Strawberries And Mental Wellness

  • Dana Visnitchi  MSci, Neuroscience with Psychology, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

Are strawberries your favourite fruit? If so, that is good news for you because they are not only iconic seasonal fruits that are delicious, but they have many healthy properties, including a positive effect on your mental wellness.

Strawberries contain nutrients which can boost cognitive function, slow down memory decline,  improve mood, and contribute to your brain health.

This article will explain what nutritional elements strawberries contain that are good for you, and their benefits on your mental health. So keep reading to find out why you should consume more strawberries.

What is mental wellness?

Mental wellness is a state of mental health which helps you realise your strengths and abilities,  allows you to cope with stress and difficult situations, and enables you to grow personally, become resilient, and participate in your community.

Mental health is more than not suffering from mental conditions or illness, and experiencing happiness. Rather, it means you are capable of handling any type of situation in your life while developing strength of character. It is actually an active process which balances several dimensions including thinking, feeling, psychological functioning, and connecting with others.

Several factors influence our mental wellness, including

  • Mental disorders
  • Stress
  • Environmental factors 
  • Genetics
  • Lifestyle 
  • Diet
  • Access to resources

In this case, we are going to focus on the impact of diet on mental health. Research has shown that a diet high in sugars, saturated fats, and processed foods, like the Western Diet, is associated with poor cognitive function and worse moods, whereas a dietary pattern rich in vegetables, fruits, and legumes and low in meat consumption might improve memory, reduce cognitive decline, and overall have a positive effect on mood and behaviour.1 That is why incorporating strawberries into your diet could be beneficial for you.

Why are strawberries good for you?

Strawberries (Fragaria) are flavourful berries that are low in sugar and contain many nutritional elements2

  • High levels of Vitamin C
  • Antioxidants like anthocyanidins are responsible for the red colour of the fruit. So the more pigmented the berry is, the more antioxidants it has
  • Folate (vitamin B9)
  • Vitamin B1, B2, B3, and B6
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Manganese
  • Iodine
  • Magnesium
  • Copper 
  • Iron 
  • Phosphorus

Thanks to their nutritional values, these snacks have several health benefits. Here is a summary of them2

  • Strengthen immune system
  • Anti-inflammatory effect
  • Decrease cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Help control glucose levels
  • Improve cognitive function and mood

Strawberries and mental health

Role of antioxidants in mental wellness

Antioxidants are natural compounds, found in fruits and vegetables, that neutralise free radicals which are unstable and may have a harmful impact in our bodies, like oxidative stress.  

Oxidative stress is considered to be a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease.3 In addition, this condition can also alter brain activity and neurotransmission, and consequently, this may result in individuals developing anxiety and depression.

A study has shown that older adults who ate strawberries presented a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease compared to those who did not consume the fruit.5 Further research has also confirmed that the antioxidant properties of strawberries have a neuroprotective effect on the brain by reducing oxidative stress.

Therefore, the antioxidants present in this fruit might slow down cognitive decline, lower your anxiety, and improve your mood.

The connection between vitamin C and mental health

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is one element that is not produced by our bodies, but it can be obtained from fruits and vegetables. Our brains need this vitamin because not only can it act as an antioxidant, but it is also involved in other brain processes like modulating neurotransmitter production and release and converting dopamine to noradrenaline.

Vitamin C deficiency could cause you to experience fatigue, irritability, depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment. That is because the absence of this important compound negatively affects neurotransmission as well as the brain's electric activity.7, 8 

However, research has shown that supplementation with dietary vitamin C improves mood.7 What is more, patients who were prescribed ascorbic acid reported decreased anxiety symptoms.8 In addition, a study observed that participants demonstrated  increased work motivation and attention and performed better in cognitive tasks after taking vitamin C.9

Thus, eating strawberries, which have a high content of vitamin C, could boost your mood and improve your cognitive performance.

Impact of folate in strawberries on mental wellness

Folate, or folic acid (vitamin B9), is another nutritional factor that is important for mental wellness. This vitamin plays a key role in neurotransmitter formation and in other metabolic activities in the brain.10 

Researchers suggest that folate deficiency is associated with low levels of serotonin and depressed mood.10 11 Nevertheless, people who suffer from depression tend to have changes in appetite, so this lack of vitamin B might be due to the changes in their food intake. 

Moreover, folic acid is suggested to regulate the accumulation of the proteins responsible for Alzheimer’s disease, and it also appears to have a favourable effect on memory, but only when a lower dose than 1mg per day is taken.12

More research is needed to better understand the impact of this vitamin on memory, but it is clear that it has some beneficial impact. This, along with other mentioned roles of vitamin B9 in the brain, is why it is a good idea to incorporate strawberries into your diet. 

Practical applications

While eating strawberries will have a good impact on your mental wellness, and your health overall, it is important to also have a balanced diet to achieve the most optimum effect. This will vary from person to person, but experts recommend consuming fruits, vegetables, legumes, omega-3 fatty acids, and a moderate intake of sugars and fast foods. However, for an optimal diet plan, you should consult a nutritionist.

