Hello my dear readers,
The raspberry is a very much appreciated as sweet and juicy berry fruit. Besides being very good it is also useful for our health: it is diuretic, helps fight menstrual pains and lose weight. Let’s discover all its properties!
Let’s try to find out:
calories and nutritional values of raspberries
therapeutic and nutritional properties of raspberries
contraindications and side effects of raspberries
did you know? Funny facts about raspberries
Are you ready? Let’s begin.
Calories and nutritional values of raspberries
100 grams of edible pulp of raspberries contain about 56 kcal (against 55 for blueberries, 56 for currants and 36 for blackberries), while their glycemic index is rather low, 25.
The vitamin intake of raspberries is very important, especially of vitamins C and K, but have also good levels of citric acid, fructose and fiber.
Vitamins C and E, selenium, beta carotene, lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin are all antioxidants present in raspberries.
Raspberries also contain flavonoids, which have antioxidant effects.
The body produces some toxic substances during metabolic processes known as free radicals, and others result from external factors, such as unhealthful foods such as processed foods and those high in fat and sugar and pollution.
Antioxidants help the body eliminate these toxic substances.
If too many free radicals remain in the body, they can cause cell damage, resulting in a range of health problems.
Raspberries are also a good source of fiber. One cup of raspberries contains 8 grams of fiber. Current guidelines recommend that adults above 19 years old should consume between 22.4 g and 33.6 g of fiber a day, depending on their age and sex.
If consumed fresh as table fruits, raspberries provide the body with a good amount of vitamins A and C, citric acid, pectin and fructose.
Specialists have suggested that consuming a diet rich in antioxidants can contribute to the health of the brain and the neurological system.
There is evidence that vitamins C and E may help protect a person’s ability to think and remember information as they get older and raspberries contain these antioxidant and vitamins.
Current guidelines recommend that women and men consume 75 mg and 90 mg respectively, of vitamin C each day.
Hence, a cup of raspberries can provide more than one-third of the daily requirement for vitamin C.
Therapeutic and nutritional properties of raspberries
Raspberry (Rubus Idaeus) is one of the most popular berries: it is sweet, juicy and has many beneficial properties.
It belongs to the Rosaceae family, grows spontaneously in the woods but we also find it in the hilly areas. In order to grow well, it needs a mild climate and the ripening of its fruits takes place between July and August.
Among the varieties there are also yellow raspberries which differ mainly in size and color.
Not only are its fruits beneficial, but also the leaves, which are harvested in the summer, dried and stored in glass jars, are then used for the preparation of infusions and decoctions with diuretic and astringent properties, useful for treating throat, gum inflammation, menstrual pain and diarrhea.
The fruits are rich in vitamin A and vitamin C which make it a fruit with an antioxidant power, it also helps improve circulation and brings benefits to the gastrointestinal system.
According to popular tradition, the juice is useful for soothing and demulcent gargling. The syrup, prepared with fruits, is used as a refreshing drink in case of fever.
But let’s see what are all the properties of this precious forest fruit.
✓ Raspberry is a fruit rich in polyphenols useful to protect and strengthen blood vessels; vitamin C on the other hand, strengthens the immune system, and helps fight inflammation in the respiratory tract.
✓ Raspberry is also used as a natural laxative and diuretic and its infusion can be used to combat stomach pain, inflammation and feverish states.
✓It helps to lose weight: raspberries have slimming properties as the fiber content increases the sense of satiety by making us eat less, also the mineral salts help us get rid of toxins and excess liquids, making us feel less swollen. An important element is then the ketone which increases the metabolism and helps us to burn fat. There are also commercially available ketone supplements to be taken under medical supervision to promote weight loss.
✓Ally of women: it is in fact useful both to treat the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, including water retention, breast tenderness, irritation, and to regulate the menstrual cycle. This is thanks above all to the raspberry bud derivative which is also useful in case of menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea), ovarian cysts, lack of cycle (amenorrhea), as well as having benefits on the symptoms of menopause.
✓ It is also often recommended during pregnancy to provide the fetus with mineral salts, but it is also useful to relax the uterus by preparing the woman for childbirth.
