Can you eat strawberry leaves? Do they have health benefits? Are they superfoods? Yes, yes, and sort of! You can eat strawberry leaves, which could be good for you! Strawberry leaves are chockfull of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, adding a variety of minerals and vitamins. Although they are not technically a superfood, they are very close!
Doesn’t it seem a bit wasteful to discard the strawberry tops rather than use them, especially when there are so many uses for them? It doesn’t matter if you use your strawberry tops in a smoothie or make syrup from them; either one will be somewhat healthy!
Can You Eat the Leaves of a Strawberry?
Strawberry leaves, commonly thrown out, can be eaten and healthy as well! Though not quite a “superfood,” it is very close! Strawberries can be a great source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, antioxidants, iron, and the polyphenolic compound, Tannin. Strawberry leaves contain more Vitamin C per unit than an orange does!
You can consume strawberry leaves raw or cooked. However, the most common use for strawberry leaves would be to make leaf tea. In general, leaf tea and strawberry leaves can be used as a digestive ailment and reduce inflammation of the skin and joints!
Strawberry leaves, and strawberries have lots of healing properties and are chock full of healthy feel-good benefits.
What are the Benefits of Consuming Strawberry Leaves?
As mentioned above, strawberries and their leaves have many healing properties and benefits. Most nutritional benefits are just as potent in the strawberry leaves as in the strawberry’s flesh. You can expect lots of antioxidants, vitamins, and other benefits when you consume the leaves of a strawberry.
Proven to relieve joint pain, reduce inflammation and relieve gastrointestinal discomfort, strawberry leaves, will give you almost as many benefits as an everyday superfood. Strawberry leaves can benefit you in many ways, such as boosting your immune system, aiding skin health, or improving your heart’s health.
May Improve Heart Health
Long-term use of strawberry leaves can prevent heart disease in the long run. Due to your strawberry leaves potassium regulating the water and sodium levels in your body, this lowers your blood pressure. Reducing your blood pressure will ultimately improve heart health and prevent heart disease.
A healthy heart can extend your life for a long time and make you feel good in the process! Eating strawberry leaves daily could help you check your blood pressure and prevent heart disease. You should add strawberry leaves to your existing diet for a healthy kick for your heart.
Help Reduce Blood Sugar
Individuals with type 2 diabetes and those with a heightened hyperglycemia risk will enormously benefit from adding strawberry leaves to their daily diet. Not only can strawberry leaves help lower your blood pressure, but they can also reduce your blood sugar! Eating strawberry leaves every day will also help prevent diabetes in the long run.
Yet another reason to add strawberry leaves to your diet. Strawberry leaves can influence your body to digest carbohydrates better and absorb nutrients more efficiently. Ultimately, this process will help maintain your blood sugar levels under control.
Reduce Your Oxidative Stress Levels
Strawberries are highly rich in antioxidants. Up to 6 times more of those antioxidants are in the leaves of the strawberry. Not only do the leaves of a strawberry carry the most antioxidants in their leaves but so do a lot of other berry plants! Giving you an antioxidant boost can be very beneficial to your overall health.
Bioactive compounds in the strawberry leaves will help lower free radicals in your body. Free radicals can cause oxidative stress or chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis. Regardless, you should know that most antioxidant and bioactive compounds will deteriorate with age. Eating young leaves rather than old ones would be in your best interest.
Boost Your Immune System
One of the main vitamins in strawberries and their leaves is Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for a healthy immune system. With the combination of Vitamin C and polyphenols, the strawberry leaves help your body keep its defensive tactics against illness and disease. Strawberries and their leaves also hold the immune-boosting antioxidant, Ellagic acid.
Eating strawberries with their leaves regularly will increase the health benefits you receive. Strawberry leaves are high in Vitamin C. Along with the antioxidants that strawberry leaves hold, adding strawberry leaves to your diet will benefit in keeping down your sick days.
They truthfully contain more Vitamin C than an orange per unit of mass. It varies on the plant, but an average of 100 grams of strawberry leaves can have around 138 milligrams of Vitamin C. In contrast, the flesh of the strawberry contains 225 milligrams of Vitamin C. To put it all in perspective, a typical 100-gram orange contains roughly 53.2 milligrams of Vitamin C.
Helps Relieve Constipation and Regulates Digestion
Another great benefit of strawberry leaves is their aiding in constipation and regulating digestion. With strawberries and their leaves high in fiber, you can ensure regular bowel movements and a superb digestive system. Strawberry leaves can clear out destructive toxins from your intestine.
In addition to helping with digestion and constipation, strawberry leaves can give you a feeling of fullness. Fullness from the strawberry and their leaves makes strawberries and their leaves grand if you’re on a diet and trying to cut back on eating so much.
One thing you need to be aware of is how good strawberry leaves can be for your skin’s health and cosmetic look. Due to their antioxidant properties, strawberry leaves can significantly protect your skin from rashes, eczema, aging wrinkles, or acne. The Vitamin C in the strawberry’s leaves can also diminish age spots.
If you would like to use strawberry leaves as a cosmetic product, you could infuse the leaves in an oil such as:
- Grapeseed oil.
- Rosehip seed oil.
- Jojoba oil.
- Coconut oil.
- Sunflower seed oil.
- Almond oil.
- Argan oil.
- Camellia oil.
- Olive oil.
- Maracuja oil.
