Strawberries are widely popular around the world. People love it for its color, taste, and nutritional value. Typically, the taste of a strawberry is sour.
While some people love to eat it raw, others like to make strawberry shakes, smoothies, and ice creams.
Are strawberries a citrus fruits? If you ever wonder what might be the answer to this question, we have plenty of helpful information for you.
People often mistake strawberries for citrus nature due to the sour element in their taste. Surprisingly, they belong to a different family of fruits.
Let’s find out some of the most interesting facts about strawberries, including details on their citrusy taste.
The Truth About Strawberries
A strawberry does not belong to the citrus fruits family. Although it has a familiar taste, the fascinating red fruit belongs to a completely different class. Strawberries belong to the Rosaceae plant family.
If it sounds familiar, Rosaceae is a family of thousands of unique plants, herbs, and trees.
One of the most common flowers of the Rosaceae family is the rose flower. Apart from roses, there are more than three thousand members of the same family.
The strawberry flower grows to produce the fruit.
If you wonder whether strawberries are the only members of the family, you may be surprised to find out some other fruit names. The Rosaceae plant family members are black, raspberries, peaches, pears, plums, apples, apricots, and cherries.
Strawberries and Citric Acid
The presence of citric acid in strawberries may help answer your question more clearly. Although strawberries do not belong to the family of citrus fruits, the sour taste comes from citric acid inside them.
You may be surprised to find out that a strawberry contains about 88% of acid content (1). It has a highly acidic nature due to the presence of some of the common acids. You can find the citric acid, ellagic acid, and malic acid in strawberries (2).
If you need to reduce the acidity of strawberries, they need to ripen. Many like to eat it halfway through the ripening process. While it may taste good, the high acidic content can cause acid reflux and gastric problems (3).
When you eat the ripe form, you may find it sweeter and softer. The color of the ripe strawberries is also slightly darker than the unripe ones.
If strawberries are not citrus, then what are they?
Strawberries are achene fruits (4). Thes fruit types cannot release the seed. Typically, the skin of achene fruits joins the husk with a stalk (depending on the fruit type). Achene fruits generally have a single seed. Simply put, you may refer to strawberries as one of the dry fruit forms.
Generally, strawberries grow in colder climates. You can find most varieties of strawberries in northern territories around the globe.
The pH Value of Strawberries
Strawberries are highly acidic in nature. The pH value of strawberries lies between 3-3.5 on the pH scale (5). If you wonder how acidic strawberries might compare to other consumables of the same value, you can compare them to soda.
It has about the same acidic levels as this fascinating red fruit.
Can You Reduce the Acidity of Strawberries?
Unlike many foods that are high in acid levels, strawberries are hard to avoid. You may want to have them every once when the season arrives.
However, the high acidity can trouble your acid reflux problem.
If you think about whether there is a way to reduce the acidity of a strawberry, you can try a few things. Generally, pairing acidic foods with alkaline ingredients can minimize the acidic effects.
Since strawberry is a fruit, you cannot mix it with raw vegetables or other food items.
While this may be correct, you may change its form by combining it with a few alkaline ingredients to reduce the acidic effects.
For example, making strawberry smoothies using milk can be a great solution to neutralize strawberries. If you opt for almond milk (unsweetened), you can prevent acid reflux while consuming strawberry smoothies.
Different Forms of Strawberries and Their Acidic Properties
Fresh strawberries have dominant acidic properties. They have a high concentration of citric acid, making them unsuitable for those with heartburn, GERD, and acid reflux problems.
While citric acid plays a dominant role in increasing the acid levels of the fruit, strawberries also contain ascorbic acid and malic acid.
If you follow a specific diet plan with frequent consumption of strawberries in any form, you may consult with your doctor or dietician to advise you on the appropriate diet.
Typically, people store strawberries in frozen forms to use for cold desserts, shakes, and smoothies. It is worth noting that frozen strawberries do not lose their concentration of acids over time.
If you want to use them, you may combine them with alkaline foods, including milk, yogurt, and cream, to neutralize their acidic effects.
