In the United States, raspberries are the 3rd most popular berries and they belong to the Rosaceae family of plants; which houses most of the beloved fruits such as apricots, apples, peaches, plums, strawberries, as well as blackberries.
With over 200 species, all belonging to a scientific genus Rubus, commercial raspberries can be categorized into three basic groups:
- Red Raspberries
Typically, they are identified by the shade of red in their color. The shade of red may at times tend to be a pinkish shade. The European red raspberry, Rubus ideaus, is the most common commercially cultivated species among these raspberries.
- Black Raspberries
These raspberries may actually be dark enough to be indistinguishable from blackberries. The Thimbleberry | Scotch cap | Black cap, Rubus occidentalis, is one of the most common commercially cultivated species.
- Purple Raspberries
These raspberries come about when the red and black raspberries have been naturally combined (hybridized).
Over time, the red or black raspberries underwent genetic mutations and yellow raspberries came into existence. Even though these raspberries are naturally yellow or golden in color, they are special forms of the red or black raspberries.
Raspberries are scientifically referred to as “Aggregate fruits” and they constitute many small individual fruits from multiple ovaries in a single flower. In the case of raspberries, the little juicy spheres are the small individual fruits that make up the entire raspberry structure.
Often, you may come about raspberry growers referring to raspberries as “brambles”, derived from the word bramble; refers to the thorny, or prickly, nature of a plant. Some species of raspberries are not prickly in nature. Typically, the root systems of raspberries can last for many years but the canes have to be pruned twice a year to pave way for fruiting over the spring and fall seasons.
New and Beneficial Raspberry Aspects
- Potential of raspberries to boost obesity management
As one of the most fascinating sections of raspberry research, scientists point out that metabolism in our fat cells can be boosted by phytonutrients in raspberries such as raspberry ketone, rheosmin.
Research shows that increasing one’s oxygen consumption, enzyme activity, and heat production has positive implications such as decreasing the risk of obesity, as well as that of a fatty liver. In addition, rheosmin can reduce the pancreatic lipase (a fat-digesting enzyme released by the pancreas) activity which may result in less digestion and absorption of fat.
- Organic raspberries have a higher total antioxidant capacity in comparison to non-organic raspberries
Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture certified raspberries grown in Maryland, for study purposes, as organic. A series of tests that involved free radical scavenging all had the same results; organic raspberries outperformed their counterparts (non-organic raspberries) in terms of the antioxidant operations. As a result, the organic raspberries have greater levels of total anthocyanins and total phenols as compared to the non-organic raspberries.
- Anti-Cancer Aspects
Given that raspberries are rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant phytonutrients, it’s not surprising that studies reflect their attempt in curbing cancer in the reports. When chronic-excessive inflammation and chronic-excessive oxidative stress combine, they trigger the development of cancerous cells in some human tissues. Raspberries supply antioxidants, in an attempt to lower one’s risk of oxidative stress, as well as anti-inflammatory nutrients, to help reduce the exposure to excessive inflammation. Therefore, raspberries help reduce cancer formation in the long run.
Recent studies suggest that the raspberries phytonutrients are in a position to alter the signals sent to pre-existing, or potential, cancer cells. In the case of the pre-existent cancer cells, raspberries have phytonutrients such as ellagitannins that help reduce the number of cancer cells through sending signals that prompt the cancer cells to be a cycle of programmed cell death. For the potentially cancerous cells, raspberries’ phytonutrients trigger signals that prompt the non-cancerous cells to uphold their composition.
- Strengthens our immune systems
Raspberries are a rich source of phytonutrients and effective antioxidants that proficiently reinforce your body system’s ability to fight of infections and diseases.
- Promotes Optimal Health
Just like muscadine grapes and blackberries, raspberries have metalloproteinase enzymes that are vital for tissue development and renovation. However, they may act as catalysts for cancer development in the case that they are produced in excessive amounts.
Raspberries have high amounts of folate, vitamin C, riboflavin, magnesium, niacin, copper, manganese, and potassium. Generally, it’s a complete fruit that supports health prosperity.
- Wards off macular degeneration
Macular degeneration refers to an age-related medical condition that has negative impacts on one’s sight. Incorporating three raspberries’ servings a day is a great remedy for macular degeneration. You can incorporate the raspberries into your lunchtime’s yoghurt, or even to your morning cereal.
To alter the look and taste of green salads, add balsamic vinegar and a handful of fresh raspberries. Also, to enjoy a toothsome treat, you can garnish with mint.
- Reduces wrinkles
Raspberries can be used as a natural face mask to work their magic on the wrinkled face. They shield the face against harmful sun rays. The powerful antioxidant capabilities of vitamin C have an overall reduction effect on discoloration and age spots.
To restore your youthful appearance you can fill up the minor wrinkles. You can make face masks out of the raspberries for glowing skin using the following steps;
- Blend a full-cup of yoghurt and 2 cups of fresh raspberries till they have a smooth appeal to them.
- Apply the mixture on your face and leave it out for about 15mins.
