Strawberries are great for your skin because they are a natural source of AHA’s – Alpha Hydroxy Acids. AHA’s exfoliate your skin, dissolving the dead skin cells and leaving your skin fresh and renewed.

Strawberries also have a high antioxidant level. Antioxidants help fight against free radicals, which are responsible for causing early aging signs.

Could strawberries protect your skin from harmful UV rays?

Strawberry extracts could protect the skin against harmful ultraviolet (UV) damage, a recent study has suggested.

StrawberriesItalian researchers from the Universita Politecnica delle Marche added strawberry extracts to human skill cells and exposed them to UV light (the equivalent to 90 minutes of midday summer sun in the French Riviera).

UV and UVB are two types of ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun that cause DNA damage to skin cells, causing premature ageing, sunburn and in more serious cases, skin cancer.

Researchers found that the strawberry extract, especially at a concentration of 0.5mg/ml, displayed photoprotective properties in skin cells exposed to UV radiation, according to a statement. Strawberry extracts also increased cell survival and viability, by decreasing the DNA damage to skin cells when compared with control cells.

“These aspects are of great importance as they provide protection for cell lines subject to conditions that can provoke cancer and other skin-related inflammatory and degenerative illnesses,” researcher Maurizio Battino said in a statement.

Researchers also claim their findings could be a first step in determining the beneficial effects of strawberries across the board, including in our diets and cosmetics.

But what molecules give strawberries their photoprotective properties? Scientists suspect that it could be the anthocyanins, which are pigments that give leaves, flowers and fruits their red colour.

Strawberry & Coconut Smoothie

strawberry_coconut_smoothieThis velvety strawberry and coconut smoothie is dairy-free and full of natural sweetness and flavour.

Coconut or almond milk can be used instead of cow’s milk but a tip is to use frozen berries instead of ice which otherwise dilutes the flavour. This recipe calls for 8-10 small frozen stawberries and about 3 medium fresh strawberries, which will provide about 6-7 grams of sugar, 4 grams of fibre (you need 25-35gm per day), vitamin C and disease-fighting antioxidants ellagic acid, anthocyanins and quercetin.

Coconut milk and almond butter pack this drink with lots of yummy healthy fats and very little sugar. A small teaspoon of honey can be used but it’s optional.

Ingredients

  • 8-10 small frozen strawberries
  • 3 fresh strawberries
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 1 tsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp honey

Method

Place all ingredients in a blender until and blend until smooth. Garnish with coconut shavings and fresh strawberries.