Beauty benefit: Keep teeth healthy
Strawberries are the third-best food source of polyphenols (behind only coffee and olives), according to a 2009 Journal of Dentistry review. That’s good news, since researchers believe these compounds inhibit the breakdown of starches in the mouth (thus limiting the resulting sticky sugars that adhere to teeth as plaque) and also fight the bacteria that contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Scrubbing your teeth with strawberries will whiten them, but because the berries are so acidic, dentists warn that using this home remedy frequently could damage the enamel.
Health benefit: Protect your heart
A Harvard study published in January links eating berries to a lower risk of heart attacks among younger women. The study followed women 25 to 42 who ate more than 3 (1/2-cup) servings of strawberries and/or blueberries each week over an 18-year span. The findings? These women had a 34 percent reduced risk of heart attack compared to those who ate less than one serving per week. Researchers point to the berries’ anthocyanin content as the protective factor. Tip for picking: The reddest berries have the most anthocyanins. (Find more surprising health benefits of strawberries here.)