Raspberries, a member of the rose family, are believed to have originated in Eastern Asia and came to North America by way of prehistoric people crossing the Bering Strait. Founding Father George Washington was a known cultivator of raspberries, so it’s fitting that Washington state is the top domestic producer with 70 million tons of the fruit produced per year. Oregon, California, and the Midwestern states are also places you’ll find raspberries grown. Raspberries are available year-round, but June through October are the prime months to buy.
Types of Raspberries
There are two main types of raspberries: red and black. You may also occasionally come across a purple hybrid, a cross between red and black, or a genetic mutation of the red raspberry – the “golden” raspberry. Two hundred different varieties of raspberries exist, with the most popular being:
- Amber – beloved for its superior red color
- Boyne – dark red and high-quality
- Canby – large, sweet berries
- Latham – very large, mildly sweet
- Taylor – large, conical, delicious flavor
- Willamette – enormous, dark red, abundant
1 cup of raspberries contains:
- 64 calories
- 1 gram of fat
- 15 grams of carbohydrates (4% DV)
- 8 grams of dietary fiber (32% DV)
- 1 gram of protein
- 1% DV Vitamin A
- 3% DV Calcium
- 5% DV Iron
- 5% DV Vitamin E
- 5% DV Potassium
- 6% DV Folate
- 12% DV Vitamin K
- 41% DV Manganese
- 54% DV Vitamin C
Top 5 Health Benefits of Raspberries
- Lower heart attack risk: A study of 94,000 women who ate anthocyanin-rich berries three or more times per week found that their risk of heart attack was reduced by 30 percent. Anthocyanin suppresses inflammation, while polyphenols prevent platelet buildup and reduces blood pressure. The potassium in raspberries is another mechanism that supports heart health.
- Brain boost: Several animal studies have found that consuming flavonoid-rich raspberries may help to delay mental aging, improves memory, and boosts cognitive abilities.
- Digestion: The high fiber content may help to prevent constipation, promote regularity, excrete toxins, and maintain a healthy digestive tract.
- Optimal eye health: Vitamin C protects the eyes from UV damage. The antioxidant zeaxanthin also filters out harmful blue light rays and may help to ward off macular degeneration damage.
- Healing from the flu: The high level of vitamin C in raspberries may help to shorten the duration and support healing from the flu.
Tips for Buying, Storing & Eating Raspberries
- Buying Raspberries: Choose berries that are shiny and deep in color, with the green caps still attached. Make sure they are not sunken, sandy, bruised, discolored, or moldy.
- Storing Raspberries: You’ll have to gobble this fruit up quick, as it only keeps in the refrigerator for 1-2 days! Place them in a wide bowl covered with plastic wrap. You can also freeze them on a cookie sheet and transfer them into a plastic bag, where they’ll keep for two years.
- Cooking Raspberries: To make into a sauce, cook two cups of raspberries, 1/3 cup sweetener of choice (such as coconut sugar), 1 TBSP orange juice, half a lemon’s juice, and a pinch of salt on low for about five minutes. Pass through a strainer to remove seeds. The sauce will thicken as it stands and should be refrigerated.
- Eating Raspberries: Add raspberries to your fruit or green salad. Eat them as a snack. Bake them into a gluten/grain free type of muffin or tart. Add to whole food and raw smoothies, homemade coconut ice cream, or homemade coconut yogurt. Mix them into pancakes or chia seed pudding. It also makes a great complement to duck or salmon. Enjoy with nuts. Add a teaspoon of raspberry jam to sweeten your tea or top a dollop to your grain free pancakes.
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