StrawberriesCredit: Image courtesy of Kittikun Atsawintarangkul /

Did you know strawberries are not actually berries? They belong to the rose family, along with pears and cherries. Even though they're not actually berries, strawberries are a popular summertime food. They're sweet, versatile and easy to take with you anywhere. As a low-calorie food, at 54 calories per cup you may be surprised at all they have to offer. They contain benefits that aid in weight loss, help to manage cardiovascular disease and even help keep bones strong. It's best to eat strawberries as soon as possible after being picked. Their nutrient content decreases after being stored for two or more days. They also do not ripen off the vine, so if you're picking your own make sure they're ready before harvesting them.

Anti-Cancer Benefits — The antioxidants in strawberries, when eaten on a regular basis help to ease chronic inflammation a major contributor to cancer. In addition to this, there is some evidence to support that the ellagic acid and ellagitannins found in this fruit may inhibit tumor growth and development. 

Help with Cardiovascular Disease - One cup of strawberries has 112% percent of your daily value of vitamin C, which plays a crucial role by promoting more elasticity and flexibility in the arteries permitting healthier circulation. The potassium they contain helps to control sodium levels in the blood, fighting off hypertension. The anthocyanins in strawberries also promote healthy blood pressure and potentially prevent plaque that is likely to build on the arterial walls. 

Burn Fat and Assist with Weight Loss - Aside from satisfying your sweet tooth, it turns out they can actually help kick-start your metabolism. The most powerful way strawberries aid in weight loss is with the help of ellagic acid and anthocyanins. These powerful ingredients work as an anti-inflammatory, clearing the way for healthy weight hormones to travel freely in your body and stimulate adiponectin which not only curbs your appetite, but also boosts metabolic function.  

StrawberriesCredit: Image courtesy of Ambro /

Bone Health - Their high vitamin C content contributes to maintaining bone health. In addition to this they contain manganese which helps bones absorb calcium that is crucial for keeping them strong. An added bonus for bone health is the folate content, which helps particularly in maintaining bone mass. 

Eye Health - Another amazing benefit of vitamin C is it helps with the production of collagen, which helps to rebuild connective tissue. In the case of eye health in can help to regenerate this delicate tissue around the eyes, as well as encourage healthy blood vessels, which are important for maintaining healthy vision. 

Healthy Skin - Since they contain natural salicylic acid, for exfoliation and vitamin C for regenerating collagen, this summer time fruit makes a great addition to your skin care routine, when added to your diet or applied directly to the face in a mask

Protect the Skin From Ultraviolet Radiation - Strawberries have proven effective as natural sunscreen. They protect the skin from the sun's rays through ellagic acid which when applied directly, specifically protects from UVA radiation. All the more reason to bring them along on summer time trips.