With a statistic like this - a whopping 94% of US households consume strawberries - a description of this delicious fruit is certainly unnecessary. Strawberries are one of the most widely used fruits in desserts and pastries and are even occasionally acceptable on a ketogenic diet!
Wild strawberries are native to the United States, with California producing 75-80% of the nation's yearly yield. The strawberry plant plays a vital role as a colonizer and soil stabilizer in newly developed areas, therefore special care must be taken during harvest to ensure longevity.
While the fruit is abundant in vitamins and flavor, it is the health benefits of the leaves that takes the focus today. By itself, the strawberry leaf has its own mild, fruity flavor and is harvested throughout the spring and summer, particularly during blooming for the most aromatic taste. Strawberry leaves are typically dried and combined with fragments of stem and flower particles.
Despite a lower popularity compared to its fruit body counterpart, the strawberry leaf is packed with nutrients and constituents that make its consumption as a tea extremely beneficial to the body. Here are some you can use this fantastic fruit leaf to promote a happy, healthy bod.
IMPROVES THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
Strawberry leaf tea is often consumed to relieve an upset stomach from diarrhea, reduce bloating, and soothe feelings of nausea. Most commonly, it is taken to soothe the digestive system from any other form of gastrointestinal distress.
Strawberry leaf contains condensed tannins, which are biomolecules that bind to proteins, alkaloids, and amino acids, among other compounds, with a low pH that causes digestive distress and disruption. Tannins are polyphenolic compounds that once bound to a protein, renders it resistant to enzymes.
ALLEVIATE ARTHRITIC SYMPTOMS AND CONDITIONS
Strawberry leaves are high in caffeic acid - a compound proven to exhibit antioxidative, anti-tumor, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory properties - all of which alleviate the symptoms of various arthritic conditions.
Arthritis is the general term used to define joint pain or disease and is a typical indicator of osteoarthritis, which is the degeneration of joints through daily wear-and tear. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune condition that occurs when the bodies immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. For both conditions, the soft tissue surrounding the joints retain excess fluid and invariably cause inflammation.
In addition to containing caffeic acid (which reduces inflammation in the joints), strawberry leaf is one of the highest sources of vitamin C (which further helps reduce inflammation).
PROTECTS AGAINST MACULAR DEGENERATION
Most people think of carrots when they think of beneficial foods for eye health, but in a study published in Archives of Ophthalmology, fruit was the leading prevention of age related macular degeneration (ARMD). Those who ate only 1.5 servings of fruit per day were 36% more likely to develop the condition than those who ate 3 servings per day.
PACKED WITH MICRONUTRIENTS
As previously mentioned, strawberry leaf is one of the highest sources of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) which supports many restorative functions. It is essential in the repair and regeneration of tissues, it protects against heart disease, aids in the absorption of iron, prevents scurvy, and decreases the total amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body.
Strawberry leaf is also high in iron and calcium. Iron aids in the eradication of stress and fatigue from various causes, while strengthening the immune system against different kinds of diseases, and calcium is vital for optimal bone growth.
HOW TO PREPARE
Strawberry leaf is usually consumed in the form of a tea, which can be made easily at home. Simply steep 1 TSP dried strawberry leaves in 8 oz boiling water for three to five minutes, let cool, then enjoy. Add honey or lemon to sweeten for taste.
(Click here to check out our strawberry leaf in the shop.)
Consumption in its raw form is harsh and generally advised against. Strawberries are a known allergy for some and its use should be heeded.