- Wash it off your face using tepid water.
- Supports feminine health
Recent research suggests that raspberries are a vital inclusion to women’s diets. Essentially, they are good for single, pregnant, and lactating, women. Single women can use the raspberry leaves to make herbal tea to help regulate their menstrual cycles and have a reduction effect on excessive menstrual flows. Pregnant women can take raspberry tea to relieve pain | nausea, prevents hemorrhage, and helps them during childbirth. For the lactating moms, raspberries | raspberry tea, helps to enhance breast milk production.
Nutritional Profile on Raspberries
As sourced from the USDA National Nutrient Database, a full cup of raspberries is about 123g and constitutes calories (64g), fats (0.8g), carbohydrates (15g), fiber (8g), as well as sugar (5g).
Incorporating a cup of raspberries goes a long way to ensure that you secure;
- Vitamin C (54% of the required daily dose)
- Vitamin E, Potassium, and Iron (5% of the required daily dose)
- Folate (6% of the required daily dose)
- Vitamin K (12% of the required daily dose)
- Manganese (41% of the required daily dose)
Also, you are able to reap lesser amounts of niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, magnesium, copper, zinc, phosphorous, and calcium.
Lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, choline, and alpha are all antioxidants that are contained in raspberries. In addition, raspberries are an essential source of polyphenols (flavonols, ellagitannins, and anthocyanin) that help reduce the free radicals’ oxidative damages and have depicted the potential to have beneficial aspects in the reduction of exposure to chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
Calories and Nutrition in Raspberries
For an in-depth analysis of the raspberries’ nutrients, consider the table below
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat (0.7g)|
Saturated fat (0g)
Polyunsaturated fat (0.4g)
Monounsaturated fat (0.1g)
|Total Carbohydrate (12g)|
Dietary fiber (7g)
How to Choose and Store Raspberries
Raspberries are highly perishable and thus purchases should only be made one or two days prior to use. In the US, they are available from midsummer all through to early fall. The ultimate goal when selecting raspberries is to choose berries that are fully ripe and not overly so. Choose berries that are plump and deep in color and leave out the ones that are soft, mushy, or even moldy.
In the case that you are making a purchase for raspberries that are pre-packaged in a container, make the effort to ensure that
- They aren’t too tightly packed because they may be crushed and damaged
- The container has no evident signs of damage, stains, or even moisture
For the same reason that raspberries are highly perishable, extra care should be upheld when it comes to their storage. Listed below are a couple of tips that will help to prevent spoilage:
- If you aren’t planning on eating your purchased raspberries upon your arrival at home, ensure that the raspberries are stored in your refrigerator. Generally, raspberries will keep fresh in the refrigerator for a day or two.
- Before you have the raspberries stored in the refrigerator, make an effort to remove any berries that may be molded, spoilt, or those that may contaminate the rest.
- You can have the unwashed berries placed back in their original container or have them spread out inside of a sealed glass, or plastic container that has a lid.
- When you have the raspberries out of the refrigerator for consumption, ensure that you do not prolong their stay at room temperature any longer than one to two hours.
- Avoid having the raspberries placed in direct strong sunlight.
- Freeze the raspberries
First, wash the raspberries using the sink’s low-pressure sprayer to maintain their delicate shape and then use a paper towel to pat them dry. Arrange the raspberries in a single layer on a cookie sheet, or even a flat pan, and place them in the freezer. Once they are frozen, shift the raspberries back to sealable plastic freezer container(s), return them into the freezer for up to one year.
Within this context of ‘How to Choose and Store Raspberries’, it is essential to point out the dramatic difference between whole raspberries and the products that constitute processed forms of raspberries. Note, unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer, it is difficult to be sure of the substantial benefits that may be reaped from the products that contain processed forms of raspberries. In this case, processing may include drying, straying, juicing, fermentation into wine, or filtering.
For example, if the raspberries’ seeds happen to be removed during processing, most of the phytonutrients may be greatly reduced, or lost, in due time. Also, excessive heat conditions during processing may result in substantial phytonutrient-loss. For this reason, it is recommended to stick to the whole raspberries, fresh or frozen, when making the grocery purchases to incorporate them in your recipes.
Tips to Prepare and Incorporate Raspberries in your Cooking
As mentioned before, raspberries are pretty delicate and thus they should be gently washed and patted dry. To avoid the raspberries becoming water-soaked, and leaving them at room temperature for too long, they should be washed right before eating, or recipe preparation. Also, avoid the use of overly-soft raspberries unless you are having them pureed for a sauce or coulis.
- For a sweet morning treat, mix fresh raspberries with creamy millet porridge
- At first, the flavor combination of fresh raspberries sprinkles with balsamic vinegar may seem quite unusual but will have your palate all the way to heaven with a mere taste.
- Depending on the amount of sweetener you use for the savory poultry dishes and sweet desserts homemade raspberry coulis can be used as sauce.
- Mix plain yoghurt with raspberries, honey, and fresh mint chops to eat as is, or to be used as toppings for pancakes or waffles.