Tag Archives: vitamin c

Superfood of the Month: Strawberries

Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fiber. One cup of fresh strawberries equals 160 percent of the daily recommended quantity of vitamin C, and is only 50 calories.

Health Benefits
Heart Disease
•Regular consumption of anthocyanins, a class of flavonoids found in berries, can reduce the risk of a heart attack by 32 percent in young and middle-aged women.
•The flavonoid quercetin in strawberries is a natural anti-inflammatory that appears to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and protect against the damage caused by low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

•The antioxidants quercetin, kaempferol and anthocyanin reduce the formation of harmful blood clots associated with stroke.
•High potassium intake has also been linked with a reduced risk of stroke.

Powerful antioxidants in strawberries may work against free radicals, inhibiting tumor growth and decreasing inflammation in the body.

Blood pressure
Doctors recommend eating strawberries because of their high potassium content. Low potassium is just as risky for developing high blood pressure as a high sodium intake.

•Eating foods high in water content and fiber, such as strawberries, grapes, watermelon and cantaloupe, can help keep the body hydrated and bowel movements regular.
•Fiber is essential to minimize constipation and add bulk to stool.

Strawberries are a low glycemic index food and high in fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar and keep it stable.

Strawberries are a great source of folic acid, which is essential for pregnant women to protect against neural tube defects in infants.

prop stylist: Claire Spollen; food stylist: Kellie Kelley

Chicken Cutlets with Strawberry-Avocado Salsa
Serves 4
•1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
•1/2 cup diced peeled ripe avocado
•2 T minced seeded jalapeño pepper
•2 T chopped fresh cilantro
•2 tsp fresh lime juice
•3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
•1 T olive oil
•4 (4-oz) chicken breast cutlets
•1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
•4 lime wedges

Step 1
Combine strawberries, avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl; toss to combine.

Step 2
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done.

Step 3
Divide chicken and spoon salsa evenly for each serving. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Superfood of the Month: Spinach

Many cuisines, most notably Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian, use spinach because it’s inexpensive and easy to prepare. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a 1/2 cup serving of spinach contains 28.1 micrograms of vitamin C, 34 percent of the daily recommendation.

Health Benefits
Diabetes Management
Contains an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid, which lowers glucose levels, increases insulin sensitivity and prevents oxidative, stress-induced changes in those with diabetes.

Cancer Prevention
Effectively blocks the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines, which result from grilling food at high temperatures.

Asthma Prevention
Is an excellent source of beta-carotene, which may reduce the risk of developing asthma.

Blood Pressure
Has a high amount of potassium. Low potassium intake may be as significant a risk factor for developing high blood pressure as a high sodium intake.

Digestive Regularity
Is high in fiber and water to help prevent constipation and promote a healthy digestive tract.

Skin and Hair
Has a lot of vitamin A, which moderates the production of oil in skin pores and hair follicles and is necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues. It also helps build and maintain collagen. Iron-rich foods, such as spinach, may prevent hair loss.

Sautéed Spinach
Servings: 6
65 calories

2 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
20 oz fresh spinach
1 T lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp crushed red pepper

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until it begins to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Add spinach and toss to coat. Cover and cook until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and add lemon juice, salt and crushed red pepper. Toss to coat and serve immediately.

Note: The sturdy texture of mature spinach is best for cooked dishes. Serve tender, mild-flavored baby spinach raw or lightly wilted. Use baby or mature spinach in this recipe (10 oz trimmed mature spinach equal about 10 cups raw spinach; 10 oz baby spinach equals about 8 cups raw spinach). Remove tough stems from mature spinach before use.


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Susan K Wilkerson, RD, LD
Clinical Nutrition

Strawberries are in season – red, ripe and delicious! You no longer have to buy the tasteless ones from far away lands.

Strawberries are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. They are also a good source of Folate and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C and Manganese. A large portion of the calories in this food come from natural sugar, but they have less than 50 calories a serving (about 1 cup). So if you pick your own, you have all ready burned off the calories. I look at it as the good in the strawberry heavily out ways the sugar content. So eat up before they go out of season and you have to resort to tasteless ones.

I have been picking strawberries for the last several years with my little one. It has been and annual event for our family. We pick several times throughout the season and pick a few gallons each time. I simply wash the ones we are not going to eat within the next week. Dry the berries on a large towel and place them on cookie sheets with the caps removed (the green tops). I place them in the freezer until they are frozen and then quickly place them in gallon size freezer bags and return to the freezer. We eat them throughout the year in smoothies, on ice cream and on cereal.

Fruit Smoothie
3- 5 medium frozen strawberries
½ cup frozen blueberries
½ banana
½ cup low fat vanilla yogurt
About ½ cup skim milk (more or less to adjust the consistency)

Add all ingredients in a large cup. And use a hand blender or food processor to blend and enjoy.