Fresh raspberries are one of summer's tasty pleasures

August 15, 2015

 

Fresh raspberries are one of summer's tasty pleasures.  They offer an abundance of health benefits, from helping control weight to possibly helping prevent cancer. 

Raspberries can be frozen or freeze-dried without losing their beneficial value.

So if you want to brighten up a dark and cold winter day make sure you have some frozen raspberries in your freezer.

 

Here are some benefits that raspberries can offer you:

 

Diet-Friendly

A cup of fresh raspberries contains about 1.5 g of protein, 8 g of dietary fibre, and 14.7 g of carbohydrates.

Raspberries are a good choice for dieters because they are cholesterol-free, low in fat and sodium, and weighing in at only 64 calories per cup.

One cup provides one-third of the daily recommended value for adults. That’s generous amount of fibre. They can help promote weight loss as their natural sweetness may satisfy cravings for less healthy foods.

 

Beneficial Vitamins and Minerals

A cup of fresh raspberries contains high levels of assorted vitamins and minerals needed for healthy body functions:

186 mg of potassium, necessary for maintaining healthy blood pressure

31 mg of calcium, needed for bone development and growth

167 combined mcg of lutein and zeaxanthin – (carotenoids or plant pigments) which can protect help protect against macular degeneration, an eye disease that can cause loss of vision.

It also offers up 26 mcg of folate, which can prevent neural tube defects in new-borns.

 

Ease inflammatory conditions

Raspberries can fight inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and gout, similar to the way as aspirin and ibuprofen do: by turning off signals sent by COX-1s and COX-2s, the enzymes responsible for the body's inflammatory response. Researchers believe that anthocyanin’s are responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties. (Anthocyanin’s are the water-soluble plant pigments that give the berry its rich colour)

Arthritis Today recommends blending raspberries with pure fruit juice and heating them to make a berry-infused and colourful sauce for lean meats such as fish and chicken.

 

Antioxidant Benefits

They are high in antioxidants, which can help fight aging and slow cancer growth by foraging destructive free radical molecules in your body.

Raspberries contain antioxidant carotinoids, ellagic acid and quercetin. According to the Berry Health Benefits Network, The ORAC scale, which measures the antioxidant potential of substances, places raspberries at a very respectable 24 umole/TE/g.

 

Chemoprotective Benefits

Animal and test tube studies have shown that raspberries may help prevent cancer. Ellagic acid, a phenolic compound, can kill certain types of cancer cells, including those of colon, esophageal, liver, skin, lung and tongue cancers.

Quercetin, another effective anticarcinogen is found in raspberries. Studies found that it has the ability to act against mammary cancers in rodents. In a clinical study published in 2010 in "Cancer Prevention Research," researchers found that black raspberry powder fed to mice for 12 weeks was very effective in preventing intestinal tumours. The black raspberry powder subdued tumour development by reducing inflammation.

 

So if you want something to brighten up a dark and cold day during next winter remember to freeze some raspberries while you can still get them fresh. They are perfect for a mid-winter refreshing snack. 

 

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