There are over 200 species of raspberries. The most popular among the commercially cultivated is the red raspberry or Rubus idaeus. The black variety is indistinguishable from blackberries in color and there are varieties in virtually every color in between red and black. They grow on a thorny bush called a bramble and frequent pruning allows for fruit production in the spring and fall.
Raspberries spoil quickly and bruise easily, so it’s important to handle them gently and keep them cool and dry for best storage. You can even freeze them on a cookie sheet and then place them in a freezer bag for up to a year for cooking or healthy smoothies.
- Cancer Prevention
- Heart Healthy
- Low Calorie
Anti-Inflammatory/Antioxidants– Raspberries are nutrient dense. They contain a spectrum of phytonutrients that work together to reduce inflammation and also neutralize free radicals. Some of these phytonutrients are: Anthocyanins, Flavonols, Tannins, and Stilbenoids like Resveratrol. There are very few foods that possess an all-star line up of phytonutrients that are proven to fight cancer, cardiac disease, obesity, and diabetes at the same time. Just one cup of raspberries have significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant power in only 64 calories.
Cancer Prevention – The above mentioned phytonutrients are key to fighting cancer. Studies have shown these nutrients to prevent cancer cells from developing and have even prevented cancer from spreading. These phytonutrients have been studied individually and collectively. Research shows that they work together to achieve greater health in cancer patients. No single nutrient is the key to a healthy body. Consuming them together is important, and raspberries carry a wide variety of these cancer fighting nutrients in just a small serving.
Heart Healthy– Chronic oxidative stress affects the entire circulatory system. Atherosclerosis is the hardening of the arteries and it is a major risk factor in heart attacks. The antioxidants contained in raspberries can increase the elasticity of the vessels and reverse the effects of heart disease. This phenomenon has been tested on animals and proven to work. Antioxidants are extremely heart healthy and raspberries are full of them.
Obesity and Regulating Blood Sugar– The risk of obesity is linked to the risk of type 2 Diabetes. Both conditions benefit from two important compounds found in raspberries: raspberry ketones (rheosmin), and a flavonoids called tiliroside. Rheosmin increases the metabolism in our fat cells. The end result is less fat storage and more heat production. Tiliroside in raspberries can help regulate blood sugar and insulin especially in people with obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Did You know?
Organic raspberries have more antioxidants than non-organic berries. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has the responsibility of regulating the organic properties of food in the U.S. and tests prove that organic raspberries outperformed their non-organic counterparts in levels of active phenols and total anthocyanins.
In similar tests they found out that consuming fully ripe raspberries carry more antioxidants than younger fruit. So by choosing fully ripe organic berries, you can increase the nutritional profile greatly.