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Strawberries: Nature’s preventive medicine

Published 9:10pm Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It’s hard to beat fresh fruit.

Spring and summer are favorite times a year in part because of the multitude of fresh fruits that come in season.

Strawberries are my favorite, and by the volume that we’ve eaten just over the past several weeks, I Strawberries are fragile. They bruise easily and don’t keep for very long. With improper humidity, they can mold in a matter of a few days.

High in antioxidants, strawberries are very good for you. Antioxidants help combat the damaging effects of free radical activity to cellular structures and DNA.

One cup of strawberries contains more than 140 percent of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C and more than 11 percent fiber. Even better news: That same cup contains only about 50 calories.

According to strawberriesnutrition.net, strawberries lower blood pressure, which has long been a substantial contributing factor to heart disease.

In addition to that, with all of the other nutrients playing a large part, one will find that their options in cancer are dramatically lowered, as well as their chance for a decrease in arthritis.

There you have it. Strawberries are the world’s tastiest preventive medicine.

They are great in cobblers and pies, covered in chocolate or on top of ice cream but my favorite way to eat them is to simply dip them in sugar.

Obviously, that tinkers with their nutritional value a little.

It tastes great, but just this once, let’s don’t heap a lot of sugar and starch onto such a healthy food.

This healthy salad contains a few other fresh fruits that are just as good for you and can help you get back some of the beach body you may have lost this winter. Each serving contains about 175 calories.

For this tangy poppy seed fruit salad, you’ll need:

1 20 ounce can, chunked pineapple; drained with the juice reserved

1 orange, peeled and segmented

1 kiwi, peeled and sliced

1 cup seedless grapes

1 cup quartered strawberries

1/4 teaspoon lime zest

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

In a large bowl, toss the pineapple, orange, kiwi, grapes and strawberries. In a small bowl, combine lime zest, lime juice, honey, poppy seeds and a quarter cup of the reserved pineapple juice. Stir well and toss with fruit.

The mixed salad should rest in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving to let the flavors marry, but it’s fine to eat right away.

I know I said we would keep this healthy but a spoonful of this salad is fantastic over vanilla ice cream, too.

Tiffany Cannon is a field editor for Taste of Home Magazine and owner of 2ate9 Bakery and Catering in Demopolis. She can be reached via email at tiffany@2ate9.com

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