Vitamin C In Strawberries: A Sweet Boost For Your Immune System

  • Jaiswarry SundaramMasters of Science in Biotechnology - MSc, Liverpool John Moores University, England
  • Muna Hassan Bachelor of science in molecular biology and Genetics (2023)

Strawberries are among the berries that are most frequently eaten. In addition to their diverse range and increased concentration of bioactive compounds, which is inclusive of organic acids and phenolic compounds, strawberries are well recognised for their beneficial elements, such as fatty acids, vitamins, dietary fibre and minerals.1

In the pursuit of a robust immune system, the role of nutrition cannot be overstated. One nutrient that stands out for its immune-boosting prowess is Vitamin C. In this article, we'll explore the potential of strawberries, a delightful fruit loved by many, as a rich source of vitamin C and its impact on immune support.

Nutritional Profile of Strawberries

  • Vitamin C Content: Strawberries are not just a burst of sweetness; they pack a powerful punch of Vitamin C. With an average content of around 59 mg per 100 grams, they surpass many other fruits in delivering this essential nutrient2
  • Comparison with Citrus Fruits: Contrary to popular belief, strawberries are no less than citrus fruits when it comes to Vitamin C. They can outshine oranges in providing this vital immune-supporting vitamin3

The Role of Vitamin C in Immune Support

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a significant role in immune system support. The points below explore the specific role of vitamin C in immune function, highlighting its importance for individuals of all ages.

  • Immune Response Enhancement: Vitamin C is a key player in supporting the immune response. It promotes the production and function of white blood cells, including lymphocytes and phagocytes, the frontline warriors defending the body against infections and eliminating pathogens4
  • Antioxidant Properties: Beyond immune support, Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals that can cause cellular damage. This helps in maintaining overall health and resilience. By preventing oxidative stress, it helps maintain the integrity and functionality of immune cells5
  • Collagen Synthesis: Collagen is a structural protein essential for the skin and mucous membranes, acting as a physical barrier against pathogens. Vitamin C plays a key role in collagen synthesis, supporting the body's first line of defense11
  • Enhanced Antibody Production: Vitamin C supports the production of antibodies, and proteins that recognize and neutralize specific pathogens. This adaptive immune response is crucial for long-term immunity4
  • Reduced Duration of Respiratory Infections: Studies suggest that vitamin C supplementation may reduce the duration and severity of respiratory infections, such as the common cold. It enhances the function of immune cells responsible for combating respiratory viruses12

Benefits Beyond Immune Support

Radiant Skin Health

  • The antioxidant effects of Vitamin C extend to the skin, promoting collagen production and contributing to a healthy and radiant complexion. It is also a process crucial for maintaining skin elasticity and preventing ageing signs, such as fine lines and wrinkles6
  • As an antioxidant, vitamin C in strawberries helps protect the skin from oxidative damage caused by exposure to UV rays. It neutralizes free radicals that can contribute to premature aging11
  • Vitamin C also aids in the reduction of hyperpigmentation and the promotion of an even skin tone. It inhibits melanin production, leading to a brighter complexion11
  • Vitamin C plays a role in wound healing by promoting the production of collagen, essential for repairing and rebuilding damaged skin tissue11
  • The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C contribute to calming skin conditions like redness and inflammation, contributing to an overall healthier complexion11

Respiratory Health

  • Research suggests that a diet rich in Vitamin C, including strawberries, may have positive effects on respiratory health, potentially reducing the risk of respiratory infections7

Incorporating Strawberries into the Diet

Now that we've explored the benefits, here are more tips for seamlessly adding strawberries to your daily diet:

  • Daily Serving Suggestions: Including a handful of fresh strawberries in your daily diet is a simple and delicious way to meet your Vitamin C requirements. Add them to breakfast cereals, and salads, or enjoy them as a refreshing snack.
  • Recipe Ideas: Get creative in the kitchen with strawberry-infused recipes. From smoothies to desserts, the options are endless.

Some delightful combinations are suggested below: 

  • Creative Snacking: Enjoy strawberries as a standalone snack or get creative by pairing them with yoghurt, nuts, or dark chocolate for a delicious treat.
  • Savoury Combinations: Explore savoury options by adding sliced strawberries to salads with greens, feta cheese, and a balsamic vinaigrette for a burst of flavour.
  • Smoothie Variations: Incorporate strawberries into your favourite smoothie recipes. Blend with other fruits, greens, and a liquid of your choice for a refreshing beverage.
  • Homemade Jams and Sauces: Experiment with homemade strawberry jams or sauces as a delightful spread on whole-grain toast or as a topping for desserts.
  • Grilled Strawberry Delight: Elevate your barbecue game by grilling strawberries. The heat enhances their natural sweetness, making them a fantastic accompaniment to grilled meats or a topping for desserts.

Maximizing Vitamin C Absorption

  • Pairing Strategies: Enhance the absorption of Vitamin C by pairing strawberries with foods high in iron, such as spinach or lean meats. This combination ensures better utilization of both nutrients8
  • Freshness Matters: Opt for fresh strawberries whenever possible, as Vitamin C content can diminish with prolonged storage or cooking.

Considerations for Special Groups

  • Benefits for all Ages: Vitamin C is beneficial for individuals of all age groups. From supporting the immune system in children to aiding the elderly in maintaining vitality, strawberries offer a versatile nutrient source.
  • Pediatric considerations: Including strawberries in a child's diet can contribute to their overall well-being. Ensure age-appropriate serving sizes to meet their nutritional needs.

