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Strawberries: The Antioxidant Powerhouse?

Posted by Field Work Nutrition Co. on
Strawberries: The Antioxidant Powerhouse?

You don't have to go trudging through the Amazon to find the next exotic superfood to introduce potent antioxidant benefits into your diet.  You don't even have to go trudging to the frozen food aisle of Trader Joes to buy imported frozen packets of acai.  In fact, you may only have to head casually over to your farmer's market (heck, ride your bike there!) and pick up a few baskets for fresh, ripe, and seasonal strawberries to toss into your smoothie (or eat in the car before you make it home).  We're often so enamored with finding the next best thing that we fail to recognize that what we're looking for has been right at our fingertips all along. 

You probably know that berries are good for you.  Blueberries are constantly touted as one of the most antioxidant rich superfoods you can eat - and for good reason, too.  But don't let that distract you from some of the more commonplace berries at the market, like strawberries.  They are naturally rich in typical micronutrients, but are also sneakily high in some powerhouse polyphenol antioxidants.  Also, see here. This includes compounds like catechins and quercetin, which you may be familiar with from their presence in green tea.  

Although fruits like citrus and oranges take the spotlight, strawberries are incredibly high in vitamin C, a very powerful antioxidant.  Consuming vitamin C is great for recovery from hard workouts, when your body experiences oxidative stress, and also helps support the immune system.  Strawberries are also good sources of potassium, an essential electrolyte, and folate, a b-vitamin with numerous benefits.  But aside from their vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content, strawberries are simply a good source of healthy carbohydrates for energy, as well as fiber.  

One thing to keep in mind - on the relative scale of conventionally grown foods that are often doused in pesticides, berries are pretty high up there.  Though we fully support organic and sustainable agriculture (like, literally), we also recognize that we live in the real world, and we all can't buy organic all the time for a number of reasons.  Though compared to other fruits, we highly encourage you to find pesticide free, organically grown strawberries if you can.  It's better for you, and better for the environment.  To be fair, the farmer that we buy our strawberries from isn't even organic certified, but we are familiar with their growing practices and are okay with them.

In our opinion, the key to a good smoothie, just like the key to a good meal, is not a complicated combination of flavors.  It's starting with fresh, ripe, high quality ingredients and letting them do the talking.  Strawberries are coming into peak form right about now in California, so go get your hands on some.  And remember, during the winter or off-season months, buying frozen berries is a great option.

For a simple strawberry smoothie recipe, simply blend about 1 cup of fresh strawberries with about 8-10 oz of almond milk and two scoops of Primo Smoothie.  For a subtle variation, throw in a tablespoon of peanut butter, or consider using our cacao flavor and / or chocolate almond milk.

Enjoy!

 

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