Infuse your strawberry leaves in oil for roughly two weeks. Ensure the oil is kept somewhere warm in those two weeks, and you shake the container up daily. Infusing the leaves into the oil will also induce a pleasantly fruity scent in the oil.
Another thing to mention about strawberry leaves and your skin’s health is strawberries with their leaves can prevent some sorts of cancer cells due to their potent antioxidant properties.
6 Ways that You Can Use Strawberry Leaves
The list of ways to use strawberry leaves is endless. You would need more time to read everything there is to do with strawberry leaves. No one has that much time on their hands anymore! That said, you will be sure to know of a few ways to use your strawberry leaves shortly.
Whether you use your strawberry leaves in strawberry vinegar or your smoothie, there are many ways you could use your strawberry leaves, so don’t toss them out!
1. Strawberry Vinegar
First and foremost, strawberry vinegar. Strawberry vinegar can be an excellent addition to your salad, drizzled in recipes, or mixed into other sauces like BBQ sauce. Strawberry vinegar can add the extra zing you are missing to your dish, like a summer salad.
Making your strawberry vinegar is super easy! Follow the subsequent steps to make your strawberry vinegar:
- Crush 1/2 pint of strawberries and their leaves or just one of either. You will need about two quartz strawberry tops.
- Add the strawberry and leaves to a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add a cup of the vinegar you choose, such as white or red wine, balsamic, or rice vinegar.
- Bring strawberry leaves and vinegar to a boil.
- Lower heat to bring your vinegar mixture to a simmer.
- Simmer your strawberry leaf mixture for roughly one minute.
- Pour your strawberry through a metal sieve into a jar. Let it cool completely before placing its lid.
- Place in your cupboard for up to two weeks. Prime time to use your strawberry vinegar would be around a week.
2. Adding to Your Salad
Another great way to use strawberry leaves would be by adding them to your salad. The flavor of strawberry leaves is very faint, so they won’t affect your salad’s taste much and won’t overpower existing flavors. A leafy salad with a few strawberry leaves for either a garnish or mix-in makes for a perfect light meal.
Strawberry leaves can add a perfectly grassy, earthy, slightly zesty, and fruity flavor to your salad. You could also add some homemade strawberry vinegar as a dressing, making for a perfect combination of flavors!
3. Make a Leaf Tea
The most common way of using strawberry leaves is making leaf tea! If you are not familiar with leaf tea, no worries. It is straightforward to make! Herbal teas, such as strawberry or berry leaf tea, can benefit your mind, body, and soul.
To make leaf tea, follow these simple steps:
- Dry your strawberry leaves. Skip this step if you’d like to use them fresh.
- Place 3 to 5 strawberry leaves in a mug.
- Pour boiling water over the leaves. Let steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
- You can strain your leaves or enjoy your tea immediately without removing the leaves.
- Add a squeeze of lemon or another sweetener like honey if you’d like a sweeter flavored tea.
The easiest way to make leaf tea is to have your strawberry leaves dried beforehand. Not only is it simple to construct, but you can also use it to treat diarrhea, settle your upset stomach, help digestion, battle nausea, and more. One cup of leaf tea contains enough Tannins to ease these symptoms. You can also add the dried leaves to other drinks to give you a health boost with a bit of a fruity flavor.
What do you do when your tea has gone cold? Well, you could warm it up or use it to soothe inflamed or sunburnt skin.
4. Strawberry Syrup
You can easily make strawberry syrup from strawberry tops.
This method of using your strawberry leaves can be perfect for when you require to use up a lot of strawberries. You can make strawberry syrup in under 5 minutes and store it in your refrigerator for no later than two weeks or possibly longer in the freezer.
This recipe makes roughly 2 to 3 cups of strawberry syrup. You will need the following ingredients:
- Two quarts of strawberry tops.
- One cup of granulated sugar.
- One tablespoon of lemon juice.
Combine and blend all of your ingredients and place your strawberry syrup ingredients in your fridge overnight to let all of the ingredients soften. The following day, mix all your ingredients until entirely smooth. Then, strain through a metal sieve to remove any additional chunks.
5. Infuse Liquids
You could infuse many liquids with strawberry leaves to give the drink an earthy, natural taste while adding a pink hue.
A few liquids you could infuse could include but are not limited to:
Infusing water can give you a slightly refreshing, strawberry-imbued water that offers a bit more flavor than a typical cucumber or lemon water. To infuse water, add the strawberry tops to a glass jar and cover them entirely with water, then let them sit for roughly an hour before consuming.
Suppose you’d like to give your alcoholic drink like rum, vodka, or gin a colorful and fruity kick. In that case, you can also infuse alcoholic beverages with strawberry tops. Infusing other liquids, such as vinegar, is similar to infusing water but cooking your strawberry vinegar will add texture.
Adding a bit of strawberry with the leaves intact still to your smoothie can give you the antioxidant health kick you are craving! You can either add the strawberry tops or the entire strawberry; both have incredible health benefits.
Your strawberry leaves can give the little extra kick you are looking for in your green smoothie. Adding the entire strawberry with the leaves can give you a bit of added texture. If you are utilizing the tops of your strawberries solely, they would be best in a green smoothie, including kale or spinach.
In summary, strawberry leaves are edible and can be very good for you healthwise. Whether you use strawberry leaves in a smoothie, to infuse liquids, or make leaf tea, there are numerous uses for strawberry leaves, so don’t throw them out; use them! Packed with vitamin C, vitamin B9, potassium, and manganese, strawberry leaves are sure to add a healthy variety to your everyday diet!