National Strawberry Month: Peak Harvest Season & Benefits!

May is National Strawberry month! It's peak harvest season in California through June. It's best to get your produce in season because they will taste and look better. Strawberries are juicy, summery and nutrient-packed with antioxidants. They contain a wide variety of nutrients and benefits to your health. There are many reasons why you should start adding more strawberries to your diet! 

Fun Fact: California harvests over 85% of the strawberries grown in the United States!  

Benefits:

1. Immune boosting
Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C. This is a powerful antioxidant. Previous studies have shown that the antioxidants in strawberries become bioavailable after consuming the fruit for a few weeks. 

2. Eye health
Our eyes require vitamin C to product them from free-radicals of the sun's harmful UV rays. It also plays an role in strengthening your eyes's retina and cornea. 

3. Cancer prevention
As mentioned earlier, vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals (causes cancer). Ellagic acid - which is a phytochemical is found in strawberries. This phytochemical may help suppress cancer cell growth by yielding anti-cancer properties.  
4. Younger-looking skin
Consuming foods rich in vitamin C is a naturally-occuring wrinkle fighter. The production of collagen decreases as we age so increased collagen production is vital in improving skin's elasticity. 

5. Reduce inflammation
The antioxidants and phytochemicals in strawberries may prevent arthritis by reducing inflammation. A past study has shown that women who ate 16 or more strawberries per week at 14% less to have an indication of inflammation in their body.  

Make yourself an oatmeal bowl packed with strawberries! You can add strawberries to a variety of recipes - oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, on toast, etc.

I love adding my strawberries to a warm cozy bowl of oatmeal. In this bowl below I cooked together 1/2 cup oatmeal with 1/2 cup almond milk on the stovetop. Then placed it into a bowl with sliced mangobananasstrawberriescacao nibs, hemp seeds and chunks of perfect bars. Perfect way to start the day! A bowl packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and complex carbs!   

Nothing smells better than the aroma of fresh strawberries - they're almost like nature's candy to me! 

 

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