Everything about strawberries in one place. What effect do they have on human health?

Red strawberries, heart-shaped and studded with small seeds, are one of the most popular fruits in the world.

They are grown commercially in a long list of countries, with China, the US and Mexico leading the way in production.

Want to know how you can grow them?

What are their health benefits?

And how can you use them in the kitchen?

All this and much more in our article!

What are strawberries?

Strawberries are the fruits of the strawberry plant (Fragaria), which is a genus of plants from the Rosaceae family. They are native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere and their various varieties are widely cultivated throughout the world. Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and are commonly eaten fresh as a dessert fruit, used as a filling for various buns or pies, and can be preserved in many ways. They are bright red, juicy and sweet. Smaller, redder strawberries sometimes tend to be sweeter and juicier, while large pieces with a hollow white interior are often drier and less flavorful.

Lots of ripe fresh strawberries.

Health benefits of eating strawberries

Eating strawberries has many health benefits, such as:

They support heart health

Heart disease is the most common cause of death worldwide. Strawberries reduce cholesterol, improve blood pressure and platelet function. Strawberries also improve the antioxidant status of the blood, reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, improve vascular function and lipid profile, and also reduce the harmful oxidation of bad cholesterol.

They regulate blood sugar

When carbohydrates are digested, our body breaks them down into simple sugars and releases them into the bloodstream. The body then begins to secrete insulin, which tells our cells to pick up sugar from your bloodstream and use it for fuel or storage. Imbalances in blood sugar regulation and diets high in sugar are associated with an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Strawberries slow glucose digestion and reduce both glucose and insulin fluctuations after a carbohydrate-rich meal compared to a carbohydrate-rich meal without strawberries. Strawberries may thus be particularly useful for preventing metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

They reduce the risk of cancer

A number of studies suggest that strawberries may help prevent several types of cancer due to their ability to fight oxidative stress and inflammation. The protective effects of strawberries may be mediated by ellagic acid and ellagitannins, which have been shown to stop the growth of cancer cells.

Side effects of eating strawberries

Strawberries are usually well tolerated, but allergies to them are quite common – especially in young children. Strawberries contain a protein that can cause side effects in people who are sensitive to birch or apple pollen. Common symptoms include itching or tingling in the mouth, hives, headache and swelling of the lips, face, tongue or throat, as well as breathing problems in severe cases.

In addition, strawberries contain goitrogens, which can interfere with thyroid function in people with thyroid problems.

Nutritional values of strawberries

In the following table, see a comparison of the nutritional values of fresh strawberries and selected types of fresh fruit in 100 grams.

Nutritional values Raspberries
Energy 52 kcal 57 kcal 32 kcal 52 kcal 47 kcal
Fats 0.7 g 0.3 g 0.3 g 0.2 g 0.1 g
Carbohydrates 12 g 14 g 7.7 g 14 g 12 g
Sugars 4.4 g 10 g 4.9 g 10 g 9.4 g
Fiber 6.5 g 2.4 g 2 g 2.4 g 2.4 g
Proteins 1.2 g 0.7 g 0.7 g 0.3 g 0.9 g

Vitamins and minerals in strawberries

Also look at the amount of minerals and vitamins that 100 grams of fresh strawberries and selected fresh fruits contain.

