Summer is a time of seasonal berries that delight us with their flavor, aroma, and color. Strawberries and cherries are among the first berries to appear on the shelves and in the gardens. Not only do they taste delicious, but they are also healthy because they contain many vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and dietary fiber. However, nutritionist Manowska Jelena notes that recent studies show that some people should avoid eating these fruits because of their potential negative health effects.
Benefits of strawberries and cherries
Strawberries are not only berries, but also a medicinal plant used in folk medicine to treat various diseases.
They contain vitamins B, C, E, K, folic acid, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and other trace elements. Strawberries help strengthen the immune system, lower blood cholesterol, detoxify the body, improve digestion and metabolism. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-allergic effects.
Cherry is also a valuable source of vitamins A, C, P, B group, folic acid, iron, potassium, magnesium and other useful substances. It helps strengthen the heart and blood vessels, normalize blood pressure and blood sugar, prevent anemia and thrombosis. The berry helps to eliminate excess fluid from the body, reduces swelling and inflammation. Cherries also have an antioxidant effect, protecting cells from free radicals.
The harm of strawberries and cherries
Despite all the positive properties of strawberries and cherries, these berries are not suitable for all people. There are a number of contraindications, in which the use of these berries can bring more harm than good.
Strawberries are one of the most allergic berries. They can cause skin rash, itching, swelling of the face and throat, runny nose, lacrimation, and even anaphylactic shock in people with hypersensitivity. Therefore, people who are allergic to strawberries or other berries are better off avoiding them or eating them in very small quantities.
"There is a common belief that strawberries can destroy tooth enamel because of the acid they contain. However, recent studies show that this is not entirely accurate. Although these berries contain acid, they also contain a lot of water, which helps dilute the acid and protect the teeth. Nevertheless, people who are concerned about the impact of these fruits on dental health should eat them in moderation and rinse their mouths with water after meals," notes Jelena Manowska, a general practitioner, nutritionist and Coral Club expert.
Cherries are rich in carbohydrates, glucose and fructose. This can lead to high blood sugar in people with diabetes or prediabetes. Therefore, they need to control the amount of cherries they eat and watch their glycemic index. Cherries can also cause stomach upset in people with gastritis or peptic ulcers because of their acidity.
In addition, nutritionist, member of the National Society of Dietitians and Nutritionists and the European Association for the Study of Obesity Olga Dekker notes that people who have problems with some diseases and take certain medications should also be careful with these berries:
"Some people should limit their consumption of strawberries and cherries, or consult a doctor if: they are allergic to these berries or other fruits; they have kidney or bladder problems with stone formation or gout; or they are taking certain medications that can interact with strawberries or cherries. If this is the case, you should consult your physician."
Recommendations from physicians
To maximize benefits and avoid possible side effects, the following recommendations should be followed:
1) Consume berries in the morning or afternoon before 4 p.m. as a dessert after your main meal or as a snack with added protein products such as yogurt, cottage cheese or cheese. This will help avoid a spike in blood glucose levels and unnecessary weight gain.
2) Observe the optimal dosage per day - do not exceed 18-20 pieces of cherries or 5-6 large berries of strawberries. Avoid overconsumption, as it may contradict the principles of good nutrition.
3) Buy fresh and ripe berries without damage or blemishes. It is preferable to buy berries in reliable stores or at markets, respecting the rules of storage. They should be thoroughly washed under running water before consumption.
4) Avoid combining berries with other foods, especially dairy, as this can cause enzymatic fermentation in the stomach and disrupt digestion. Taking berries separately or adding them to salads or desserts is recommended to avoid possible adverse effects.
"The recommended daily dose of strawberries varies according to age, gender and overall health. According to the American Heart Association, adults should aim to eat at least four servings of fruit a day, including strawberries. Children ages 2 to 6 should consume one cup of fruit per day, and children ages 7 to 18 should consume 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit per day. It is important to note that eating too many strawberries can lead to excessive consumption of sugar, which can lead to weight gain and other health problems", - says Elena Manovska, a therapist, nutritionist and Coral Club expert.
Strawberries and cherries are healthy berries for human health. They contain many vitamins and minerals that strengthen the immune system, heart and blood vessels, cleanse the body of toxins and protect against free radicals. But these berries also have their own contraindications for people with allergies, diabetes or stomach diseases.