Should You Eat Strawberries? Their Nutrition Facts, Benefits, and More
The bona fide sweet and juicy fruit boasts nutrients that can boost your health. Here are strawberries' nutrition facts, benefits, and the best ways to enjoy them.
Strawberries: The sweet and juicy fruit
There’s nothing quite like eating a bowl of sweet and juicy strawberries. Having sliced strawberries atop a spinach salad is a classic. And don’t forget chocolate-dipped strawberries. Any way you slice them, strawberries are a delicious treat that’s good for you, too. (Here are quick and easy ways to use strawberries.)
Think of them as nature’s candy. Once you know all about their truly impressive nutrition profile and health benefits, you’ll want to eat more. Here’s what you need to know about strawberry nutrition, benefits, risks, and the best ways to eat them.
All about strawberries
In 2017, the U.S. produced 1.6 billion pounds of strawberries, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.
The official name of the plant is Fragaria, a member of the rose family. The cultivated variety—the one that winds up in your cereal or dessert—is the species Fragaria ananassa. These juicy fruits are grown all over the United States, but California and Florida grow more of these gems than any other state.
California, which produces 91 percent of strawberries, grows them year-round, while Florida grows them during chilly months. In other states, “in-season” strawberries are grown between March and November. (Did you know eating berries at breakfast could help with weight loss?)
Strawberry nutrition facts
Strawberries are rich in antioxidants and are a great source of vitamin C and manganese. They’re also known to contain generous amounts of vitamin B9 (folate) and potassium. One thing to note: strawberries mostly contain water and carbs with minimal amounts of fat and protein. (These are the best antioxidant-rich foods.)
Here’s a closer look at the nutrition for one cup, or 150 grams (g), of raw strawberries:
Protein: 1 g (2 % DV)
Fat: 0.5 g (1% DV)
Carbohydrates: 11.5 g (4% DV)
Fiber: 3 g (11% DV)
Sugars: 7 g
Potassium: 230 mg (8% DV)
Vitamin C: 88 mg (99% DV for men; 117% DV for women)
Folate: 36 mcg (9% of the DV)
Are strawberries good for you?
Yes! There are numerous strawberry health benefits due to their rich nutritional profile. Here are a few that the fruit is touted for, according to our registered dietitians and science.
Strawberries are loaded with immune-boosting vitamin C
The next time you reach for an orange to fight off a cold—try a bowl of strawberries, instead. Just one cup fulfills or exceeds your daily requirement for C, a nutrient necessary for strong immune health. And remember: fresh strawberries are available year-round, even in winter. (Here are other foods to eat with a cold.)
But wait, there’s more in the power of vitamin C. “Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron from plant-based foods,” says Mia Syn, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Charleston, South Carolina. Remember those strawberry slices atop the spinach salad? They’re a natural pairing for a healthy body—the vitamin C in the strawberries can help your body better absorb iron in the spinach. (Add these vitamin C-rich foods to your diet.)
Strawberries help fight disease
What more can vitamin C do? “Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in the body, meaning it helps protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals,” explains Whitney Linsenmeyer, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and assistant professor of nutrition at Saint Louis University in Missouri.
Strawberries also contain anthocyanins, a flavonoid that gives the berries their red color.
“Free radicals are compounds formed in the body through normal metabolism, as well as environmental exposures from cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet light from the sun,” says Linsenmeyer. Consuming more C-rich foods like strawberries can neutralize these free radicals before they can damage cells and contribute to disease.
Strawberries fight brain aging
In a study, published in 2019 in the journal Nutrients, adults aged 58 to 98 who enjoyed a higher intake of strawberries reduced their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 34 percent compared to those who didn’t. Strawberries contain an antioxidant called pelargonidin, along with vitamin C and anthocyanins, which may be responsible for their neuroprotective properties. (Here’s what you need to know about acai berries.)
Strawberries promote heart health
Did their gorgeous red color give them away? Strawberries may help improve cholesterol and other lipid levels, decrease systolic blood pressure, help improve the flexibility of arteries (so blood can flow more freely through them), and reduce inflammation, according to a review of studies published in 2019 in the journal Nutrients.
Risks and side effects
Unfortunately, strawberries are rank high among the produce that can be contaminated due to high pesticide residue even after you wash them. If this is a concern for you—and your budget can allow it—consider buying organic strawberries. If you choose conventionally-grown varieties, know that washing does make a difference. It may not remove all pesticide residue, but rinsing for at least one minute reduced concentrations of three insecticides and two fungicides by over 50 percent, according to a study in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.
Best ways to eat strawberries
There are so many strawberry recipes to enjoy.
- Add frozen strawberries to homemade smoothies, says Syn. Try a strawberry-yogurt smoothie.
- Top oatmeal or cereal with sliced strawberries.
- Chop strawberries into salsa with jalapeno, lime, and cilantro, suggests Linsenmeyer. Or try this Strawberry-Avocado Salsa.
- Slice and arrange on toast spread with nut butter.
- Place sliced strawberries in a jar with vinegar, sugar, and salt to “quick pickle” them, says Linsenmeyer. “Then add them to a cheese board with some crusty bread.”
- Dip in dark chocolate and freeze.
- Slice or chop and add to salads.
- Serve strawberries alongside homemade whipped cream for a simple dessert, says Linsenmeyer. Fancy it up with a lemon-flavored Strawberry Parfait
- USDA: "Strawberries, raw"
- Whitney Linsenmeyer, PhD, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and assistant professor of nutrition at Saint Louis University, Missouri
- National Institutes of Health: "Potassium"
- NIH: "Vitamin C"
- NIH: "Folate"
- Mia Syn, MS, RDN, Nutrition by Mia in Charleston, South Carolina
- Nutrients: "Association of Strawberries and Anthocyanidin Intake with Alzheimer's Dementia Risk"
- Nutrients: "Bioactive Compounds of Strawberry and Blueberry and Their Potential Health Effects Based on Human Intervention Studies: A Brief Overview"
- Environmental Monitoring and Assessment: "Removal of 16 pesticide residues from strawberries by washing with tap and ozone water, ultrasonic cleaning and boiling"