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Strawberry, strawberries

The strawberry, Fragaria, is one of the most popular berry fruits that is cultivated worldwide.  Although there are more than 10 species of strawberries that differ in size, texture and flavour, they all have the same aroma, are heart-shaped, with a sweet juicy texture and red fleshy appearance.

Strawberries are consumed as a fresh fruit and served in preserves, juices, ice creams, smoothies, yoghurts, fruit-cocktails, pies, jellies, jams, syrups and in chocolates. In the UK, strawberries and cream are a popular dessert during the summer months. Strawberries can be frozen and freeze-dried for use in cereals and snack bars.

Strawberries are a rich source of a wide range of nutrients including: Vitamins C and A; Calories; proteins; carbohydrates; dietary fibre; calcium; iron; magnesium; phosphorous; potassium and folate. Strawberries also contain a range of antioxidants, including quercetin, kaempferol, ellagic acid and anthocyanins all shown to have protective effects against certain types of cancers. Strawberries are sodium-free, fat-free and cholesterol-free.

Strawberries boast a range of health benefits against a number of diseases such as: heart disease; stroke; cancer; blood pressure; constipation; diabetes and pregnancy.

Strawberries are not fruits as their seeds are on the outside. The strawberry is not a berry botanically, it is an aggregate accessory fruit, meaning the red fleshy part is not derived from the plants ovaries, but each visible seed covering its outside is borne from one of the ovaries of the flower with a seed inside.

Some people are allergic to strawberries, the most common symptoms are experienced in the throat; tingling; itching; runny nose and watery eyes. The potential side effects of overeating strawberries can be: diarrhea; liver disease; jaundice; fever; nervous tension; lethargy and pain and swelling of the lining of the respiratory tract and allergic reactions. If any of these symptoms become serious see your doctor immediately.

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