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14 Jul 2010

Strawberries

Strawberries are not just a tasty and nutritious fruit, they are also excellent for the health and are especially good for our skin. The Romans and the herbalists of the Middle Ages also noted their health properties, as well as their culinary delights.

Nutrition wise strawberries contain excellent amounts of vitamin C and manganese. They contain very good amounts of dietary fibre and iodine and good amounts of potassium, folate, vitamins A, B2, B5, B6 and K,  omega_3 fatty acids, magnesium and copper.

Health wise strawberries are also a rich source of phenols with their potent antioxidant properties. Together with their high vitamin C they aid in the prevention of heart disease, high blood pressure and enhance memory function amongst many other qualities. Strawberries have anti-inflammatory properties and can be very beneficial for those with arthritis or other problems of the joints. The tea made from strawberry leaves and roots is wonderful for digestive upsets, and gout.

Beauty wise the salicylic acid, antioxidants and exfoliants contained in strawberries exfoliate the skin by removing dead skin cells and also tone the skin by tightening the pores. They also lighten and brighten the skin. Strawberries are excellent source of the antioxidant ellagic acid, that helps protect skin against sun damage. As they are around 50 calories per cup and high in fibre they are an excellent slimming fruit. The fresh fruit removes discolouration of the teeth if rubbed on them and the juice allowed to remain on for about five minutes. Then brush teeth to prevent the acidity damaging the teeth.

Warning: Strawberries are one of the fruits which can cause allergic reactions in some people. They contain measurable amounts of oxalates so should be eaten with care by those with kidney, gallbladder and thyroid problems.  They also can cause hives in some children and adults.

Strawberries are very perishable and once picked do not ripen further. Purchase ripe, firm berries and eat within a few days. It is also important to purchase the organic variety as normal strawberries contain pesticide residues even after washing. Store in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 days and only wash just before use. To freeze strawberries, wash and dry them, remove the stems, and arrange them in a single layer in container and freeze, once frozen they can be stacked in the container without worries of squashing them.

So pick up a tub today and enjoy.
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Strawberry Hand and Foot Exfoliant
From All Natural Beauty, created by SpaIndex     

8-10 Strawberries
2 tbsps apricot oil or olive oil
1 tsp of coarse salt, such as Kosher Salt, or Sea Salt

Mix together all ingredients, massage into hands and feet, rinse, and pat dry. 


Easy Strawberry Mask for Oily Skin
1/2 cup strawberries, very ripe
1/4 cup cornstarch or fine oatmeal

Mix strawberries and cornstarch/oatmeal together to make a paste, apply it to your face avoiding the eye area. Leave it on for 30 minutes, rinse with cool water.


Strawberry Sunburn Mash

For mild sunburn, mash a few strawberries and apply to the affected area. Leave on for +/- half an hour, then rinse off with warm water.


Strawberry Belly and Breast Scrub

This soft-skin body scrubs smells as delicious as it feels. Fresh, ripe strawberries make an excellent cleanser and moisturizer. Rich in healthy skin nutrients they possess a harmonious pH balance, like skin itself.

12 ripe strawberries
2 tbsps cold-pressed avocado oil
4 tbsps pureed cucumber (with skin and seeds)
3 tbsps distilled witch hazel solution
3 tbsps rice flour
1 tsp aloe gel

Trim the strawberry stems, cut away any white parts, then mash with a fork. Pour the avocado oil into another bowl, add the pureed cucumber, and stir well. Add the mashed strawberries and witch hazel. Sprinkle the rice flour over the wet mixture and fold in. Last, add the aloe and stir to form a smooth paste. Mist your breast and upper chest with a body mist. Leave for 5 minutes, then apply the scrub with your hands or a sea sponge. Relax for 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Dry and moisturize.


Glossy, Silky Hair Recipe
Submitted by Irene. From Tip King.  

8 ripe strawberries
1 tbsp mayonnaise

Mash strawberrys and mayonnaise. Massage into washed, damped hair. Cover with a shower cap, then a warm towel, wash out with a shampoo/conditioner combination. This lucious mix of rich acidic berries will leave your hair smooth, soft, thick and rich with silk and gloss!


Sinfully Delicious Strawberry Lemonade
From Alexandra Jamieson, author of The Great American Detox Diet 
Great vitamin C, natural fruit acids, and lots of enzymes give this virgin-cocktail skin-replenishing plant power ~ Alexandra

1 pint strawberries, stems removed
1/2 cup raw agave nectar
3 cups water
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
ice

Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pass the pureed strawberries through a fine meshed strainer or sieve to remove the seeds and set aside. Combine the agave and water in a pitcher, and stir well. Add the lemon juice and strawberry puree to the mixture and stir well to combine. Chill. Serve in ice-filled glasses.


2 comments:

Marion said...

I planted a strawberry bed this year. Since I took the first blooms off, in order to allow the plants to grow larger, they are just now coming into bloom and I can't wait for the berries to ripen. If, that is, the birds don't discover them first!

Elle said...

I love strawberries! You have some great recipes on your blog. I'm always looking for more natural hair and beauty tips.

I put frozen strawberries in my Vitamix with some soy milk and a little honey for yummy frozen "ice cream."