Strawberries provide a multitude of benefits for your gut.

The surprising gut health benefits of strawberries

It wouldn’t be summer without strawberries and it turns out the fruit packs a berry good punch for your digestive system — here’s how

Strawberries provide a multitude of benefits for your gut.
Strawberries have been used throughout history to alleviate digestive ailments. (Image credit: AllNikArt, Pixabay).

It’s the succulent, heart-shaped fruit that us Brits associate most with summer time, it’s the tasty addition to a glass of Pimms and it’s the bright red berry many of us enjoy devouring with a glass of champers while we watch the tennis – I am, of course, talking about the humble strawberry. But just because there’s no Wimbledon this year, it doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the strawberry season (which typically runs from the end of May throughout July). And with strawberries tasting sweeter than ever this year due to more spring sunshine than usual, there’s no better time to enjoy them.

According to reports, Brits are eating more than twice as many strawberries as they did 20 years ago. Meanwhile, Wimbledon alone accounted for 33 tonnes of strawberries that were consumed last year. And it’s no wonder! Not only does the fruit’s fibre content potentially help to regulate blood sugar levels, but the berry provides a multitude of benefits for your gut.

They have been used throughout history for medicinal purposes to alleviate digestive ailments and now strawberries are even thought to help reduce gut inflammation. Here are just a few ways strawberries offer a burst of goodness for your gut…

Brits eat twice as many strawberries as they did 20 years ago.
33 tonnes of strawberries were consumed at Wimbledon last year.
Fibre fix

Believe it or not, strawberries are actually a great source of fibre. Just one cup contains 3 grams. It may not sound like a lot, but if you compare this to white grapes, there’s just 0.8g in a cup. But why is this good for the gut? Well, fibre promotes healthy digestion; it helps to keep the digestive tract flowing by keeping your bowel movements soft and regular. Your colon cells also use fibre as a source of fuel to keep them healthy. However, this doesn’t mean you should run to the supermarket and gorge on a whole punnet of strawberries. It is possible to overload on fibre which may result in unpleasant symptoms such as bloating or more bowel movements than usual.

The fibre in strawberries promotes healthy digestion.
Just one cup of strawberries contains 3g of fibre. (Image credit: Merve Aydin, Unsplash).
Just a cup full of strawberries…

You probably know that strawberries are bursting with vitamin C, but did you know a cup of strawberries provides more vitamin C than a single orange?! If that wasn’t impressive enough, this essential vitamin also aids digestion by supporting healthy teeth and gums and improving the body’s absorption of iron from the diet. Vitamin C assists in converting iron that is poorly absorbed, from plant-based sources of iron for instance, into a form that is easier to absorb. Further, vitamin C helps to produce collagen which is a vital component in fibrous tissues such as the gut. I guess this makes strawberries an essential for the shopping list!

Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C which aids digestion.
A cup of strawberries provides more vitamin C than a single orange. (Image credit: NickyPe, Pixabay).
Unblock your bowels

Vitamin C isn’t the only vitamin that strawberries can boast about; the fruit also contains a decent amount of folate (vitamin B9). This can help to ease constipation through stimulating the formation of digestive acids. By increasing your digestive acid levels, this may help speed up your digestion and move stool through your colon. Top porridge with strawberries and you’ve not only got a tasty breakfast, but double the power for tackling constipation due to the fibre in oats.

Strawberries contain folate which can help ease constipation.
Topping your porridge oats with strawberries is an effective way to tackle constipation. (Image credit: Free-Photos, Pixabay).
A helping hand

Strawberries provide a good dose of manganese — a trace mineral which your body needs in small quantities to help keep your brain, nervous system and many of your body’s enzyme systems working optimally. It plays a role in a variety of chemical processes in your body including helping with the digestion and utilisation of protein and amino acids as well as the metabolism of cholesterol and carbohydrates. It also helps your body to effectively use many vitamins such as choline, thiamine and vitamins C and E. So, not only are strawberries an excellent source of vitamin C themselves, but they give your digestive system a helping hand to absorb it. Thanks strawberries!

Strawberries help the body to digest a variety of vitamins.
The manganese in strawberries help your digestive system to absorb vitamin C. (Image credit: Louis Hansel, Unsplash).
Eat up O-K?

Strawberries are also an excellent source of vitamin K – otherwise known as the blood-clotting vitamin. Without vitamin K your body cannot produce prothrombin, a clotting factor that is required for blood clotting and bone metabolism. Why am I talking about blood clotting you ask? Well, while there’s not much evidence that vitamin K provides significant benefits for the gut, evidence shows those with digestive issues such as short-bowel syndrome, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease and ulcerative colitis are more likely to be vitamin K deficient. Consequently, they’re more likely to be at risk of bleeding disorders such as haemophilia. So, make sure to eat your strawberries to replenish your vitamin K levels.

Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin K.
Strawberries contain high levels of vitamin K which is especially important for people with digestive issues. (Image credit: Nathan Cowley, Pexels).
Wave goodbye to IBD

Perhaps the most surprising benefit of them all, a recent study showed strawberries have anti-inflammatory potential and just eating less than a cup of strawberries per day could improve the symptoms of IBD (inflammatory bowel disease). The research also proved that strawberries may be able to reduce levels of harmful gut bacteria while increasing levels of healthy gut flora. Wow, that’s one powerful berry!

Strawberries have anti-inflammatory potential.
Strawberries could help to alleviate symptoms of IBD. (Image credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay).
Communication is key

Haven’t managed to identify the cause of your bloated belly? While many things can cause digestive problems, it turns out potassium deficiency could be one of them. The reason — potassium helps the brain to communicate with muscles located in the digestive system. This then stimulates contractions that help the digestive system to digest food. When blood potassium levels are low, the brain cannot communicate as efficiently; therefore, contractions in the digestive system may become weaker and slow the movement of food which can result in bloating and constipation. Luckily for you, strawberries provide a decent amount of potassium. Just another good reason to enjoy a bowl full.

Strawberries help your brain to communicate with your digestive system.
The potassium content in strawberries can aid digestion. (Image credit: suju, Pixabay).

Surprising strawberry facts 

  • Strawberries — Fragaria — are not actually fruits as their seeds are on the outside. Each berry has an average of 200 seeds and they are actually a member of the rose (Rosaceae) family.
  • The significant amounts of phytonutrients and flavonoids found in strawberries are what give them their bright red colour.
  • There are more than 10 species of Fragaria that differ in flavour, size and texture, yet they all possess the same characteristics — a heart-shape, red flesh and a seeded coat topped with green leaves.
  • The leaves can be used to make a fruity tea.
  • Strawberries have been popular since the Roman times whereby they were used to treat skin irritations.
Strawberries contain flavonoids which is what gives them their bright red colour.
Strawberries are not actually classified as fruits.

Scrumptious strawberry recipes

The food creations you can make with strawberries are limitless. Here are just three of my gut-friendly picks.

Strawberry smoothie bowl
This sweet dairy-free breakfast takes less than 10 minutes to make.
  • Prep time: Less than 10 minutes
  • Level: Easy
  • Dietary attributes: Gluten-free, dairy-free
  • Best feature: It has a thick and creamy consistency, yet it’s completely dairy-free which is great news for anyone who is sensitive to lactose or trying to move away from dairy.

Get the recipe.

Dairy-free strawberry cheesecake
A strawberry cheesecake is a definite crowd-pleaser!
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes
  • Level: Easy
  • Dietary attributes: Gluten-free, dairy-free
  • Best feature: You can make the majority of this recipe using just one appliance — a food processor.

Get the recipe.

Strawberry chia seed jam
Combining strawberries with chia seeds is a great way to make gut-friendly jam.
Image credit: Monika Grabkowska, Unsplash.
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes
  • Level: Easy
  • Dietary attributes: Gluten-free, dairy-free
  • Best feature: This can be refrigerated for up to two weeks or frozen for up to three months!

Get the recipe.

Love strawberries? Have they improved your gut health? Get in touch.

4 thoughts on “The surprising gut health benefits of strawberries

  1. Invisibly Me says:

    Mmm I love strawberries! Haven’t had them in a while though. I’m getting hyperaware of the need to anti-bac/wash everything so I’ve been washing fruit like apples with soap & water before storing, not sure I’d want to do the same with strawberries. Will have to bite the bullet soon and get some though, I miss them! It’ll be a shame to see Wimbledon out the window this year, along with almost everything else. It’s amazing to think how many strawberries get eaten during that event alone. 33 tones, wow!

    These are fantastic benefits to raise awareness of. I don’t think Vitamin K gets anywhere near enough attention as it should, or manganese (which admittedly I hadn’t associated with strawberries before).

    Fantastic post! Just started following you too lovely, you have some great content 😊

    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gemma says:

      It is a bit of a tricky time for food at the moment, but I hope you feel comfortable enough to enjoy some strawberries soon and reap these amazing benefits. It is so surprising how many strawberries get eaten at Wimbledon and it is a shame it won’t be going ahead this year, but perhaps that’s an excuse to eat more strawberries. Haha!
      Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts Caz. And for the follow! I’ve also been enjoying your blog content and I’m following you too! 🙂 Gemma xx

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s