Earlier this summer we ran an article on the benefits of strawberries and to keep them fresh in the fridge longer. It’s worth a look back at because strawberries are delicious and because they have a lot of health benefits. In this piece I wanted to follow up with some similar information about raspberries, including a few notes on perception, benefits, and the best ways to put them to use.
I for one am a raspberry fiend, but truth be told I only ever ate them because they’re tasty. I’ve always wondered why they aren’t more popular than they seem to be. Now that I’ve learned more about their benefits I think they ought to be high on all of our grocery lists.
Take Raspberries Seriously!
I’ve actually heard a friend describe raspberries as “the sour version” of blackberries. I can understand that perception. The two types of berries always seem to be linked, right down to being stacked next to one another in grocery stores, and a big juicy blackberry is hard to beat for sweetness. But smaller, less ripe blackberries can be every bit as tart as a sub-par raspberry. They’re different flavors, but neither is inherently sweeter or better tasting than the other.
There’s also a misconception that raspberries are sort of playful fruits rather than healthy ones—more in the category of cherries and oranges than, say, blueberries or strawberries. I think this is in part because of slot machines, of all things. Gaming sites these days are packed to the brim with spinners of all shapes and sizes, meaning we’ve gotten away from the standard casino lobby themes to some extent. But some of the basics—including spinners with fruit-themed icons like little bunches of cherries or clusters of raspberries—are still out there. This contributes to the idea that these are playful treats that are more like candy than a healthy snack.
I say give these little berries their due! They’re not garnishes, and they’re not all tart. Most of the time they’re super tasty and as we’re about to cover, they can do quite a bit for you.
What They Do For You
From an internal health perspective raspberries, like many other berries, can help with all kinds of things. Their high dietary fiber content helps with digestion and can lead to weight loss, and they can even boost metabolism. They’re good for the long-term health of our eyes, and even contain ellagic acid, which can help to reduce the risk of cancer and other serious diseases. Plus, from a more practical standpoint, raspberries can make for yummy, sweet treats that keep people from eating more decadent (and far less healthy) desserts.
But raspberries can also be terrific for our outward appearances. Their high vitamin C content helps with signs of aging, and it’s said that eating a lot of raspberries can even reduce wrinkles. Some people even apply them to their faces to help with skin. According to Organic Life, you can make an anti-aging mask by mashing up raspberries with a spoonful of honey and wearing the resulting mixture like a face mask for 15 or 20 minutes!
A Few Ideas For How To Eat Them
The face mask is a creative idea, and one that’s supposed to work wonders (I haven’t gotten around to trying yet, but it’s on my list). Ideally you’ll also find yourself eating more raspberries once you realize the full extent of their health benefits.
One of the best ways to work them into your diet is through smoothies. If you have a juicer or blender, you can couple them with other berries, perhaps a banana for a base, and some milk (or soy or almond milk) and/or ice to create a simple, healthy, and delicious fruit smoothie. It’s a nice breakfast option, as well as a good substitute for a dessert at the end of a long night.
Other good ways of working them into your diet aside from cooking up desserts or eating them raw (which is a perfectly reasonable option) include eating them with yogurt in the morning or sprinkling them over a healthy salad for lunch. I’d recommend a salad of mixed greens, beet shavings, walnuts, red onion, and raspberry for a light but flavorful summer option.