The strawberry has been venerated for centuries for its healing properties. In fact, the ancient Greeks used the juice of the berry to heal snakebite and scorpion stings. Hippocrates himself prescribed it to treat stomach troubles and bladder stones. In India, it was used to help with respiratory disorders, cholesterol levels, ringworm, diabetes and other conditions. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, European physicians used sliced strawberries as compresses for inflammation and sores.
Strawberries and weight
Strawberries are very nutritious and contain a high amount of water, about 91% water by weight, contributing to their low calorie content
A 1-cup (150-gram) serving of raw strawberries contains fewer than 50 calories and a whopping 3 grams of dietary fiber
Strawberries are particularly high in soluble fiber, a fiber that absorbs water and forms a gel-like consistency in your digestive system
Studies show that soluble fiber can slow your stomach’s emptying rate and increase fullness feelings to help regulate your appetite
Additionally, research suggests that consuming a higher amount of fruit could be associated with a lower risk of weight gain over time
Although strawberries contain natural sugar, it’s digested and absorbed into the bloodstream more slowly due to strawberries’ fiber content
Therefore, the natural sugars found in strawberries are unlikely to have the same blood-sugar effects as added sugars found in foods like soda, candy, and sweets.
Strawberries are rich in fiber and water and contain fewer than 50 calories per 1-cup (150-gram) serving, which may aid weight loss.
How to add them to your diet
There are plenty of easy and delicious ways to incorporate strawberries into your daily diet.
They make a great snack and can easily satisfy your sweet tooth to help support weight loss.
Try swapping strawberries in for more calorie-dense foods in your diet, including candies, desserts, and baked goods.
You can also sprinkle strawberries over salad, cereal, or yogurt to add a hint of sweetness.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming about four servings of fruit per day, including strawberries and other fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas
For most healthy adults, eating several servings of strawberries per day is unlikely to be harmful.
However, people with diabetes may need to monitor their blood sugar levels and adjust their intake of strawberries and other fruits accordingly.
Those following a low carb or ketogenic diet may also need to limit their intake to stick within their daily carb allotment.
Strawberries can be enjoyed as a snack or sprinkled over salad, cereal, or yogurt. That said, people with diabetes may need to monitor their blood sugar levels and adjust their intake accordingly.
Types to avoid
Although fresh strawberries can be an excellent addition to a well-rounded diet, it’s important to keep in mind that other strawberry preparations may not be as healthy.
For example, strawberry syrups, jams, jellies, and sauces often contain high amounts of added sugar.
Canned fruit salads or desserts made with strawberries, such as cakes and cobblers, also typically contain added sugar.
Added sugar can not only significantly increase the total number of calories you eat but also contribute to chronic health conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity
According to the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, added sugar intake should be limited to less than 10% of your total daily calories, or around 12 teaspoons (50 grams) on a 2,000-calorie diet
Canned fruit salads and strawberry desserts, syrups, jams, jellies, and sauces should be limited, as they typically contain a high amount of calories and added sugar.
Strawberry nutrition info
Here’s what’s in one cup of fresh strawberries:
|protein||1 grams (g)|
|total carbs||11.5 g|
|net carbs||8.5 g|
|potassium||230 milligrams (mg)|
|vitamin C||88.2 mg|
With just 48 calories for a whole cup, strawberries are low in calories. They’re also a great source of fiber, relatively low in carbs and sugar compared to other fruits, and loaded with nutrients like potassium and vitamin C.
Benefits of strawberries
There may not be any research directly linking strawberries to weight loss, but there are plenty of ways that they might help out.
Low in calories
To lose weight, you’ve gotta create that calorie deficit — which means either eating fewer calories (ugh), exercising more, or a combination of both.
And while eating fewer calories can be hard, it’s a little easier if you practice volume eating — that is, eating larger quantities of nutrient-rich, lower calorie foods to help keep you full. Examples include air-popped popcorn, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, most other nonstarchy veggies… oh, and strawberries.
At just 48 calories for a whole cup, they’re high in volume and low in calories, making them a perfect addition to your weight loss toolbox.
Lower in sugar than other fruits
Strawberries and other berries like blackberries and raspberries are lower in sugar and carbs than most other fruits, making them perfect for low carb diets, including keto. You just can’t go nuts with them, because they do still contain 8.5 grams of net carbs per cup.
Cutting back on added sugars and replacing them with less sugary sweets (like the always delicious strawberry) may help with weight loss by helping stabilize your blood sugar levels and your hunger hormones, reducing “hanger” episodes and food cravings.
While we wouldn’t go so far as to say that strawberries are loaded with fiber, they do contain 3 grams per cup — which is roughly 10 percent of your daily fiber needs.
Fiber is famous for helping folks poop easier, but research has also found that upping your fiber intake can help reduce body weight without any other changes in your diet.
Fiber also serves as a food source for all the healthy bacteria that reside in your gut. And when these little bugs eat good, they do good.
