The strawberry , whose scientific name Fragaria ananassa , consists of a pseudo family Rosacease . It belongs to the rosette family, which is the same as the apple and roses. Its origin comes from Europe, where there are records of its cultivation in France and England since the 15th century.
Strawberry has a small size, reddish color, fleshy consistency and a flavor that mixes sweet and sour. In Brazil, the cultivation of this herbaceous plant is done mainly in the South and Southeast and it is a fruit very appreciated by Brazilians.
Strawberries are consumed both fresh and in fruit salads or used as an ingredient for jams and other desserts, such as pies, cakes and smoothies. Strawberries are also used to make jams and are found frozen or canned. It is also used in industry to make fillings for sweets, cakes or ice cream.
This delicate fruit needs specific care in its cultivation, preferring colder climates, as higher temperatures end up harming its development. Strawberries have a low calorie content, with 100 g of the fruit having only 30 calories. Strawberry’s properties are numerous, since the fruit is rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, potassium and silicon.
In addition to being highly appreciated for its flavor, strawberry fruit helps to eliminate toxins present in the body, in addition to strengthening the immune system, alkalizing the blood and reducing blood pressure. Learn more about strawberry and important health benefits it can offer.
HELP TREAT DIABETES
This fruit acts to control blood glucose, due to the presence of polyphenols, especially ellagitannin. This compound causes the production of polysaccharides to be inhibited, which results from the decrease in glucose that would be released into the bloodstream. The effect occurs with the consumption of about 2 to 3 servings of strawberry weekly.
PROTECT THE HEART
Strawberries have a good amount of potassium, which works by dilating blood vessels. This ends up reducing the action of sodium in the body. In addition, the fruit contains magnesium, which has a relaxing effect on the muscles that are part of the blood vessels, minimizing the chances of a heart attack.
By having an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, strawberries also reduce the effects of LDL cholesterol, which is considered bad cholesterol. The presence of vitamin D helps to strengthen the heart and flavonoids prevent the blood from clotting, thus reducing the chances of heart disease.
PROTECT THE BRAIN
The reddish color of the strawberry fruit is a result of the presence of anthocyanins, substances that inhibit the appearance of free radicals. Therefore, this fruit can contribute to brain health, helping to prevent memory loss.
IT HAS ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ACTION
Quercetin, a type of flavonoid present in strawberries, has an anti-inflammatory action, protecting the body against allergies, colds and urticaria. Inflammations in the intestine are also prevented by consuming the fruit or the powdered extract. According to researchers, these benefits are due to the presence of salicylic acid, which has an effect similar to acetylsalicylic acid, which is responsible for the active ingredient in aspirin.
HELPS WITH WEIGHT LOSS
Strawberry has a small amount of calories in its composition and also contains substances that burn fat, which makes it a thermogenic food. Another factor that favors weight loss is that strawberries help in the production of hormones that control appetite.
GOOD FOR THE EYES
Strawberries have potassium, a nutrient that helps control eye pressure, thus favoring eye health. Another beneficial factor is the antioxidant action, which prevents certain eye diseases, such as macular degeneration. This disease can even lead to loss of vision, which can be avoided by reducing free radicals caused by eating the fruit.
HELPS TO STRENGTHEN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Strawberry is a fruit rich in vitamin C, it makes the cells that defend the body to be activated. For this reason, it is a fruit that prevents and treats colds. Other nutrients also act for this purpose and can be taken in the form of supplements made from strawberries.
HOW TO CONSUME AND WHO SHOULD AVOID EATING STRAWBERRIES
The ideal is to consume the strawberry in natura , avoiding cutting or crushing the fruit. This is because, when it comes in contact with oxygen, a part of the substances with an antioxidant effect in the fruit ends up being lost. Cooking strawberries should also be avoided, as this makes a significant portion of the vitamin C lost. When drinking strawberry juice, it is recommended to take better advantage of the nutrients immediately.
As it is a fruit where pesticides are used in large quantities, it is best to opt for organic strawberries or hydroponic strawberries, cultivated without pesticides. If this is not possible, it is essential to wash the fruit thoroughly to remove as much pesticide as possible.
Because it is a citrus fruit and has insoluble fiber, strawberry can cause intestinal irritation in people who have intestinal problems. For this reason, consumption should be avoided in these cases.
People who have a tendency to develop kidney stones should avoid consuming the fruit without the advice of a nutritionist. The reason for this is because strawberries contain oxalic acid, a substance that causes kidney stones.
STRAWBERRY: PLANTING REQUIRES CARE
One of the main factors for success when planting strawberries is the climate. The ideal temperature for the development of strawberry is between 13 to 26 degrees and, so that the fruit is protected from excessive heat and lack of humidity, in general, producers prefer to plant in greenhouses.
The most suitable regions are in the South and Southeast of Brazil, where the temperature is lower and rainfall is regular. The ideal period for planting is between April and May.
Planting can be done through seeds or seedlings, being the second most recommended option, as the seedlings have a lower fragility and can already be placed in the ground. The soil that will receive the seedlings must be free of residues, which can affect the development of the strawberry. The ideal is to plow, that is, to grind the residues from the first layers of the earth so that decomposition occurs more quickly, thus transforming itself into organic matter.
Then, it is best to supply the soil with lime so that the acidity is reduced, in addition to pesticides for around 15 to 30 days prior to planting the seedlings, in order to protect against pest infestation. The pits should be around 40 cm wide and 25 cm high. During the first 20 days, the crop must be covered with a dark plastic so that the leaves are protected.
The soil should be kept moist but not soaked, as this can rot the root. Irrigation should be done twice a week. Strawberry harvesting takes place between 3 to 5 months after being sown, and handling must be done carefully to prevent the husk from getting spoiled.
DELICIOUS STRAWBERRY RECIPES
This strawberry dessert is easy to make and fits any occasion.
- 2 cups (tea) of strawberry
- 1 envelope of unflavored red gelatin
- 1/2 cup (tea) of water
- 1 can of sour cream
- 1 can of condensed milk
- Put the gelatin in the water to dissolve, then microwave for 30 seconds.
- Blend all the ingredients in a blender and then place the mixture in a baking dish.
- Refrigerate for a few hours and, if desired, decorate with pieces of strawberries or whole strawberries.
Strawberry pavé is among the most popular desserts, see how to prepare it.
- 2 cups (tea) of strawberry
- 1 package of champagne or cornstarch biscuit
- 1 tablespoon of wheat or cornstarch flour
- 1 can of milk
- 1 can of condensed milk
- 1 box of cream
- 2 sifted yolks
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- whipped cream for decoration
- Place the milk, egg yolks (which must be sieved), condensed milk, flour and vanilla in a pan.
- Heat and mix for about 15 minutes, until it reaches a thick thickness.
- Turn off the heat and add the cream. If you need to break up little balls that form, blend the mixture in a blender.
- Then quickly soak the cookies in a mixture made with milk and sugar. Place a layer of biscuits in a refractory, another layer with strawberries and then cream.
- Repeat the process in the same order and finish with the rest of the cream.
- Decorate with your preference using whipped cream and strawberries.
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