There are more than 200 species of raspberries, but the commercially grown varieties can be groped into three main groups: red, black and purple raspberries. They are known as an aggregate fruit, which means that they are a combination of numerous small individual fruits, each with its own seed. Raspberries have a generally tart taste but can be sweet as well. They are a great flavour enhancer in green smoothies, and absolutely delicious when combined with other fruits, yoghurt or milk.
Since raspberries have a short shelf life, it is best to use them within a day or two of purchase. The good news is that for longer storage, they can be frozen easily for up to a year without any loss of antioxidant activity. So stock up when they are in season and relatively inexpensive for year round use.
Exotic Mango-Raspberry Smoothie
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 cup mango pieces
- 1 ½ cups chopped spinach
- ½ inch piece of fresh ginger
- 4-5 cubes of ice
One cup of fresh raspberries supplies 1.5 grams of protein, 8 grams of dietary fiber (which satisfies approximately 1/3 of the daily adult needs), and almost 15 grams of carbohydrates with a modest 64 calories. There is no shortage of vitamins and minerals in the fruit either. One cup also delivers 186 mg of potassium, 167 mcg of important carotinoids lutein and zeaxanthin, 31 mg of calcium, 111mg of copper, and 0.82 mg of manganese. Additionally it contains 9.6 micrograms of vitamin K, 32 milligrams of vitamin C and26 mcg of folate.
Health Benefits of Raspberries
Raspberries contain some powerful antioxidants which are responsible for slowing down the ageing process through neutralization of free radicals. The same flavonoids that afford raspberries their red color also stimulate the production of collagen and delay wrinkles. These phytonutrients, particularly anthocyanins also provide antimicrobial protection while ellagic and gallic acids offer protection against cancer.
The high fiber content of raspberries helps you to feel full longer and combined with their low caloric content means they can help with any weight loss program. Fiber is also known to lower cholesterol thus maintaining cardiovascular health. Lastly, fiber plays a vital role in maintaining regular bowl movements.