Spring Collagen-Booster: Strawberries



You've been eating loads of spring greens lately, right? Good for you—and your skin! But sometimes even greens need to be set aside for sweeter bites, and strawberry season is our moment. This week I'm cooking with a juicy spring fruit that’s packed with benefits for your skin, eyes, teeth and body: the strawberry.

Although you can find strawberries year-round, they’ll be a ready for local harvest in much of the country in a few short weeks. This is the moment when they’ll taste best and will be packed with the most beauty nutrition. Whether you pick your own or buy strawberries in the grocery store, choose organic only, since conventional strawberries are on the Dirty Dozen list of the most pesticide-laden foods. Pesticides add toxins back into your body after you’ve been working so hard to usher them out!

Strawberries are powerful boosters for your skin, eyes and immunity, thanks to their high levels of collagen-building, anti-inflammatory vitamin C. One cup of strawberry halves has one and a half times your vitamin C needs for the day, even more than you’ll get in a whole orange. In one study of foods eaten in the U.S., strawberries were ranked as the 4th best fruit source of antioxidants, behind blackberries, cranberries and raspberries. Strawberries are also loaded with manganese, a mineral that defends against aging by helping protect your mitochondria. Strawberries contain a powerful plant compound called ellagic acid that helps steady your blood sugar—a must for preventing wrinkles and blemishes—and has anti-cancer properties. You may have also heard that strawberries are also uniquely beneficial to your teeth, thanks to their natural whitening and plaque-clearing abilities.

Have a few pints of strawberries that you're ready to turn into dessert? Check out my recipe for Stewed Strawberry Pudding with Strawberry-Maca Sauce—a sweet and beautifying take on rice pudding!

Strawberry image by mwri