Risks and Precautions

  • Allergies: While strawberries are generally safe, individuals with known allergies should exercise caution. Allergic reactions to strawberries are rare but can occur9
  • Moderation is Essential: Moderation is essential when eating any food. For some people, consuming too much may cause discomfort in their digestive tract
  • Diabetes Considerations: Individuals with diabetes should manage portion sizes, as strawberries, while low in sugar, contribute to overall carbohydrate intake
  • Blood-Thinning Medications: Those on blood-thinning medications should consult healthcare providers, as strawberries contain a small amount of vitamin K, which can affect blood clotting10
  • Dental Health: The natural sugars in strawberries, while lower than in many fruits, can still contribute to dental issues. It's advisable to rinse your mouth with water after consuming strawberries


Incorporating strawberries into your daily diet is not just a treat for your taste buds; it's a smart and delicious way to fortify your immune system. Packed with Vitamin C and an array of health benefits, these vibrant berries offer a sweet boost to your overall well-being.

In summary, strawberries emerge as a powerhouse of Vitamin C, contributing significantly to immune health. With a robust nutritional profile, including antioxidants and skin-loving properties, strawberries offer a versatile and enjoyable means of meeting your Vitamin C requirements. Whether you're a child exploring the world of flavours or an adult seeking a tasty immune boost, strawberries are nature's delectable answer.


Can I get enough Vitamin C from strawberries alone?

Yes, incorporating strawberries into a balanced diet can contribute significantly to your Vitamin C intake. However, it's advisable to diversify your sources for a well-rounded nutrient profile.2

Are there any side effects of consuming too many strawberries?

While strawberries are generally safe, excessive consumption may cause digestive discomfort in some individuals. Moderation is key.

Can I give strawberries to my toddler for immune support?

Yes, strawberries can be introduced to toddlers as a part of a varied and age-appropriate diet. Ensure they are cut into small, safe pieces to avoid choking hazards.

How can I preserve the Vitamin C content in strawberries?

Freshness matters. Opt for fresh strawberries, and consider consuming them in their natural state or minimally processed to retain maximum nutritional benefits.1

Can individuals with diabetes safely enjoy strawberries?

Yes, strawberries can be a part of a diabetes-friendly diet. However, it's essential to monitor portion sizes as part of overall carbohydrate intake.

Are there any concerns for individuals on blood-thinning medications?

Individuals on blood-thinning medications should consult their healthcare provider, as strawberries contain a small amount of vitamin K, which can affect blood clotting.10

Do frozen strawberries offer the same nutritional benefits as fresh ones?

While frozen strawberries retain much of their nutritional value, some vitamin C loss may occur during the freezing process. However, they remain a convenient and nutritious option.

Can strawberries contribute to weight loss?

Strawberries are low in calories and high in fibre, making them a nutritious snack for those aiming for weight loss. However, balance and overall dietary choices play a key role.1


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  2. Fooddata central [Internet]. [cited 2023 Nov 21]. Available from: 
  3. [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2023 Nov 21]. Vitamins and minerals - vitamin c. Available from:  
  4. Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin c and immune function. Nutrients [Internet]. 2017 Nov [cited 2023 Nov 21];9(11):1211. Available from:
  5. Traber MG, Stevens JF. Vitamins C and E: beneficial effects from a mechanistic perspective. Free Radic Biol Med. 2011 Sep 1;51(5):1000–13.
  6. Al-Niaimi F, Chiang NYZ. Topical vitamin c and the skin: mechanisms of action and clinical applications. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology [Internet]. 2017 Jul [cited 2023 Nov 21];10(7):14. Available from:
  7. Hemilä H, Louhiala P. Vitamin C for preventing and treating pneumonia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2023 Nov 21];(8). Available from: 
  8. Hunt JR. Bioavailability of iron, zinc, and other trace minerals from vegetarian diets23. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [Internet]. 2003 Sep 1 [cited 2023 Nov 21];78(3):633S-639S. Available from: 
  9. Worm M, Moneret-Vautrin A, Scherer K, Lang R, Fernandez-Rivas M, Cardona V, et al. First European data from the network of severe allergic reactions (Nora). Allergy [Internet]. 2014 Oct 1 [cited 2023 Nov 21];69(10):1397–404. Available from: 
  10. LIVESTRONG.COM [Internet]. [cited 2023 Nov 21]. Fruits and vegetables that are low in vitamin K. Available from: 
  11. Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The roles of vitamin C in skin health. Nutrients [Internet]. 2017 Aug 12 [cited 2023 Nov 21];9(8):866. Available from: 
  12. Hemilä H, Chalker E. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2023 Nov 21];(1). Available from:
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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Jaiswarry Sundaram

Masters of Science in Biotechnology - MSc, Liverpool, John Moores University, England

Jaiswarry Sundaram is a passionate medical writer with a keen interest in healthcare advancement and communications. With a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science, a master's in Biotechnology and experience in scientific writing and marketing, she offers a distinctive perspective to her articles. Additionally, she has acquired valuable experience through internships in both laboratory-based and qualitative research, further refining her skill set. Jaiswarry is dedicated to presenting complex medical concepts with comprehensibility and accuracy, ensuring that her content resonates with readers, determined to make a meaningful contribution to the realm of medical communications. Delve into her articles to discover the latest insights into progressive developments in healthcare.

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