Another way to neutralize strawberries is by combining them with alkaline fruits. For example, you may make a banana-strawberry smoothy avoid acid reflux.
Dried forms of strawberries have unique uses. However, they have pretty much the same acid levels as the fresh strawberries. Dried forms are most common in baking strawberry cookies, candies, and other sugarcoated desserts.
People with high sugar cravings may treat themselves to some dried strawberry sweets.
Is Strawberry More Acidic Than Orange?
Many people ask whether strawberries are more acidic than oranges. The truth is that both fruits have nearly the same acid levels. If we check the pH value of both fruits, we can find them close to each other. Oranges generally have a pH level between 3.69 to 4.34 (5).
On the other hand, strawberries are slightly more acidic, with a pH value between 3.0 to 3.5. If you are fond of both fruits, you may need to maintain a balance to consume both in moderation.
You can consult your dietician or doctor to advise you on the appropriate consumption of oranges and strawberries.
Is Strawberry More Acidic Than Grape?
Like oranges, grapes also have nearly the same amount of acid levels as strawberries. If you check the pH level of grapes, you can find it between 3.5 to 4.5. On the other hand, strawberries lie between the 3-3.5 pH scale range.
The pH readings of the two fruits show that strawberries are slightly more acidic than grapes.
Is Strawberry More Acidic Than Lemon?
Lemons are extremely acidic in nature. The citrus content in lemons dominates its taste, properties, and effects on the body. The pH level of lemons lies between 2 to 3, which is highly acidic (5). It is one of the factors why you need to avoid lemons if you have GERD or acid reflux problems.
If you compare the pH levels of strawberries and lemons, you can find lemons to be more acidic in nature.
Health Benefits of Strawberries
Improved Blood Sugar Levels
Strawberries have high water content and low carbohydrates. The small proportion of carbs in strawberries comes from glucose, sucrose, and fructose. Additionally, strawberries also contain moderate quantities of fiber.
Simple sugars, high water content, and moderate concentrations of fiber help regulate blood sugar levels inside the human body (6).
More importantly, the GI value of strawberries is 40 (7). It is an optimum score, suitable to avoid the spikes in blood sugar levels leading to diabetic problems.
Better Heart Health
Strawberries play an influential role in improving heart health. Consuming it in moderate concentrations can minimize the risk of blood pressure problems (8). It also helps to improve the platelet function in the body (9).
Moreover, eating strawberries can enhance good cholesterol, minimizing the risk of heart diseases (10).
Strawberries also reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in different parts of the body (11). You can also improve your vascular function with moderate strawberry consumption.
Certain acids in strawberries can prevent cancer formation in the human body. Typically, cancer cells form when there is excessive oxidative stress. It may also be due to chronic inflammation. Strawberries have ellagic acid that acts as one of the contributors to stopping cancer cell growth (12).
Strawberries contain folate in rich concentrations. Folate is basically vitamin B-9 that helps produce red blood cells in the human body (13). Individuals with folate deficiency are often at risk of anemia.
Anemia is a condition that results due to the lack of healthy blood cells in the body. While there can be many reasons that contribute to anemic health, folate consumption can prevent the disease.
Eating fresh strawberries can help you make up for your folate deficiency. You may consult with your doctor to consume the appropriate quantities.
Better Skin Health
Strawberries also contain moderate concentrations of vitamin C. The role of this vitamin is highly crucial in skin health. The skin of a human has vitamin C in high concentration.
When you eat strawberries, the vitamin C content stimulates collagen production, improving your skin’s elasticity and health (13).
Collagen synthesis also protects from wrinkly skin (14). You can also get rid of the dull skin patches due to the regulated blood flow.
Strawberries are wonderful fruits that do not belong to the citrus fruit family despite obvious indicators. As one of the most acidic fruits, strawberries have some adverse effects on those with acid reflux and GERD problems.
However, there are several health benefits of eating strawberries in moderate quantities.
If you want to fulfill your strawberry appetite, you may consult your health service provider to advise you on the appropriate daily consumption limits. If they are a part of your daily diet plan, you may consult with your fitness trainer to avoid any adverse effects on your health.
Read more: Are apples a citrus fruits?