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Strawberry
 

The Garden Strawberry or the strawberry is the most widely cultivated berry throughout the world. The strawberry plant belongs to the family of the Rosaceae, and is often referred to as the accessory fruit. The fleshy part of the fruit is derived not from the ovaries, but from the peg at the bottom of the bowl shaped hypanthium that holds the ovaries. The garden strawberry was first grown in Europe in the 18th century and represents the accidental cross of Fragaria virginiana from eastern North America, which is rich in flavour, and the Fragaria chiloensis from Chile, which is large in size. Today, these strawberries have been replaced by the Woodland Strawberries, which have been commercially cultivated.

 

Nutritional Value
Strawberries are a treat to the taste buds, eyes and senses. Apart from being so delicious, these berries are a rich source of nutrition too. They are rich sources of vitamins A, B, and C, and also contain ample amounts of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, carbohydrates, etc. They are also rich in Folic acid, which helps in preventing birth related defects.

Nutritive Value : Per 100 gms.

  • Vitamin A : 60 I.U.
  • Vitamin B : Thiamine .03 mg.;
  • Vitamin C : 60 mg.
  • Calcium : 28 mg.
  • Phosphorus : 27 mg.
  • Potassium : 220 mg.
  • Carbohydrates : 8.3 gm.
 

Origin and History
Strawberries were cultivated by the Romans as far back in history as 200BC. In the medieval times, a soup made from strawberries, borage and soured cream was traditionally served to newly-weds at their wedding breakfast. When the colonists arrived in America in 1780, the native Americans were already eating the strawberries. The first strawberry hybrid was developed in USA. Though strawberries are mostly used as desserts or as additions in milk products, there are also a number of recepies, which can be made from them like pies, soups, etc.

 

Health Benefits of Strawberry

  • Regular consumption of strawberries helps in removing harmful chemicals/toxins from the blood
  • Strawberries are also a rich source of folic acid and help cure a sluggish liver and to prevent/reduce birth defects involving the brain
  • Strawberries contain the highest levels of Phytoestrogens, which can help in the prevention of breast & cervical cancer
  • The berry is full of antioxidants and is therefore effective in fighting the signs of aging
  • According to researchers, strawberries have been reported to help cases of syphilis
  • They are highly recommended for gout, rheumatism, constipation, high blood pressure, catarrh and even skin cancer
  • The strawberry, when cut into half and rubbed on teeth and gums, helps in removing tarter from teeth and also strengthens and heals the gums.
 

Picking and Storing Strawberries

Strawberries should be picked in a proper manner, such that it does not cause harm to the fruit or the plant. When picking the berries, one should pluck them with their caps on. This can be done by pinching the berry between the thumb and the forefinger. When plucking the berries, one should look for ripe ones, as strawberries, once plucked do not ripen. So the raw ones would remain raw.

They can be easily stored in the refrigerator, but one should not remove the caps of the strawberries, as they would to lose their moisture. They should be arranged in a shallow container and and be covered with a thin plastic film and stored at 35 degree C to keep them fresh for longer.

 

Some "Berry" Interesting Facts

  • Strawberries are fat free, and are a tasty and a nutritious fruit at the same time
  • In the 13th Century Rome, these berries were used as medicinal herbs, which had magical curing properties
  • Strawberries contain natural salicylates, which is an active ingredient in Asprin, a headache curing drug
  • A museum in Belgium is exclusively and solely dedicated to strawberries
  • They are a member of the Rose family
  • They are possibly the only fruit with its seeds on the outside. An average berry has approximately 200 seeds
  • The second wife of Henry VIII, Queen Anne Boleyn, had a strawberry-shaped birthmark on her neck. Unfortunately, some claimed this proved that she was a witch.