Properties and Benefits of Raspberries: Today I would like to talk to you about the properties and benefits of raspberries. Raspberries are members of the Rubus subgenus and come in a crazy variety of colours: red, black, yellow and even a hybrid purple variety that is currently gaining a great deal of popularity. But colour isn’t really important when it comes to these forest fruits.
What should interest us the most is whether or not they are organic. Numerous scientific studies have shown that organic raspberries may contain up to 4 times more antioxidants than the fruits largely available on the market. The latter may actually contain up to several times more pesticides and other hazardous chemicals than they should, posing serious risks to our health in the long-term.
Basically, this means that organic raspberries have significantly higher levels of phytochemicals called anthocyanins, natural compounds that actively fight toxins and carcinogens. The health benefits they bring you are unparalleled.
Raspberries are higly perishable: once purchased or gathered, they have to be consumed within maximum 2 days. If refrigerated, they are best kept at a temperature of around 2-4°C (no more than 2 days).
Raspberries are famous for their anticancer properties because of their high levels of phytochemicals which have a strong anti-inflammatory effect. More specifically, the phytochemicals found in raspberries reduce the inflammation of existent tumor cells as well as the speed at which they reproduce.
Moreover, a tannin called ellagitannin found in raspberries may be able to reduce the number of cancer cells by sending specific signals that promote a cycle of programmed cell deaths among them, called ‘apoptosis’. In the case of potentially modified, but not yet cancerous cells, phytochemicals trigger a process that prevents cell proliferation in tumor cells.
The wide range of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances found in raspberries is trully remarkable, especially when very few fruits can provide them in such quantities.
Here is a (partial) list of phytochemicals that can be found in raspberries: anthocyanins, cyanidins, pelargonidin, delphinidin, malvidins, flavonols (quercitin), kaempferol, catechin, glycoside, flavonoids (tiliroside), tannins (ellagitannins – sanguiin; gallotannins; proanthocyanidins), hydroxybenzoic acid, ellagic acid, lambertianin C, vanilic acid, gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, hydrxycinnamic acids (caffeic acid; coumaric acid; ferulic acid), stilbenes and resveratrol.
Phytochemicals scavenge for free radical molecules and regulate the activity of enzymes that could trigger unwanted inflammation. Thus, regular raspberry consumption reduces the risk of chronic diseases associated with chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation such as: obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis.
By taking a look at the nutritional table above you will see that raspberries are rich in vitamins C, E and K; they also contain a mineral with strong antioxidant effects: manganese. In addition to this, these cute colourful bundles contain trace amounts of Omega-3 fats, essential to human health (Omega-3 fats are beneficial for our heart and brain).
Red raspberries were also traditionally used to cure the common cold and the flu. As a result of their more than generous dietary fiber content (6.5 g), they are extremely beneficial for the digestive tract, aiding digestion, relieving constipation and protecting the colon mucosa. They are the perfect choice for any meal and not even the pickiest child will say no to a delicious raspberry smoothie.