In our Healthiest Way of Eating Plan, we encourage the consumption of 5-10 servings of fruits-plus-vegetables (combined) each day. We believe that the balance between fruits and vegetables can vary from day to day, depending upon personal health factors, personal taste preferences, and optimal combining of foods in recipes as well as meals. We recognize that our recommendation calls for a more generous amount of fruits and vegetables than the amount recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The CDC recommends between 1.5-2.5 cups of fruit and 2.5-4.0 cups of vegetables per day, as well as a target goal of at least 5 fruit-plus-vegetable servings (combined) per day.
With respect to berries, the CDC approach provides the example of strawberries and explains that 8 large strawberries count as 1 cup. If all fruit for the day were to be obtained from strawberries, the CDC recommendation would translate into 12-20 strawberries for the day as a way of meeting a requirement for 1.5-2.5 cups of fruit.
We recommend that you set your fruit goals higher than these CDC amounts. Based on the scientific research, we believe it’s going to take closer to 3 fruit servings per day to provide you with optimum health benefits. With respect to berries in particular, we recommend that you include berries at least 3-4 times per week within your fruit servings.
In several of our sample meal plans, we include berries on a daily basis! It would definitely not be a mistake for you to include a serving of berries in your daily meal plan! At the same time, we recognize that the fruit group contains many outstanding fruit options, and personal preferences (as well as local and seasonal availability) can vary greatly. Also, remember that large strawberries–at about 18 grams per berry and 8 berries per cup–stand at one end of the berry range in terms of size and recommended amount. Most berries are considerably smaller in size and weight, and a one-cup serving allows you to eat a lot more berries! With blueberries, for example, the average weight per berry is closer to 1-2 grams, and a cup’s worth of blueberries means about 100-150 berries. For cranberries and raspberries, the amount would be similar.
The fragrantly sweet juiciness and deep red color of strawberries can brighten up both the taste and aesthetics of any meal. Not only do they taste great they are among the fruits and vegetables ranked highest in health-promoting antioxidants. Antioxidants help combat the damaging effects of free radical activity to cellular structures and DNA. Like the other World’s Healthiest Fruits, we recommend enjoying strawberries raw (not in baked/cooked desserts) because they provide you with the best flavor and the greatest benefits from their vast array of nutrients and digestion-aiding enzymes. Peoples around the world have long been eating fruit for dessert, not only as a delicious ending to a meal but as a great digestive aid as well. For more on the Healthiest Way of Preparing Strawberries, see below.
1.00 cup (144.00 grams)
This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Strawberries provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Strawberries can be found in theFood Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Strawberries, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.
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