• Shaina Painter

Functional Foods: Raspberries

Raspberries are a vibrant and delicious fruit widely known & loved.

Best harvested and eaten during the summer and fall, but most grocery stores carry raspberries year-round due to their appeal.


These little crimson berries have been dubbed one of the healthiest foods due to their nutrient density, low sugar content, antioxidant potential, and anti-inflammatory benefits.

 

R A S P B E R R I E S


 

N U T R I T I O N F A C T S



1 cup of raspberries contains:

- Carbohydrates: 14.7g

- Fiber: 8g (32% of the RDI)

- Protein: 1.5g

- Vitamin C: 54% of the RDI

- Vitamin E: 1.07 mg

- Manganese: 41% of the RDI

- Vitamin K: 12% of the RDI

- Magnesium: 7% of the RDI



 

H I G H L I G H T S:



01. A N T I O X I D A N T P O T E N T I A L


Raspberries contain phytonutrients like anthocyanins, flavonoids, quercetin, catechins, salicylic acid, and ellagic acid. These phytonutrients are responsible for the reduction of inflammation, risk of cardiovascular disease, and protection against various cancers. An in vitro study showed berry extracts, including raspberry, inhibited the growth of certain tumors like breast, colon, and oral; with raspberry and strawberry showing the most significant effects in the stimulation of apoptosis, or programmed cell death (4).


02. B L O O D S U G A R & W E I G H T L O S S


Naturally high in fiber and low in sugar, raspberries are a great snack or addition to a meal to increase satiety. Raspberries contain a significant amount of tannins which have been shown to inhibit alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase. These enzymes are responsible for breaking down starches, thus raspberries may reduce the amount of carbohydrates absorbed after a meal and help regulate blood sugar (5).


Raspberries contain ketones, called rheosmin, known to increase the metabolism by speeding up enzymatic activities, and heat production within fat. Rheosmin can also reduce pancreatic lipase, a fat-digesting enzyme, which may lead to a decreased absorption of fat.


Additionally, raspberries mitigate metabolic abnormalities like insulin resistance. Within obese rats, raspberries were found to improve blood sugar regulation and reduce the incidence of inflammation, insulin resistance, and metabolic dysfunction (6).


03. A N T I - I N F L A M M A T O R Y P R O P E R T I E S


Quercetin, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E are powerhouse antioxidant nutrients found within raspberries. In particular, Vitamin E is the most effective free radical scavenger which is known to reduce inflammation associated with many chronic conditions like cancer.


Ellagic acid, a phytonutrient, has been shown to reduce the activity of inflammatory enzymes like COX-2. In vitro studies have concluded ingestion of ellagic acid mitigates inflammation.



 

H O W T O E N J O Y


01. Mix into plain yogurt with slivered almonds and a drizzle of honey.

02. Mash raspberries with chia seeds to create a high fiber jam to spread on toast or pancakes.

03. Snack on a mix of raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries with various nuts.

04. Drink raspberry leaf tea.

05. Add to a smoothie with almond butter, spinach, half a banana, and cacao.


 


 

R E F E R E N C E S:

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25942353

2. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167755/nutrients

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26773014

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17147415

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15796622

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29202274



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