Historical Facts About Strawberries.
Native Americans were among the earliest people to eat them. They called them ‘heart-seed berries.’
The Ancient Romans believed that strawberries could treat health issues, such as fevers, sore throats and depression. They were eating them from at least 200 BCE.
The word strawberry is derived from the Old English words ‘steowberie’ and ‘streawbelige.’
In Medieval times, they were served at important functions to bring peace and prosperity. They were seen as symbols of perfection and righteousness. Stonemasons carved strawberry designs on altars and around the tops of pillars in churches and cathedrals.
Madame Tallien, a prominent person at the court of Napoleon, was known for bathing in strawberry juice. Apparently, 22 pounds was used per bath. She didn’t bathe often!
Strawberries In Other Countries.
In Sweden, they are a traditional dessert served on Midsummer’s Eve.
In Greece, strawberries are sprinkled with sugar and then dipped in ‘Metaxa’ (brandy) and also served as a dessert.
In parts of Bavaria, each spring, small baskets of wild strawberries are tied to the horns of cattle, as an offering to elves. It’s believed the elves will help to produce healthy calves and plenty of milk in exchange for them.
Also, did you know there is a museum in Belgium dedicated to strawberries?
In France, strawberries are seen as having aphrodisiac properties. They are served in a form of sweet soup to newlyweds at traditional wedding breakfasts.
27,000 strawberries are consumed by the tennis players at Wimbledon and 27 tonnes of them with 7,000 litres of cream are consumed by the spectators. I was so hungry!
Amazing Facts About Strawberries.
They are the first fruit to ripen each Spring. They are a member of the rose family and they are not true berries because berries have their seeds in the inside of them, unlike strawberries.
There are 200 seeds on an average strawberry. The plants are perennial, (grow every year), and are productive for about 5 years.
There are 103 species of them and can be white, (check out the video below) blue, purple, black, yellow/golden, as well as red.
Giant strawberries can be as large as apples. The heaviest strawberry in the world was grown by Koji Nakao in Japan. It weighed 250g on 28th January 2015.
If you have ‘fragariaphobia’ you are frightened of strawberries.
The Health Benefits.
- Are excellent for weight control. They are low in calories, they contain no ‘bad’ cholesterol and help to reduce abdominal fat. Also, they contain high levels of nitrate. Studies have shown that nitrate can increase blood and oxygen flow to the muscles. In a study, people who ate foods high in nitrates before exercising burned 100 calories more than those who did not.
- Are good for digestive health. In each 100g serving there is 2g of fibre.
- Help to protect your heart. In 2019, an antioxidant in strawberries known as ‘anthocyanin‘ has been linked to a lower risk of a heart attack. Another antioxidant, ‘quercetin‘ in strawberries, has been shown to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis (plaque, cholesterol etc. build up in your arteries.) Also, they contain high levels of potassium. In a 2011 study, participants who had just over 4,000mg of potassium per day had a lowered risk of heart disease than those who consumed 1,000mg per day.
- Help to maintain your blood pressure. Potassium is needed to offset the effects of sodium in your body. A low potassium intake is a risk factor for having high blood pressure.
- Good for your skin. As stated earlier, strawberries ate high in vitamin C which among other functions, helps to build collagen.
- Good for your immune health. The antioxidants in strawberries may work against free radicals so, therefore, they could reduce inflammation and inhibit tumour growth.
So eat strawberries to protect your heart, immune and digestive systems and maintain a healthy blood pressure.
They taste best at room temperature and are safe to eat if you have diabetes because they don’t cause big spikes in your blood sugar levels.
I love strawberries and prefer to eat seasonal ones. Yes. I love them with cream and don’t understand why people sprinkle sugar on them? I think they’re too sweet with sugar.
Happy Strawberry Day! 🍓🍓🍓🍓🍓
Sources: countryliving.com, food republic.com, londonsstrawberryfestival.com, seriousfacts.com, factslegend.org, thefactsite.com, healthline.com, webmd.com, medicalnewstoday.com