As Stony Brook’s annual Strawberry Festival and Diversity Day celebration approaches, campus dietitian Stephanie May, RD, shares lore and recipes about the tasty, wholesome berry.
- Get an immune boost: Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C. One cup of strawberries has more than 100% of your daily requirement.
- I “C” you: Did you know vitamin C also helps our eyes? Vitamin C can protect vision against the free radicals caused by the sun’s UV rays.
- Heart-shaped and heart-healthy: According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading global cause of death. Lucky for us, the fiber found in strawberries can help to counteract the effects of low density lipoprotein, also known as “Bad Cholesterol,” on our cardiovascular systems.
- Snack on low calories: Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best defenses against illness and disease. Strawberries are naturally low in calories (around 45 calories per cup of whole berries), fat free and low in sodium. Strawberries do contain natural sugar, but it is fairly low, amounting to only seven grams per cup of whole berries.
- Lower your blood pressure: Strawberries are rich in potassium and magnesium which are helpful in controlling and lowering high blood pressure. Potassium decreases hypertension by easing the blood flow to various parts of the body.
Everyone has their favorite ways to enjoy strawberries. Here are a few of Stephanie’s:
- Berry Yogurt Parfait: ½ cup sliced berries with ¾ cup of plain, Greek yogurt, 2 tbsp sliced almonds. Blend together and enjoy.
- Strawberry Smoothie: ¼ cup fresh berries, ½ frozen banana, ½ cup spinach, ½ – ¾ cup of milk (skim, soy, almond, or cashew).
- Strawberry Avocado Salad: Toss 2 cups of greens, 3 sliced strawberries, ¼ avocado, 4 ounces lean protein (tofu, grilled chicken, or salmon), and finish with 2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette.
- Seawolf Fruit Salad: Mix strawberries, watermelon, red grapes, raspberries and blueberries in a bowl.
Don’t forget: Wednesday, May 4, is Strawberry Fest and Diversity Day. Enjoy a full delicious meal featuring strawberries as the stars of the show. Get your tickets early to save.
2. Mozaffarian D. et al. Heart Disease, Stroke and Research Statistics At-a-Glance. American Heart Association 2015. Available at: https://www.heart.org/idc/groups/ahamah-public/@wcm/@sop/@smd/documents/downloadable/ucm_480086.pdf.
3. Potassium and High Blood Pressure. Potassium and High Blood Pressure. Available at: http://www.heart.org/heartorg/conditions/highbloodpressure/preventiontreatmentofhighbloodpressure/potassium-and-high-blood-pressure_ucm_303243_article.jsp#.vxemlpkridu. Accessed April 20, 2016.