Delicious, rich-red, sweet, yet gently tangy strawberries are among the most popular berries. Botanically, the plant is a low-growing runner (creeper) belonging to the family of Rosaceae, in the genus: Fragaria.
In the botany, strawberry described as an aggregate fruit, wherein many one-seeded achenes are coming together to form a large fleshy receptacle. It 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 from within through its surface. Its top end carries a green leafy cap (calyx with peduncle) that is adorning as a 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 employs 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.
Strawberry is low in calories (32 cal/100g) and fats but rich source of health-promoting phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
Strawberries have significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals called anthocyanins and ellagic acid. Scientific studies show that consumption of these berries may have potential health benefits against cancer, aging, inflammation and neurological diseases.
Strawberry has an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity, a measure of antioxidant strength) of about 3577 µmol TE per 100 grams.
Fresh berries are an excellent source of vitamin-C (100g provide 58.8mg 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 the B-complex group of vitamins. It contains 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.
Strawberries contain vitamin-A, vitamin-E and health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene in small amounts. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
Furthermore, They contain a 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. The human body uses manganese as a cofactor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is essential for red blood cell formation. Fluoride is a component of bones and teeth and offers protection from dental caries