February 24th, 2018
Great Reasons to Eat Raspberries
Many of us spent the early weeks of summer eagerly awaiting raspberries’ arrival at the local farmer’s market. Now that the season is well underway, there’s no better time to celebrate the tangy-sweet, bright red berries. Raspberries are a delight on their own – but thanks to their distinctive red color, they also make a beautiful garnish for breakfast oatmeal and summer salads alike. And as it turns out, the berries’ vibrant hue adds far more than just aesthetic value.
Raspberries’ signature color comes from anthocyanins, a natural pigment with strong antioxidant properties. Anthocyanins help to protect the raspberry plant from environmental stressors like drought. In humans, those same compounds keep our bodies healthy by protecting our cells from damage.
Like other antioxidants, anthocyanins counteract the harm caused by unstable atoms with unpaired electrons – more commonly known as free radicals. The oxidative stress caused when free radicals come into contact with other cells has been linked to chronic illnesses like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis – just to name a few. Anthocyanins provide the electrons needed to stabilize free radicals and repair damaged cells, helping you stay healthy.
Of course, there is more to raspberries than anthocyanins. A single cup of fresh-picked berries will give you 32% of your daily fiber needs – and more than half of your recommended vitamin C. To make the most of those benefits, eat your berries fresh instead of baking them into pies and desserts. Cooking the fruit won’t reduce its fiber or phytochemical content, but you’ll lose much of that nutritious vitamin C.
Raspberries make a great addition to a wide range of summer dishes. For a refreshing break from the summer heat, toss a few in the freezer and blend them into your next smoothie. Tomorrow morning, have them for breakfast atop a bowl of coconut oatmeal.
Low on the glycemic index with a modest calorie count, these little gems are a smart addition to any shopping basket. Next time you spot them on sale at your local farmer’s market or fruit stand, go ahead and grab a pint – or two!