawberries are rich in folic acid and potassium and are good sources of Vitamin C, fiber, manganese and a range of other vitamins. There are even trace amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant. This means that it helps protect your body from damage caused by free radicals. Eating a lot of antioxidants can help to slow the effects of ageing, keeping you looking and feeling younger for longer. Vitamin C also helps to boost your immune system. The Vitamin C in a strawberry is highly bioavailable, so it will enter your bloodstream quickly after eating them.
Strawberries contain a phytochemical known as Ellagic Acid. This phytochemical has been found to have cancer-fighting properties. When this phytochemical is combined with lutein and zeathancins, two anti-oxidants found in your average strawberry, the anti-cancer properties are amplified.
Other tests on the nutrients found in berries have found that they can help to boost your eyesight, improve your complexion and even help to reduce the level of bad cholesterol in your blood. The cholesterol fighting properties come from Ellagic Acid and flavonoids which work to counteract the effects of LDL cholesterol, as well has having an anti-inflammatory effect.
The Best Way to Eat Your Berries
There are many ways to eat strawberry. Remember that the paleo diet does not mean depriving yourself. If you want to treat yourself to some organic yogurt, chop up some fresh strawberry and enjoy yourself.
The only thing you should’nt do is add sugar to your dishes. This may seem frustrating, but once you have been on the paleo diet for a while you should get used to the taste of foods without sugar and will find that natural strawberry flavour is perfectly sweet as it is.
If you’re looking for a fun recipe, try making some oven-dried strawberry slices. Simply take a strawberry and slice it into thin, long slices. Put those slices on a baking tray and cook on your oven’s lowest heat setting (probably 75 degrees) for a couple of hours, turning the slices halfway through. Once the slices have dried out, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool for a sweet, tasty topping to put on desserts and breakfast snacks.