Vitamins and minerals Raspberries
Vitamin A 2.00 mcg 3.00 mcg 1.00 mcg 3.00 mcg 11.00 mcg
Vitamin B1 0.032 mg 0.037 mg 0.024 mg 0.017 mg 0.087 mg
Vitamin B2 0.038 mg 0.041 mg 0.022 mg 0.026 mg 0.040 mg
Vitamin B3 0.598 mg 0.418 mg 0.386 mg 0.091 mg 0.282 mg
Vitamin B6 0.055 mg 0.052 mg 0.047 mg 0.041 mg 0.060 mg
Vitamin B9 21.00 mcg 6.00 mcg 24.00 mcg 3.00 mcg 30.00 mcg
Vitamin C 26.2 mg 9.7 mg 58.8 mg 4.6 mg 53.2 mg
Vitamin E 0.87 mg 0.57 mg 0.29 mg 0.18 mg 0.18 mg
Vitamin K 7.8 mcg 19.3 mcg 2.2 mcg 2.2 mcg 0.0 mcg
Calcium 25.00 mg 6.00 mg 16.00 mg 6.00 mg 40.00 mg
Copper 0.09 mg 0.06 mg 0.05 mg 0.03 mg 0.04 mg
Iron 0.69 mg 0.28 mg 0.41 mg 0.12 mg 0.10 mg
Magnesium 22.00 mg 6.00 mg 13.00 mg 5.00 mg 10.00 mg
Phosphorus 29.00 mg 12.00 mg 24.00 mg 11.00 mg 14.00 mg
Potassium 151.00 mg 77.00 mg 153.00 mg 107.00 mg 181.00 mg
Selenium 0.20 mcg 0.10 mcg 0.40 mcg 0.00 mcg 0.50 mcg
Sodium 1.00 mg 1.00 mg 1.00 mg 1.00 mg 0.00 mg
Zinc 0.42 mg 0.16 mg 0.14 mg 0.04 mg 0.07 mg

How to choose the best strawberries?

Choose strawberries that are dry, firm and plump . They should have a fresh looking green stem on them. Avoid soft, dull-looking or shriveled pieces. Since strawberries do not ripen after picking, also avoid fruits that are partially white, as this means they are unripe. Good strawberries should also have a pleasant strawberry aroma .

How to store strawberries?

Store fresh strawberries in a partially sealed container, preferably in a single layer on a paper towel. Store in the fridge for up to four days . If you notice any mold, remove the affected pieces immediately. Strawberries are especially susceptible to moisture, so you shouldn’t rinse them until you’re ready to use them.

To wash the strawberries, place them in a large colander and rinse gently with cold water. Place the strawberries in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel or a layer of paper towels and pat dry gently.

If you want to enjoy top quality strawberries all year round, freeze them for later. It’s easy: Peel the strawberries, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer until they are frozen (about 6 hours). Then transfer them to a resealable plastic bag and store in the freezer until ready to use. Lasts up to six months.

How to use strawberries in the kitchen?

Strawberries should only be washed just before consumption. You should also remove their stem . To do this, place the tip of the knife at the base of the stem, gently push in to remove only the soft white part at the base of the stem, and slowly rotate the strawberry. Once you close the circle, the top pops right off without losing too many strawberries. If you like special kitchen gadgets, you can also use a strawberry peeler, but a simple paring knife will also work well.

Strawberries are often eaten fresh on their own or as part of a mixed fruit salad or to garnish a dessert such as a fruitcake or cake. Get inspiration from us in the form of excellent recipes for strawberry cakes . They can be processed into jams and compotes or baked into various doughs. For example, to one of our recipes for strawberry bubble wrap or strawberry slices . You can also dip them in chocolate and let them harden or use them for dipping in chocolate fondue. Add them to smoothies and milkshakes or simply serve with whipped cream.

Collage of photos of strawberry recipes - strawberry bun, strawberry strudel, fruit salad, refreshing drinks, biscuit dessert and crackers with strawberry jam.

Try our great recipes for canning strawberries or enjoy this healthy treat all year round!

They pair well with other fruits, especially sour rhubarb.

When you add sugar to the strawberries, their natural juice is drawn out, and the crushed strawberries make a sauce that you can drizzle over cake or ice cream.

More tips on how to use strawberries

  • Dice the strawberries and add them to the chicken salad.
  • Cut them up and mix them with yogurt or make a fruit cup out of them.
  • Mix them with oatmeal or whole grain cereal.
  • Mix chopped strawberries with other fruits to create a salsa that you can serve with chicken.
  • Chopped strawberries as a topping for pancakes and waffles.
  • Mix chopped strawberries with spinach, walnuts and goat cheese to create a tasty salad.
  • Add them to a glass of champagne or frozen drink.

Also prepare one of our strawberry bun recipes . We have a sponge cake for you, but also a delicious bun with crumbs!

Growing strawberries

Which variety to grow?

There are 2 main types of strawberries: June and Everbearing. In short, June strawberries have the largest fruit but only produce one large crop.