Having thriving colonies of healthy gut bacteria is linked to better blood sugar control — which can help regulate your appetite — and lead to a healthier metabolism.
Best ways to eat strawberries for weight loss
It’s important to know that strawberries aren’t magical fruits that will miraculously make you lose weight after adding them to your diet. In fact, there’s no food, drink, or supplement that will do that.
However, because of the reasons we listed above, strawberries are a perf addition to a balanced and healthy diet.
The best way to use strawberries as a tool for weight loss is replacing higher calorie foods (sweets, in particular) with strawberries. This is an easy shortcut to reducing your calorie and sugar intake while still satisfying that sweet tooth.
Here are a few tasty, weight loss-friendly ways to use up those strawberries for breakfast, dessert, or a snack:
- strawberry protein shake with vanilla protein powder and unsweetened almond milk
- fresh strawberries sprinkled with a little bit of stevia and topped with whipped cream
- strawberries in plain Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey
When to avoid strawberries
If you’re on a zero-carb diet like a carnivore, then strawberries aren’t gonna work with your goals — but remember, they are keto-friendly in small amounts.
Additionally, you should avoid various forms of strawberries that are laced with added sugar and calories if you’re trying to lose weight. Some examples…
- dried strawberries
- strawberry syrups, jams, jellies
- chocolate-dipped strawberries (although… yum)
- strawberry cake, toaster pastries, ice cream, etc.
- strawberry flavored candy or sugary drinks
- “strawberry wine, and seventeen…”
Strawberries for sale at a market.
Like other single-food weight loss fads such as the Egg diet or the Twinkie diet, the Strawberry diet doesn’t meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s criteria for a healthy, balanced eating plan. Although it exists in a number of forms, none encourage dieters to establish sustainable eating habits or to exercise regularly. Do not attempt any form of the Strawberry diet until you’ve spoken to your doctor about the possible drawbacks and dangers.
The most extreme version of the Strawberry diet originated in 2004 with former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham. While traveling with her husband in Europe, Beckham supposedly began a diet that consisted of nothing more than one meal of strawberries each day. Even if Beckham consumed 5 cups of sliced strawberries at this meal, it would only supply 266 calories and less than 6 grams of protein. For more protein, the “Mirror” reported that Beckham would occasionally supplement her strawberry-only diet with prawns.
In 2014, Kim Kardashian began a version of the diet that included strawberries for every meal several days a week with strawberry smoothies as snacks. Variations include three- and four-day plans that supply approximately 1,200 calories per day and incorporate strawberries in every meal and snack. A sample day’s menu could start with a fruit salad of apples, bananas and strawberries paired with yogurt for breakfast and a strawberry, asparagus and turkey breast salad for lunch. Dinner might be a baked potato served with a cottage cheese and strawberry salad. Strawberries and yogurt or a strawberry smoothie could be snacks during the day.
Following either the strawberry-only or strawberries-at-every-meal version of the Strawberry diet will result in weight loss since both are low in calories. Strawberries are low in fat, high in fiber and an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese. Berries like strawberries are also rich in cyanidin, a flavonoid compound that may help lower your risk of conditions like heart disease. Versions of the Strawberry diet that include foods other than the berries typically incorporate lean proteins and other fresh fruits and vegetables.
The most extreme version of the diet does not provide enough calories. A woman should consume no fewer than 1,200 calories each day to ensure that she’s getting enough vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. A man should have at least 1,800 calories daily. The Strawberry diet may also cause side effects like lack of energy and diarrhea and may weaken your immune system and organs such as your heart. Even moderate versions of the plan don’t include whole grains and could give dieters the belief that strawberries are a magical fat-burning food, which West Virginia University assures is not true. Any weight you lose on the diet may return when you resume your regular eating habits.
Reasons for including strawberries in your diet
Easy bowel movement: Strawberries contain enough fiber to boost your digestion and help in easy bowel movement. Consuming a bowlful of red fruit every day may prove beneficial in shedding belly fat. Fiber also makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time and prevent you from munching on unhealthy and fattening foods. You can put small chunks of raw strawberries on top of your oatmeal.
Promotes weight loss: Studies suggest that strawberries promote the production of two important hormones – adiponectin and leptin. Both of these hormones help to burn fat and enhance metabolism.
Low in calories and natural sweetener: 100 grams of strawberries contain only 33 calories, which make it one of the most favourite fruits among weight watchers.
Repair muscles: The anti-inflammatory properties of strawberries promote fast tissue recovery after an intense workout session.
Naturally sweet: Strawberries are naturally sweet and you can have it in place of dessert to curb your craving for sugary stuff.
The bottom line
Strawberries are a great addition to a weight loss diet.
They’re low in calories, highly nutritious, and a great source of important nutrients like fiber.
They’re also incredibly versatile and can be incorporated into many recipes.
For best results, be sure to choose fresh strawberries whenever possible and enjoy them alongside various other nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables.