Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tasty Natural Health Fruit: Strawberry, Yummy!

The strawberry (Fragaria) (plural strawberries) is a genus of floras in the family Rosaceae and the fruit of these flora. There are more than 20 named species and many hybrids and cultivars. The most regular strawberries grown commercially are cultivars of the Garden strawberry, Fragaria ×ananassa. The strawberry is an gloves fruit; that is, the fleshy part is resultant not from the ovaries which are the "seeds" (actually achenes) but from the peg at the bottom of the hypanthium that held the ovaries. So from a technical viewpoint, the seeds are the actual fruits of the plant, and the flesh of the strawberry is customized receptacle tissue. It is whitish-green as it extends and in most species turns red when ripe.

The characteristic modern strawberry, of the genus Fragaria, comes from the Americas, and is a hybrid of both North and South American varieties. Fascinatingly, the crossbreeding was done in Europe to proper a mistake; the European horticulturists had only carried female South American plants, and were required to cross them with the North American variety in order to obtain fruit and seeds. Fragaria comes from "fragans", meaning odorous, referring to the aromatic flesh of the fruit. Madam Tallien, a great figure of the French Revolution, who was nicknamed Our Lady of Thermidor, used to take baths full of strawberries to remain the full radiance of her skin. Fontenelle, centenarian writer and gourmet of the 18th century, measured his long life was due to the strawberries he used to eat. Strawberries were considered toxic in Argentina until the mid-nineteenth century. Strawberries are sometimes sour and sometimes sweet and sometimes tastes both sweet and sour.

In addition to being consumed fresh, strawberries are frozen or made into conserve. Strawberries are a fashionable addition to dairy products, as in strawberry flavored ice cream, milkshakes and yoghurts. Strawberry pie is also popular. Strawberries can also be used as a innate acid/base indicator. Popular etymology has it that it comes from gardeners' practice of mulching strawberries with straw to defend the fruits from rot (a pseudoetymology that can be found in non-linguistic sources such as the Old Farmer's Almanac 2005). Nevertheless, there is no proof that the Anglo-Saxons ever breeded strawberries, and even less that they knew of this practice.

There is an another theory that the name originates from the Anglo-Saxon verb for "strew" (meaning to spread around) which was streabergen (Strea means "strew" and Bergen means "berry" or "fruit") and thence to streberie, straiberie, strauberie, straubery, strauberry, and finally, "strawberry", the word which we use today. The name might have come from the truth that the fruit and a variety of runners appear "strewn" along the ground.

Natural Health Benefits

We all know strawberries are tasty, but they are also healthful, and superlatively should be a part of everyone's daily diet. You'll enjoy some health advantages by eating strawberries frequently, and the best part is strawberries are one of the most delicious fruits. The USDA recommends that every American eat at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily, but unluckily, most people don't even come close to that. Adding fresh strawberries to your diet, whether they are in salads, smoothies, or on their own, is a great way to get the servings of fruit you require for a well-rounded body and a well immune system.

Strawberries hold a range of nutrients, with vitamin C heading the group. They also contain significant levels of phytonutrients and antioxidants, which fight free radicals. These antioxidant properties are supposed to be linked to what makes the strawberry bright red. Free radicals are elements that can injure cells, and they are thought to donate to the formation of many kinds of cancer.

In addition to vitamin C, strawberries also offer an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese, as well as folic acid, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, copper, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Strawberries are among the most adaptable of fresh fruits. Sadly, they are quite unpreserved as well. So acquire fresh strawberries only a few days before they are to be eaten. When strawberries are in season nearby this is rarely a problem. But at other times of the year, it may be necessary to make due with frozen strawberries, which misplace much if not all of their nutrition.

At the produce section decide strawberries that are plump firm and free of mold and have a deep red color. Unlike other fruits, strawberries do not continue to ripen after they are picked, so be sure to prefer the ripest, reddest strawberries, as they will provide the best taste and the highest nutrient concentration. Many people find that medium sized strawberries are sweeter and more flavorful than larger ones. When buying pre-packaged strawberries, be sure that the berries have not been packed too tightly, as this could cause them to be crushed or otherwise damaged.

Handle strawberries properly and store them well after they have been bought. Like all fruit, strawberries should be cleaned thoroughly prior to consumption or storage. Any strawberries that show signs of mold should be superfluous at once, as they will pollute the remaining strawberries. The strawberries should be placed in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap, and kept in the refrigerator. Fresh strawberries will maintain in the fridge for a few days.

Source: www.wikipedia.org and many more
Photo: www.arabidopsisthaliana.com

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