Wednesday, April 13

Food Spotlight: Raspberries

With ten times the antioxidant activity as tomatoes, three times that of kiwis and 50% more than strawberries, raspberries are a powerful little red fruit.

Raspberries are special because they contain ellagic acid, a compound found in very few foods.

A lot of research is being conducted on ellagic acid since it fights free radical damage. These studies suggest ellagic acid may have anti-cancer effects against liver, esophageal, prostate and colorectal cancer.

Ellagic acid is highest in red raspberries at 1500mcg per gram of dry weight fruit. Strawberries have less than half that level at 639mcg, walnuts have 590mcg, pecans 330mcg, and cranberries 120mcg.

In addition to its potential as a cancer fighter, raspberries are also an excellent source of fiber, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B2, folate, niacin, magnesium, potassium and copper.

All this goodness, but I hardly ever buy them. And I even like them.

My problem with raspberries is that unless I devour the package in the car on the ride home from the grocery store, they spoil. To say they’re highly perishable is an understatement. They last one day, two days max.

Lately, burned out from apples, bananas and grapes, I decided to try something different. I bought frozen raspberries.  

Luckily, freezing raspberries doesn’t significantly alter their antioxidant properties so I’m still getting all the benefits without the hassle of spoilage. (The one exception is vitamin C, which apparently gets destroyed by freezing. But I can drink orange juice for that.) And the best part is, frozen raspberries keep up to a year. A YEAR!

I’ve been indulging in a delicious raspberry smoothie as a snack. It’s creamy and thick and by using Greek yogurt I get 12 grams of protein which fills me up. Also, at roughly 140 calories this only seems like a diet splurge.

It’s healthy AND delicious. Give it a try.

Raspberry Smoothie (140 calories)

¼ cup frozen raspberries
½ cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt (I like the Fage brand)
1-2 tsp honey
2 Tbls of skim milk (add more if it’s still too thick)

Put everything in a blender and frappe away!

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