No one would ever talk about fruit in the same breath with ‘fast foods’ like burgers, onion rings, and fries, yet fruit really is fast food. It is easily enjoyed in its raw state when washed thoroughly, especially items like strawberries and other berries which do not need to be peeled. These are very healthy for anyone wishing to control his or her weight, or to enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
The calories in strawberries come mostly from carbohydrates; basically, sugar. While sugar in itself is not thought of as a good source of calories, some sugar is good for everyone. This is the main substance used to provide energy, and if it is used up immediately, sugar is good for athletes and very active individuals. How many calories in strawberries come from something besides sugar, though?
You might be surprised to read that there is a small amount of fat in this fruit; a negligible amount in fact, and all of it good fat. The best nutritional qualities of strawberries, however, come from their vitamins and minerals. Eating this fruit (particularly organic fruit) regularly contributes considerably to a person’s daily requirement of Vitamins C, K, and E. There are trace amounts of other nutrients as well. Like many fruits, strawberries are often eaten for their antioxidants, those free radical powerhouses which have been scientifically proven to fight cancer and other diseases.
The trouble with strawberries comes when people prefer to eat theirs with ice cream or covered in sugar and cream. Strawberry jam does not count as a serving of fruit. Eaten raw, they are very good for a person, providing water, fiber, and vitamins. Eaten as part of a dessert such as strawberry shortcake or an ice cream sundae, their value is as a colorful addition to make a calorific dessert look slightly healthier than it really is.
When added to a smoothie, so long as they are ripe and sweet, even a few strawberries add plenty of flavor and just a few calories to the mixture. Just three or four in combination with half a banana, some milk, and plain yogurt produce a smoothie which is sweet enough without sugar or honey.
Strawberries can also be added to salads, a popular one involving poppy seeds and spinach. When this small amount of natural sugar is blended with spinach the combination is a tantalizing combination of sweet and savory flavors.
Dried strawberries are very sweet and enjoyable. A cup of these will contain far more calories than a cup of raw strawberries (which contain less than 60 per cup), so it is important not to get carried away. They also contain more concentrated vitamin levels and iron when eaten in this form. Too much fiber at one sitting will disturb a person’s digestion. Too much sugar consumed in any form will lead to gas and bloating. The best way to eat strawberries is as part of a well-balanced meal or snack containing protein as well as fruit and vegetables. This way the body can make the most of the energy it receives from the sugar and make this last for longer.