Raspberries are full of antioxidants and are an excellent source of Vitamin C, and the mineral Manganese. Alongside being a rich source of nutrients they are also high in dietary fibre. Raspberries are considered a ‘super food’. Superfoods are those foods which rank highest for their ability to build health and prevent disease. What is particularly helpful is that many of the antioxidant properties of raspberries are retained even with freezing, which makes raspberries a popular choice for healthy smoothies.
There is a particular group of antioxidants called phytonutrients which contain the tannin family of antioxidants. Ellagitannins belong to this group and have been shown to be highest in raspberries. There has been much research linking the presence of this antioxidant and a reduction in cancer. Raspberries are also a good source of other antioxidants such as quercitin, and anthocyanins which give raspberries their red colour. Alongside antioxidant activity, the anthocyanins are suggested as being helpful in combating fungi and bacteria, in particular candida albicans.
The way an individual raspberry is actually a cluster of individual fruits, with a hollow centre, is unique and characteristic of fruits called ‘aggregate fruits’. This structure of a raspberry increases its surface area and is why it is able to achieve its relatively high dietary fibre content for its size. Dietary fibre is essentially for carrying toxins out of our intestines and preventing potential reabsorption of toxic material. Because raspberries are a good source of dietary fibre, this cleansing property contributes to their superfood status.
A cup of raspberries, around 120 grams, is said to contain just over half the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C and the mineral Manganese. Both of these nutrients have important roles in the cleaning up of free radicals and preventing damage to our cells.
Information supplied by Steph Askeur