Strawberries-A Heart Healthy Treat!

By Debbie Jeffery, RD

Not only are strawberries an excellent way to satisfy the sweet tooth, they are also extremely nutrient dense.  One cup of strawberries contains more vitamin C than an orange, has 20% of your daily folic acid needs, and contains 4 grams fiber & 270 mg of potassium.  Strawberries also contain a variety of phytochemicals, including flavonoids, which may have anti-inflammatory properties.  The latest research also shows that the nutrients in strawberries may also help to maintain a healthy heart. Besides snacking on strawberries, you might enjoy sliced strawberries mixed with salad greens or a refreshing smoothie like the recipe below!

Strawberry Flax Smoothie        

1 cup fresh or frozen sliced strawberries

½ cup nonfat Greek vanilla yogurt

½ cup skim milk (soy, almond, rice, or coconut milk may be substituted)

3 tablespoons ground flax seed

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place all ingredients in blender and blend on high speed until smooth.  Consume immediately or refrigerate up to 2 hours before serving.

Serves 2.  Per serving: 145 calories, 4g fiber, 7g protein, .5g saturated fat, 19g carbohydrates, 170 mg calcium.