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August 04, 2021

Strawberry as a Functional Food

The demand for foods with a positive impact on human health and wellness has exploded globally over the past two decades. The market for healthier foods is enhanced by advancements in our understanding of dietary bioactive ingredients and their effects on various aspects of human health at a systems and molecular level. (1)

Functional foods are foods that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition. Proponents of functional foods say they promote optimal health and help reduce the risk of disease. (2)


Strawberry fruit is now considered a functional food offering multiple health benefits beyond basic nutrition as substantiated by the accumulating evidence on its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antihyperlipidemic, antihypertensive, or anti-proliferative effects. Antioxidant properties of strawberries have been mostly attributed to their polyphenol and vitamin content. Approximately 40 phenolic compounds have been identified in strawberries, such as, glycosides of quercetin, kaempferol, cyanidin, pelargonidin, ellagic acid, as well as ellagitannins. Ascorbic acid, ellagitannins, and anthocyanins were shown to be the most significant contributors to the antioxidant capacity of strawberries. Strawberries are a significant source of B-vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, folic acid, carotenoids, and specific flavonoids, such as, pelargonidin, quercetin, and catechin. Strawberries also contain significant amounts of Ellagic acid, tannins, and phytosterols. Strawberries were recently included among the 100 richest sources of dietary polyphenols.  

In studies, strawberry or mixed berry (including strawberry) was shown to increase postprandial plasma antioxidant capacity, produce a lower postprandial glucose response versus control meal, or reduce postprandial hyperlipidemia or plasma lipid oxidation following a high-fat meal challenge versus placebo, in healthy volunteers or in patients with hyperlipidemia. These favorable postprandial effects of strawberries or mixed berries on glucose and lipid profiles provide evidence for their potential role in the dietary management of CVD. Strawberries have a significant impact on health and disease as a popular nutrient dense low-calorie fruit. Thus, strawberries can be termed as a “functional food,” providing health benefits beyond basic nutrition. (3)





- A. Vattem, D., & Maitin, V. (2016). Functional Foods, Nutraceuticals and Natural Products. Pennsylvania, U.S.A.: DEStech publications, Inc. Retrieved from

- Zeratsky, K. Healthy Lifestyle/ Nutrition and healthy eating. MAYO CLINIC. Retrieved from


- Basu, A., Nguyen, A., Betts, N.M., & Lyons, T.J. (2014). Strawberry as a Functional Food: An Evidence-Based Review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 54(6), 790-806. Retrieved from


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