Raspberry is believed to have originated in Eastern Asia and has been a part of human diet dating back some 750,000 years as evidenced by archeological findings on Paleolithic cave dwellers. Red raspberries were believed to have been introduced to North America by prehistoric people crossing the Bering Straight.
Raspberries are perennial plants that can live for up to 10 years. Their scientific name is rubus idaeus and are a member of the rose family. They may look like blackberries, but raspberries have a distinctive characteristics of their own. They are cylindrical in shape with a deep red color. The fruit is made up of a collection of tiny fruits and each with its own seed and covered in red skin and flesh. When the fruit is harvested, the cluster comes away from the stem, leaving it hollow in the center. Raspberries are sweet in flavor.
Raspberries are a true superfood. They contain a rich amount vitamin B-complex including vitamin k, niacin, folic acid, and riboflavin which all help your body in the metabolism of protein, carbohydrates and fats. This berry also loaded with essential minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, manganese and copper.
Raspberries are diet friendly, a cup of this wonderful fruit is only about 64 calories. It’s cholesterol free and low in fat and sodium. Their seeds are a good source of dietary fiber.
Its diversity of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients are truly phenomenal, with a long list that includes flavanols, quercetin, anthocyanins, catechins, tannins, kaemferol, coumaric acids, gallic acids and resveratrol just to name a few. These powerful antioxidants can help effectively slow down the growth of cancer cell by hunting down damaging free radicals in your body. It can also help alleviate arthritis and gout. Another compound found in raspberries called rheosmin is said to increase metabolism in fat cells as it increases enzyme activity and oxygen consumption to help deal with obesity.
The raspberry leaves are more valued for its medicinal properties and is widely known to treat gastrointestinal tract disorders, like diarrhea; and for heart problems, diabetes, and fever. The leaves can also be directly applied to treat skin problems. Raspberry leaves also give relief for women suffering from painful periods, morning sickness caused by pregnancy, and in easing labor and delivery.
When consumed in food quantity, raspberry is safe for most individuals, even for pregnant women. As for nursing mothers, its best avoid eating raspberry to be safe. Persons with hormone sensitive condition should avoid raspberry which may act as an estrogen.
Raspberry fun fact: In Greek mythology, raspberry was originally white but it turned red when the nursemaid of Zues named Ida, pricked her finger on a thorn staining the berry with her blood.
Stay fit. Eat superfood. Enjoy life.