Everbearing strawberries will delight you with their fruits in several waves, from June until the first frosts. However, their fruits are smaller and there are fewer of them.

To begin with, we recommend growing one of the following strawberry varieties:

  • Corona – a mid-early variety with delicious fruits that resists frost and various diseases
  • Sonata – also a mid-early variety that is frost-resistant
  • Ducat – a resistant variety that can handle frosts and various diseases
  • Mara de Bois – an ever-fruiting drooping variety with medium-sized fruits
  • Lambada – mid-early variety with sweet fruits

Where to plant strawberries?

Strawberries love sunlight and need full sun to produce the biggest yields. Also, do not plant them between large trees, so that the root system of the tree does not compete and does not drain the necessary moisture from the growing strawberries. Strawberries also prefer clay-sandy soil that contains a very high amount of organic matter.

Additional compost, peat and some sand can be added to the selected site to create the best environment for growing strawberries. Potting soils usually have sufficient composition if you plan to plant strawberries in a container. Strawberries should also not be in standing water, so choose a site that has good drainage. If you do not have such a place, build raised beds for them, which will allow better drainage. These beds should be raised at least 15 to 20 cm. If growing in containers, make sure there are drainage holes in the bottom of the container.

They also don’t do well in too much dryness, so choose a location where you can easily water them.

How to plant strawberries?

Work 5 to 8 cm of compost into the topsoil. Add more organic material before planting, especially if the soil does not retain moisture very well. Peat, compost or aged straw and manure are good options. Soil pH is also important for growing strawberries. To grow strawberries well, the soil needs to be slightly acidic, ideally with a pH between 5.0 and 7.0, but 5.8 to 6.2 is ideal for maximum growth and production.

Strawberry seedlings either in the summer, when you need a lot of moisture, or preferably in the spring, or also in the spring, as soon as it stops freezing. In April, you can also plant so-called frigo seedlings.

Consider mulching your strawberries, you won’t have to get rid of unwanted weeds week after week. The ideal way to mulch a flower bed is to cover it with black non-woven fabric or foil or to mulch it with organic mulch in the form of straw, pine needles or wood shavings.

How to care for strawberries?

In order to have the strongest possible plants in subsequent years, you must remove all buds in the first year. You can’t enjoy a strawberry harvest without buds. However, starting from the second year, you will get more and better fruits. Don’t forget to remove weeds as well. Regular watering is also important.

How to fertilize strawberries?

Do not fertilize strawberries directly after planting or when they are fruiting. Otherwise, special fertilizers for strawberries are suitable, which you apply in the form of watering. However, do not forget to moisten the soil before fertilizing.

How to pick strawberries?

Allow strawberries to fully ripen before harvesting. Most varieties should remain on the plant for one to two days after they turn full color. Strawberries are somewhat fragile and easily damaged and bruised. When picking from a strawberry tree, you need to use your hands and gentle care. To pick a ripe strawberry, loosen it using your thumb and index finger nails to cut the stem just above the strawberry instead of pulling on the strawberry itself. Strawberries should be dry when picked. When wet, they mold quickly and, unlike tomatoes, do not ripen after picking. Once you have harvested the strawberries, it is best to store them unwashed in a cool, dry and shady place (a refrigerator is best).

Hands picking strawberries from a strawberry tree.


  • Strawberries were originally cultivated in ancient Rome .
  • Madame Tallien , an important figure in the court of Emperor Napoleon, became famous for bathing in fresh strawberry juice. She always used about 10 liters.
  • American Indians were already eating strawberries when the colonists arrived. Crushed strawberries were mixed with cornmeal and baked into bread. After trying this recipe, the colonists created their own version.
  • In France, strawberries were cultivated in the 13th century and used as a medicinal herb. They were also considered an aphrodisiac there.
  • Traditionally, the leaves, roots and fruits of moonshine have been used for digestive problems or as a skin tonic.
  • Legend has it that if you split a double strawberry in half and share it with a member of the opposite sex, you will fall in love.
  • The strawberry was a symbol for Venus , the goddess of love, because of its heart shape and red color.
  • In Belgium you will find a museum dedicated to strawberries.

Get inspired by some of our recipes for the best strawberry desserts !

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)