It is also true that if you are used to a certain way of eating, changing your diet suddenly might be difficult. So you could start by incorporating changes into your eating habits, little by little. Here are some ideas of how you could start eating more strawberries:

  • Strawberries smoothies
  • Adding strawberries to salads
  • Making strawberry yoghourt
  • Strawberries and yoghourt parfaits
  • Fruit salads

You also have to take into consideration that if you want to enhance your mental wellness, you have to think about other life factors like:

  • Exercise: Exercise is not only good for your physical health, but it can positively impact your mental well-being by improving your mood, enhancing your cognitive performance, reducing your stress, giving you energy, and helping you with your self-esteem.13 But please consider your needs and abilities, and find something that is suitable for you
  • Therapy: Going to therapy to deal with mental issues, stress or anxiety can help you learn how to navigate your emotions and give you the necessary tools to achieve a state of mental wellness
  • Social engagement: having active social interactions and establishing and maintaining positive relationships are also good lifestyle habits that help maintain good mental health 

Potential considerations and risks

The recommended servings you should consume are about eight regular strawberries per day. However, there are different sizes of this fruit, so if you have large berries you should consume more, whereas if the fruits are small, you could eat a few more. 

Remember these berries contain a high concentration of vitamin C, and the recommended quantity is 75mg for assigned female at birth and 90mg for assigned male at birth. While you might not suffer any damage if you consume a higher quantity of this vitamin, you could experience nausea, diarrhoea, and stomach cramps.

Additionally, you should avoid eating strawberries if you are allergic to them, or if you have an adverse reaction after eating them, you should consult a specialist.


Having good mental health is important to be able to deal with stress, function productively, and contribute to society.  Strawberries are flavourful berries with many nutritional components that have a positive impact on mental wellness. For instance, their high levels of vitamin C, antioxidants, and other vitamins and minerals help improve mood, boost cognitive performance, and contribute to a healthy brain. Hence, incorporating strawberries into a balanced diet is a good approach to achieving mental wellness.


Are strawberries an antidepressant?

Yes, they can be considered a natural antidepressant, as studies have shown that they can improve mood. This is linked to their antioxidant properties that help control oxidative stress, which is associated with depression.

Are strawberries good for anxiety?

Strawberries are suggested to have anxiolytic effects due to their vitamin C and antioxidant components.

When not to use strawberries?

You should avoid eating strawberries if they present signs of mould, they are rotten, or their leaves are no longer green. This could be an indication that they are expired or old.

Do fresh strawberries need to be washed before eating?

Yes, it is important to wash strawberries before eating them, as they could have dirt on them, tiny bugs, or even traces of insecticides.


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  • Miller K, Feucht W, Schmid M. Bioactive compounds of strawberry and blueberry and their potential health effects based on human intervention studies: a brief overview. Nutrients [Internet]. 2019 Jul [cited 2023 Nov 7];11(7):1510. Available from:
  • Veurink G, Perry G, Singh SK. Role of antioxidants and a nutrient rich diet in Alzheimer’s disease. Open Biol [Internet]. 2020 Jun [cited 2023 Nov 9];10(6):200084. Available from:
  • Bouayed J, Rammal H, Soulimani R. Oxidative stress and anxiety. Oxid Med Cell Longev [Internet]. 2009 [cited 2023 Nov 9];2(2):63–7. Available from:
  • Agarwal P, Holland TM, Wang Y, Bennett DA, Morris MC. Association of strawberries and anthocyanidin intake with alzheimer’s dementia risk. Nutrients [Internet]. 2019 Dec 14 [cited 2023 Nov 9];11(12):3060. Available from:
  • Sandoval-Salazar C, Oviedo-Solís CI, Lozoya-Gloria E, Aguilar-Zavala H, Solís-Ortiz MS, Pérez-Vázquez V, et al. Strawberry intake ameliorates oxidative stress and decreases gaba levels induced by high-fat diet in frontal cortex of rats. Antioxidants (Basel) [Internet]. 2019 Mar 20 [cited 2023 Nov 9];8(3):70. Available from:
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  • Moritz B, Schmitz AE, Rodrigues ALS, Dafre AL, Cunha MP. The role of vitamin C in stress-related disorders. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry [Internet]. 2020 Nov 1 [cited 2023 Nov 9];85:108459. Available from:
  • Sim M, Hong S, Jung S, Kim JS, Goo YT, Chun WY, et al. Vitamin C supplementation promotes mental vitality in healthy young adults: results from a cross-sectional analysis and a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Eur J Nutr [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2023 Nov 9];61(1):447–59. Available from:
  • Hsieh YC, Chou LS, Lin CH, Wu HC, Li DJ, Tseng PT. Serum folate levels in bipolar disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Psychiatry [Internet]. 2019 Oct 22 [cited 2023 Nov 9];19(1):305. Available from:
  • Young SN. Folate and depression—a neglected problem. J Psychiatry Neurosci [Internet]. 2007 Mar [cited 2023 Nov 9];32(2):80–2. Available from:
  • Akhgarjand C, Ebrahimi Mousavi S, Kalantar Z, Bagheri A, Imani H, Rezvani H, et al. Does folic acid supplementation have a positive effect on improving memory? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Front Aging Neurosci [Internet]. 2022 Nov 28 [cited 2023 Nov 9];14:966933. Available from:
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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Dana Visnitchi

MSci, Neuroscience with Psychology, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

I’m an early career with a degree in Neuroscience with Psychology, who is passionate about mental health, and aims to promote it to a large audience without a scientific background. I’m also interested in skincare and cardiovascular health, and always keen to expand my knowledge. I have previous experience in literature search, creating content for different audiences, and making contributions to a published research paper about Gender Dysphoria. I’m currently focused on exploring medical communications to have a significant impact on the healthcare community.

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