Raspberries

Raspberries

RaspberriesRaspberries are the bright-red fruits which are to be found in almost every supermarket. Raspberries are probably the most popular berries. Apart from the fact that they provide great health benefits, they also taste delicious. The sweet fruit contains various minerals and vitamins which are essential for your health. This article will address the history of raspberries, their health benefits and tips on how they should be selected and stored.

Description

Similar to many other fruits, raspberries belong to the family of plants which is called rose. Other fruits which also belong to the same family include strawberries, apples, peaches and cherries. Raspberries are a popular fruit. They are considered to be the third most popular berries, after strawberries and blueberries. Currently there are over 200 different species of raspberries. However, all these different types of species can be subdivided in three main categories. These categories are red raspberries, black raspberries and purple raspberries. The red and the black raspberries are considered to be the most popular types of raspberries. Red raspberries can be distinguished from the other two types by its color. They are mostly red but could also be more of a pink color. The European red raspberries are considered to be one of the most popular types of raspberries. Black raspberries have a darker color compared to the red ones and can also have a dark purple color. Black raspberries also differ from red raspberries with regards to taste. They are usually not as sweet as the red raspberries. Black raspberries can also be referred to as black cap, scotch cap or are called thimbleberry. Purple raspberries are not as common as the previously mentioned types of raspberries. Purple raspberries are created when red and black raspberries are hybridized. Thus, they can be found in certain supermarkets or stores but are not as common as the red and black ones. Moreover, raspberries are also referred to as aggregate fruits. This implies that the fruit is made up of many individual fruits which are similar in size. This is clearly visible in a raspberry. The individual fruits are the small juicy spheres of which the fruit is made up of. These small spheres are also referred to as drupelets.

History

It is not clear where raspberries originally come from. This is also due to the fact that raspberries can be found on five continents. Also, different species appear on different continents which makes it difficult to trace the origins of the fruit. Some raspberry species are native to northern Asia, while other species are native to Alaska. There are also a few species which can only be found in North America or in Europe. With regards to the first cultivation of raspberries, it is said that this happened about 2,000 years ago in Europe. This makes raspberries to be one the earliest crops of berries grown in Europe. Trading was important during this time because raspberries were soon available in different regions in the world. It is said that the Bering Strait played an important role in transporting raspberries from the east of Asia to North America. As mentioned earlier, raspberries are considered to be one of the most popular types of berries in the world. They are available on a global scale and they grow in different regions in the world. It is estimated that over 400,000 tons of raspberries are produced on a global scale. Some of the countries which rank among the top producers of raspberries are Chile, Poland, the United States, Russia and Serbia. In the United States, the production of raspberries mostly takes place along the West Coast. Commercial producers can, however, also be found in the rest of the country. The production of organic raspberries has become more popular over the years. Currently it is estimated that there are over 500 organic farms in the United States which produce organic raspberries. Since there is a high demand for raspberries in the United States, more than 10,000 tons of raspberries are imported from Mexico to meet the demand for raspberries.

Blood sugar benefits

Raspberries have multiple health benefits. Two relatively new areas of research have indicated that raspberries can contribute to the management of type 2 diabetes and obesity. With regards to the management of obesity, it is the compounds called ketone and tiliroside which have a positive effect. Ketone is a compound which can be found in raspberries, as well as many other fruits. This compound helps the body to increase the metabolism in our fat cells. This happens since it increases the activity of enzymes and increased heat production in certain fat cells. Due to the increase of the metabolism in these cells, less fat is deposited in the fat cells. This in turn leads to the fact that the experiences we have related to obesity are less. For example, some people experience inflammation-based problems. This can be reduced by the different nutrients present in raspberries. The other compound which has a positive influence on the human body is tiliroside. Tiliroside can be found in many different fruits as well. It is also known for being present in strawberries and rose hips. Tiliroside is a compound which has been proven to activate a hormone called adiponectin. This hormone is normally produced by our fat cells. However, this hormone is not produced in high amounts by people who have type 2 diabetes. It is important that this hormone is activated since it helps to regulate the blood sugar level in the body. It is important to note that the compound tiliroside does not prevent the accumulation of fat or stops weight gain. Nevertheless, it could contribute to the regulation of blood sugar and it can help to prevent the consequences of obesity.


Benefits for the heart

Different researches has also found raspberries to have a positive effect on the heart. A research mentioned in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that by consuming raspberries the risk of death from cardiovascular disease is lowered. This is due to the presence of flavonoid in the fruit. Thus, this counts for raspberries as well as other fruits which contain flavonoid. This same research has also indicated that this nutrients suppresses the inflammation which could eventually lead to cardiovascular disease. Another nutrient which is said to have a positive influence on the heart is polyphenol. The presence of this nutrient could also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is due to the fact that polyphenol prevents the reduction of blood pressure. This is mostly caused by anti-inflammatory mechanisms present in the body. A researcher from the Norwich Medical School led a study in cooperation with the Harvard Public School of health. This study took a total time of 18 years and followed over 90,000 women between the age of 25 and 42. This study showed that a regular intake of raspberries could reduce the risk of a heart attack by over 30 percent in young women. The same holds for women who are middle-ages. Another compound which has a positive influence on the heart is potassium. Different studies have shown that the regular intake of potassium could reduce the risk of a heart disease by almost 50 percent.

How to select and store

When buying raspberries it is recommended to only buy them one or two days before they will be consumed. This is due to the fact that they are highly perishable. Also, when buying raspberries it is important to pay attention that the fruits are not overly ripe. When choosing raspberries, pick those which are deep in color, plump and are firm. Thus, avoid buying those which are starting to mold, are soft or are starting to become mushy. Raspberries can also be bought pre-packed. When buying those which have already been packed, pay attention to the fast that they are not too tightly packed. If they are too tightly packed it could lead to the raspberries being damaged or begin crushed. Also make sure the package does not have any moisture or signs of moisture since that usually indicates that the raspberries are mushy. While raspberries are mostly available the whole year, the raspberry season is between summer and early fall. This is also when most supermarkets add black or purple raspberries to their collection. When storing raspberries, store them in the refrigerator. Before putting them in the fridge, make sure you check that there are no raspberries which are mushy or have mold on them. If they do, they could contaminate the others and they would all go to waste. Raspberries will usually only keep fresh for one or two days. Thus, it is recommended to eat them within this time. Raspberries also freeze well. If you want to store them in the freezer, wash them gently and then transfer them to a sheet or flat pan to put them in the freezer. Once they are frozen, you can transfer them to a plastic bag or container so they do not take up too much space in the freezer.

Recipes with raspberries

Raspberries can be eaten just like other fruits but they can also be added to different recipes. For example, if you would like to start your day off with something other than regular yoghurt or toast, raspberries can provide for a great alternative. You can add raspberries to porridge if you would like to treat yourself to a healthy breakfast. Another recipe on how to use raspberries is to add a bit of balsamic vinegar to them. By adding a bit of balsamic vinegar your taste buds are stimulated and will give you an usually good taste. Also, if you are looking for a topping for pancakes or waffles, raspberries are a great topping. You can mix raspberries with honey, chopped mint and yoghurt. This will be a fresh and healthy topping for your pancakes or waffles. Raspberries can also be used for a sweet desserts. For example, they provide for a great substitute for apples in a pie. Many bakeries offer raspberry pies or they will have different desserts which have raspberries in them, or are used as decoration.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 1090x
Added: 22-09-2016 18:17
Last modified: 22-10-2016 16:21

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