/ by Siddhi Shroff, a registered dietitian at the UK Markey Cancer Center
It’s strawberry season here in the Bluegrass!
Strawberries offer many beneficial nutrients for your health. They’re packed with vitamin C, and are a good source of fiber, potassium and manganese.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps wounds heal, helps you maintain cartilage tissue and can aid in the absorption of iron. About one cup of strawberries gives you more than your daily recommended amount. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are known to play a role in cancer and heart disease prevention, as they fight free radicals in the body that can cause chronic illnesses.
- Fiber: While fiber is known for managing constipation and promoting healthy bowel movements, it can also help you maintain weight and lower your risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease.
- Potassium: Potassium is an essential mineral that plays a role in regulating blood pressure, and also helps muscle and nerve cell function. Potassium also helps move nutrients into cells while removing waste.
- Manganese: Manganese is crucial to wound healing, and it plays a role in supporting normal bone growth.
Additionally, for patients undergoing cancer treatment, the tartness of strawberries can help alleviate taste changes, especially if treatment is causing you to experience a bitter taste. They are also a great way to work towards your goal of daily recommended fruit servings.
Not only do strawberries offer plenty of nutritional benefits, but they are versatile and can be included in a variety of dishes. You can use them to make a smoothie, parfait, in a salad or eat them plain. Try incorporating them into your day with the recipes below.
Strawberries and Cream Smoothie
- 2/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- 2/3 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup milk of choice (dairy, coconut, soy, almond)
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend well.
- Add more milk if needed for desired consistency.
- Pour into cups and serve.
Strawberry and Spinach Salad
- 1 ounce balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or 1 teaspoon creole mustard
- 3 ounces olive oil
- 1 pint ripe strawberries, stemmed and quartered
- 16 ounces fresh spinach
- 1/4 cup red onion, shaved
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the vinaigrette, combine the vinegar, oil, mustard and a little salt and pepper to taste.
- Whisk or shake in a jar until emulsified.
- Taste the dressing, and adjust to your liking.
- For the salad, combine the strawberries, onions and spinach in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Toss gently with the dressing just before serving.
Recipe adapted from Genius Kitchen. References: The Dole Nutrition Handbook: What to Eat and How to Live for a Longer, Healthier Life.
- Check out the rest of Shroff’s blog posts, including a post about enjoying Kentucky’s summertime greens.
- Learn more about the UK Markey Cancer Center, Kentucky’s only NCI-designated cancer center.
UK Markey Cancer CenterWhitney-Hendrickson BuildingFax 859-257-3757800 Rose St.
First Floor, Room 134
Lexington, KY 40536
A parking lot is located near the Whitney-Hendrickson Building, accessible via Hospital Drive. Get directions to Whitney-Hendrickson.