✓ Finally, it is recommended for all the ailments that accompany the menopause period such as cycle irregularities, hot flashes, mood swings and depression.
✓Fights tumors: this important anti-tumor property of raspberry is mainly due to anthocyanins and ellagic acid. They are two powerful antioxidants that help prevent tumors, mainly those that affect the intestine.
✓ Very useful for the skin: raspberry has anti-aging cosmetic properties, thanks above all to vitamin C and vitamin A which have antioxidant power and help the skin to remain firm and compact longer because they stimulate collagen production. In aesthetic use, raspberries are useful for toning the skin and preventing the aesthetic effects of redness, both due to tanning and inflammatory and acneic states.
✓ Raspberry is a real cure-all for the body, so much so that it has earned the nickname “Hollywood fruit”, because it never fails in the detox diets of many stars in the entertainment world.
✓ In fact, raspberry helps cure inflammation, swelling and stomach acidity, promoting a general rebalancing of the body.
✓Raspberries are also remembered by the Galenic pharmacopoeia (2nd century) as astringents, purifying, refreshing, tonic and sweating.
For these purposes, both flowers and leaves were used, picked in August and dried in the shade. The raspberry reduced in syrup was known to medieval apothecaries, who considered it very important “for bilious types, whose moods are too abrupt and who suffer from eternal over-excitation”.
✓ Purifying herbal tea, against constipation
Soak the raspberry leaves for 10 minutes and then strain. It is important to drink two cups between meals.
Contraindications and side effects
Raspberry is a fruit with many benefits and few contraindications.
✓ It is contraindicated for those suffering from spastic constipation, gastroduodenal ulcer (if it is not fully mature).
✓ Raspberries must be avoided by those suffering from stones, since the oxalic acid contained in raspberries can lead to the formation of further stones.
✓ They are also to be consumed in moderation if you take supplements for iron and zinc, avoiding their use concomitantly since raspberries reduce the absorption of these elements useful for the body.
✓ Raspberries are to be avoided in case of gout or kidney problems because they contain oxalic acid.
As we’ve seen raspberries are available fresh, frozen or as an ingredient in jellies, syrups, and jams.
Fresh or frozen raspberries are best. I don’t recommend other raspberry products because usually contain added sugars. Where possible, check the label and buy raspberry products without added sugars.
Since raspberries are very helpful for our body, here are some ways to include fresh or frozen raspberries in our diet:
- eating them fresh is the best way of getting all their benefits
- adding them to smoothies, yogurt, or oatmeal
- adding raspberries to a chicken salad or any other salad
- topping whole-grain waffles or pancakes with fresh raspberries
- blending raspberries in a food processor with a little water and using the mixture as a fresh syrup for desserts, ice cream sundaes, or breakfast foods
Did you know?
Funny facts about raspberries
- According to a legend, raspberries were originally white. The nymph Ida pricked her finger while picking berries for the crying infant Jupiter, and raspberries have since been tinged red with her blood.
- A raspberry is made up of many tiny bead-like fruits called “drupelets” clustered around a center core and each drupelet contains one seed. An average raspberry has 100 to 120 seeds.
- Unlike many other fruits, unripe raspberries do not ripen after they are picked. If you want a ripe raspberry, the only thing you can do is to be patient!
- The main difference between raspberries and blackberries is that raspberries have a hollow core in the middle while blackberries do not.
- May 3rd is National Raspberry Popover and Tart Day.
- July 31st is National Raspberry Cake Day.
Raspberries, like other berries, provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, which are all beneficial for health and are part of a balanced, nutritious diet.
But I would also like to remember that dishes containing added sugar, fat, and other ingredients are unlikely to provide the same health benefits as raspberries alone.
Plain, fresh raspberries will be more healthful than processed raspberry desserts, preserves, and dishes containing cream and added sugar, so go for fresh raspberries as much as you can.
Thank you all for reading.
And if you would like to discover more about our food, you may enjoy my previous posts
Wish you a wonderful day!
And please stay safe!
Photo credit: Canva & Pixabay edited by Popsicle Society