Three Reasons to Love Strawberries

I love strawberries, and so does America. The United States actually leads the world in strawberry production by a substantial margin, and this fruit is grown almost everywhere. In the strictest botanical sense, strawberries aren’t really a berry. In the strictest common sense, who cares? I love strawberries three different ways – as a dietitian, as someone who loves food, and as a person with diabetes. You can love strawberries for the same reasons.

As a dietitian

Like most fruit, strawberries are healthy. As a dietitian I appreciate that 1 cup of halved strawberries gives me 150% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C and 30% of the % DV for manganese, and 12% DV of fiber in exchange for less than 50 calories. Additionally, that same portion size provides 9% DV of folate, 7% DV potassium (a key focus of the DASH diet), and antioxidant flavonoids. Nutritionally, that’s a pretty good “bang for the buck” – strawberries are what we dietitians call a “nutritionally dense” food.

As someone who loves food

As a person who loves food, I find strawberries SWEET enough to be dessert, and tart enough to awaken the taste buds! For me, that's the perfect combination. You can have them alone, or added to salads, oatmeal, plain Greek yogurt, water, or virtually anything that could use a little sweet tartness.

As a person with diabetes

Finally, my view of strawberries as a person with diabetes is all about portion size. It’s no secret that sweets are recommended in moderation for people with diabetes, and that’s because the nutritional tradeoff is often “too much carbohydrate for too little nutritional benefit.” But, not only do strawberries provide substantial nutritional benefits, the 15 carbohydrate grams (one “carb choice”) portion size is an impressive 1¼ cups.

It’s true that strawberries are a springtime fruit, but you’ll find them in your grocery store all year. They may cost a bit more in the off season, but if you learn to love strawberries for their nutritional value, their sweet taste and their substantial carbohydrate portion size you won’t mind.

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