The health benefits of strawberries

It's difficult to resist a perfectly ripe strawberry, but did you know just how good they are for you? Nutritionist Jo Lewin shares the nutrition benefits of the bright red berry.

Strawberries in a colander

An introduction to strawberries

The strawberry, Fragaria, is one of the most popular berry fruits in the world. There are more than 10 species of Fragaria that differ in flavour, size and texture yet they all have the same characteristic heart-shaped, red flesh and seeded coat together with small, regal, leafy green caps and stems that adorn their crowns.

Did you know...
...strawberries are not actually fruits as their seeds are on the outside. Strawberry plants are runners, and are not produced by seeds. They have an average of 200 seeds per fruit and are actually a member of the rose (rosaceae) family.


Big up the strawberry

Tomato and strawberry salad
Strawberries have a long history and have been enjoyed since the Roman times. Native to many parts of the world, hundreds of varieties of strawberries exist due to crossbreeding techniques. In 1714, a French engineer commissioned to Chile and Peru, observed that the strawberry native to those regions was much larger than those found in Europe. He decided to bring back a sample of this strawberry to cultivate in France. The end result was a large, juicy, sweet hybrid (the modern garden strawberry) that became extremely popular in Europe.

Fit for a king

Like many other fruits, strawberries make their claim in history as a luxury item enjoyed only by royalty. It has been alleged that newly weds were entitled to strawberries with soured cream as a wedding breakfast, believing them to be an aphrodisiac.


Nutritional highlights

Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamins C and K as well as providing a good dose of fibre, folic acid, manganese and potassium. They also contain significant amounts of phytonutrients and flavanoids which makes strawberries bright red. They have been used throughout history in a medicinal context to help with digestive ailments, teeth whitening and skin irritations. Their fibre and fructose content may help regulate blood sugar levels by slowing digestion and the fibre is thought to have a satiating effect. Leaves can be eaten raw, cooked or used to make tea.

Fruit and vegetables make a valuable contribution to a healthy balanced diet, and berries such as strawberries are especially useful. This is because they are rich in colourful pigments which have a protective effect – these anthocyanidins are thought to have a number of potential health benefits, including prevention of inflammatory conditions and heart disease.


A 100g serving of strawberries contains:
30 calories   0.5g fat       6.1g carbohydrate3.8g fibre      

How to select and store

Choose berries that are firm, plump, unblemished and free of mould. Look for those that have a shiny, deep red colour and bright green caps attached. Once picked, strawberries do not ripen further so avoid those that are dull, or have green or yellow patches. Wash and handle them with care. Bring to room temperature before serving.


Best of British...

Strawberry cheesecake with slice cut
The strawberry season in the UK is short and runs from the end of May through July. To achieve maximum yields during this short season, farmers need to protect emerging berries from the muddy soil. Traditionally, this was done by spreading a layer of straw around each new plant - hence the name strawberry.

Try to choose locally grown strawberries during the harvesting season as they will have the best flavour, though imported berries are available all year round. The scent of strawberries can be an indicator of quality. They are highly perishable and so are best eaten within a couple of days.



It may come as a surprise to learn that strawberries are a common allergen. If you have allergies to birch pollen, you are more likely to develop a secondary food allergy to strawberries. Most common symptoms are experienced in the mouth and throat - tingling, itching, watery eyes and runny nose. Although the white strawberry variety is known to contain less of the allergen, they are best avoided if you experience a strawberry allergy. If you are concerned about food allergies or anaphylaxis consult your GP


Recipes suggestions

Strawberry cupcakes on cooling rack
Strawberries are a popular addition to dairy products such as ice cream and smoothies:
Easy strawberry ice cream
Strawberry mess
Breakfast smoothie

Feeling indulgent? Strawberries love chocolate:
White chocolate berry cheesecake
Basil & white chocolate creams with sticky balsamic strawberries

And not forgetting classic strawberry jam:
Really fruity strawberry jam
No-cook strawberry jam

Sweeten salads with strawberries:
Salmon, strawberry & fennel salad

More of our favourite strawberry recipes

This article was updated on 4th July 2018 by registered nutritionist Kerry Torrens.

