Raspberries (scientific name Rubus) are commonly sold in fresh fruit markets and also commercially packed as frozen, juiced or dried. Although we often see red raspberries, they also come in different colors—yellow, purple and black.
Raspberries actually contain between 100 to 120 seeds and it may sound unusual but these powerful little berries do not continue to ripen after they have been picked.
While raspberries are small in sizes, they are packed with antioxidants, rich phytonutrients and vitamins that are needed to keep our body healthy. They are an excellent source of folate, vitamin C, E and K, dietary fiber, manganese, copper, potassium and some omega-3 fatty acids.
Health Benefits Of Raspberries
Like most berries, raspberries are considered as one of the healthiest fruits because of the very high antioxidants content. Here are some of the main reasons why you should include them in your daily diet.
Anti-aging: Raspberries work wonders when it comes to keeping a healthy and young looking skin! Regular consumption of raspberries and other berries can give you the adequate amount of vitamin C—which is an effective antioxidant—in fighting free radicals. You can also use it as a facial mask by mixing a cup of yogurt and 2 cups of raspberries until smooth. Apply it on your face and let it stay for 15 minutes, then rinse it off with water and see the difference!
Anti-inflammatory: Raspberries are vivid in color not just to make it look pleasing to the eyes. They are actually caused by phytonutrient anthocyanin which have anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight inflammation of the body including arthritis and gout.
Antioxidant: Due to certain environment factors, our body is susceptible to harmful free radicals. These kill healthy cells in our body and cause cancer. Free radicals are also one of the reasons for damaged skin leaving it looking older than our age. But with the help of vitamin C, carotenoids, ellagic acid and quercetin—all of these substances are found in raspberries—we can protect our body against cancer cells mutation.
Blood pressure and heart health: A fresh cup of raspberries contain high levels of potassium which is beneficial and can help maintain a healthy blood pressure.
Diabetes: Raspberries have xylitol content which is good for people who have diabetes because it does not contribute to high glycemic index of the body which is helpful to regulate blood sugar levels. Xylitol is a low-calorie sugar substitute which has approximately has about 9.6 calories found in a teaspoon compated to 15 calories found in sugar.
Eye health: According to scientific studies, lutein and zeaxanthin are plant pigments that can help prevent macular degeneration which can eventually cause blindness. The good news is that raspberries are rich in these carotenoids that can help maintain healthy eyesight.
Folate content: Pregnant women can benefit from raspberries because of its high folate content that can help prevent neural tube defects in newborn, low infant birth weight and premature delivery. Folate deficiency can also cause blood loss and anemia.
Metabolism: Helps maintain a healthy weight—another major health problem is obesity. Raspberry ketone can help prevent this by increasing enzyme activities and speed up your metabolism thus lowering the risk of obesity as well as fatty liver disease.
Raspberries should be consumed immediately or as soon as they are plucked. Make sure that when you buy raspberries, that they should be firm and plump.
When packed in plastic transparent boxes, look underneath as one spoiled raspberries may cause many others to spoil and be moldy.
Remove any spoiled or damaged raspberries before storing in the refrigerator to avoid contamination with the good ones.
You can eat raspberries just on its own, or add them into your salads, smoothies or oatmeal.
Despite its great health benefits, some individuals may have adverse reaction to consumption of raspberries, most especially the red variety. Some symptoms may include itching sensation and tingling in the mouth, skin itch and some parts of the body may even begin to swell.
Severe symptoms include difficulty in breathing, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. If any of these symptoms occur, seek professional medical help immediately.