Many studies are revealing that strawberries contain powerful antioxidants that protect and maintain good health and youth.
During medieval times in France, strawberries were believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac. Maybe it was the heart shape and red color of these small fruit, but so strong was the belief, that newlyweds were given strawberry soup as a stimulating first nightcap. According to tradition, if a man and woman shared a double strawberry they were destined to fall in love. Even though there is no scientific evidence that strawberries are the cupids of fruit, many studies are revealing that they contain powerful antioxidants that protect and maintain good health and youth. Good health and youth…sounds sexy.
The Healing Powers and Health Benefits of Strawberry Juice
Encourages Cancer Cell Death
Protection From Tobacco Smoke
Protects Against Brain Aging
Strawberry Juice Nutrition
Strawberries are very high in vitamin C. One cup of strawberries (a mere 49 calories) contains 149% of your daily need of vitamin C. They are also a good source of folate, manganese, potassium, sodium, and iron, and are very high in dietary fiber when eaten.
Strawberry Juice is an excellent source of:
- Vitamin C
- Fibre (when eaten)
- Ellagic Acid
Strawberry Juice is a good source of:
- Folate Acid
Phytochemicals & Antioxidants in Strawberry Juice
Nutritionist Ronald Prior, who devised the now well-known ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), which measures the antioxidant activity in foods, recommends we eat at least 3,500 ORAC units a day to protect from oxidative stress, which contributes to aging. Since strawberries are the fourth highest-rated fruit in ORAC, you can get your 3,500 units in just one and a half cups.
The neuroscientist Jim Joseph was so impressed with these little red berries’ antioxidative power that he decided to research how effective they would be in protecting against the damaging effects of free radical activity in the brain. Since the brain burns glucose for fuel, one of the unwanted byproducts is free radicals, an untold number of them over the course of your lifetime. As we get older, we become more sensitive to their destructive effects. Jim, with the help of Paula Bickfors of the University of Colorado, tested two groups of rats; both were put under extreme oxidative stress by placing them in 100 percent oxygen chambers for 48 hours. This would mimic the effects of aging on the brain. When the first group was removed and studied, brain activity decreased substantially, equaling aging of between 6 to 18 months. In human years it would be equivalent of going from 18 to 60 years almost overnight. The second group of rats were fed a strawberry-fortified diet for two months prior to the experiment. Incredibly, the second group of rats came out of the oxygen chamber with no change in brain activity. Zero change!
And if that’s not enough, strawberries also contain phenolic acids, one of which is called ellagic acid. This little dynamo has been shown to prevent esophageal and colon tumors in animals. Ellagic acid also encourages cell death in cancer cells. Says Dr. Daniel Nixon, medical oncologist and president of the American Health Foundation in Valhalla New York, “it makes cancer cells learn how to die like normal cells.” Strawberries are also handy if you have to endure second-hand smoke. The ellagic acid neutralizes and dissolves the carcinogen PAH, which is present in cigarette smoke.
Preparing for Juicing
They are easy to juice because you can juice stems and all. Just rinse off and juice.
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Strawberry Juice Tips
Make brightly colored popsicles by freezing juice with some added honey. The kids will love them as much as those food-colored imitations. Just think of all the vitamin C and antioxidants they are getting... but keep that part a secret.
Picking Perfect Produce
If you have ever had the pleasure of going strawberry picking, it’s a delicious experience. You can taste the sun in the tender flesh. Some of my favorite memories with my two daughters involved late-spring strawberry picking. The only challenge was getting them to put at least some of the sweet berries in the basket--most ended up in their tummies. Try to find a local farmer who grows strawberries in your area. The second or third picking is always the sweetest. Strawberries out of season from California are not as sweet but are still good for juicing. Strawberries are sprayed fairly heavily, and are hard to wash because of their thin delicate skin. This is one fruit I try to buy organic, if the price is not too high.
Storing Your Produce
When fresh picked, it is best to store strawberries in the refrigerator in an open paper bag. The out-of-season strawberries stored in their segregated plastic containers keep for about 4-6 days. When in season, I would wash the strawberries and freeze them, separated, on cookie sheets, then place in freezer bags. After thawing they can be juiced. Or even better, juice freshly picked berries and freeze in mason jars. Later this can be added to any fresh juices.
Obviously the best-tasting juice will come from strawberries in season. Although completely tasty on its own, you may find strawberry juice a little thick, so you can mix it with other juices such as apple, grape or pineapple.
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