A registered nutritionist, Kerry Torrens is a contributing author to a number of nutritional and cookery publications including BBC Good Food magazine. Kerry is a member of the The Royal Society of Medicine, Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT).

Jo Lewin is a registered nutritionist (RNutr) with the Association for Nutrition with a specialism in public health. Follow her on Twitter @nutri_jo.

All health content on is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact  your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

Comments, questions and tips

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David Young's picture
David Young
27th Jan, 2020
I just love strawberries. If you haven't looked into then you should. I am always impressed with what I learn. Strawberries are a major super fruit!
tinafaosimera's picture
28th Jun, 2019
I'm in love with strawberries since i was a little girl!
9th Apr, 2016
And I have a few plants of strawberry "Chelsea Pensioner". I hope I will have much more the next season.
9th Apr, 2016
I simply love to eat strawberries. Strawberries taste great, especially home grown one's.
Maria Rivera
25th Feb, 2016
Dear Jo Lewin, Thanks for your valuable post here. After reading this post I just realized that strawberries are the prettiest gifts of the earth. Really “The Queen of Fruits“- is another name of strawberry. I think, the most touchy part of this article is Nutritional Highlights. I highly appreciate your writing. You may read :)
7th Jul, 2015
Eat Red Fruit for Your Health Some quality foods are cure for our body. For example, red fruits. Blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry and raspberry are very beneficial to your health. Because contains beneficial antioxidants. Strawberry Fruit Juice Supports Brain Consuming 2 servings of strawberries or 1 servings of blueberries per week supports the brain. Anthocyanins in them strengthens memory and learning. Antioxidant-Rich If you can not find fresh you can choose frozen ones. Red fruit is sweet, but the content of fiber helps to control blood sugar. Fruit is always better than fruit juice. Fruit juices does not contain fiber but does contain high quantities of sugar and calories. Prevents Parkinson's disease According to a study published in the Journal of Neurology, consuming red fruit protects against Parkinson's disease. Consuming at least two servings of red fruit a week reduces the rate of getting the disease by 25 percent. Also consuming red fruit containing flavonoids reduces the rate of getting the disease. Supports Heart Health Red fruits are important because they contains quercetin. Quercetin is anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogenic. Also, quercetin protects against cardiovascular diseases. If you have risk of heart disease you should consume fruits (especially red berries) and vegetables. Want A Lean Flat Stomach? Helps to Control Weight Red fruits contains fiber and water. Also gives the sense of saturation when consumed. Feeling of saturation is very important to be successful while on diet. You can use the red berries in different recipes like salads, desserts, sauces and beverages. Fights Against The Cancer Cells Anti-oxidants items in red fruits is highly effective on cancer. Content of ellagic acid and polyphenols slows the growth of tumor cells. Some polyphenols completely destroys cancer cells. Therefore various nutritional is very important. Protects Against Alzheimer According to researches, polyphenols in red fruits does refresh the damaged cells. So it shows a protective effect against the alzheimer.
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Linda Nitzschke's picture
Linda Nitzschke
12th Mar, 2018
When I buy strawberries in the store, I pick up the package and smell it to see if the strawberries have that nice, strong strawberry fragrance. If they don't, they won't have much flavor, either.
10th Jun, 2014
Hi, I've been growing my own strawberries for a few years now. I find that they do ripen further once picked provided they are at least half ripened before you pick them, and you then put them on a sunny windowsill until they are deep red (usually within 24 hours). Once fully ripe, it's best to keep them in the fridge for no more than a day or two, and bring them up to room temperature before eating to appreciate the flavour. Or eat them straight away! The taste is still gorgeous, and harvesting them this way is the only way I get to eat most of them rather than the slugs!