While there’s certainly merit to limiting large intakes of commercialized juice and dried fruit — particularly among those who are insulin resistant, sedentary, and have other factors that can wreak havoc with glycemic control — some fruits in their whole form can absolutely be part of a healthful diet.
Unfortunately, many fruits are starting to get a bad reputation. Fear-mongering about excess fructose (sugar) consumption from fruit has resulted in otherwise wholesome and nutritious fruits being banished from many people’s diets.
It’s true — some fruits are higher in fructose than others. For example, grapes, apples, bananas and mangoes have more natural sugars, while berries generally have less. Along with their relatively low amount of fructose, brightly colored berries are loaded with phytonutrients and antioxidants, and of course, they’re simply delicious.
Among the berries that shine at summertime farmers’ markets are raspberries.
A cup of this revitalizing fruit contains 8g of fiber, making them a great choice when sweet craving rears its head. They won’t cause a huge spike in your blood sugar, plus that one cup will provide nearly half of the daily value (DV) for vitamin C, 12% of the DV for vitamin K and copper, and 41% of the DV for manganese. All that with less than 3g of fructose (sugar)!
The diversity of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in raspberries is truly remarkable, and few commonly eaten fruits are able to provide us with greater diversity. Also worth noting is that amount of phytonutrients in raspberries are provided in amounts that are significant in terms of protecting us against the dangers of oxidative stress and the dangers of excessive inflammation. By helping to scavenge free radicals, and by helping to regulate the activity of enzymes that could trigger unwanted inflammation, the phytonutrients in raspberries help lower our risk of chronic diseases.
You’ll get significantly more antioxidant support by purchasing raspberries that are fully ripe.
- As raspberries are highly perishable (even in your refrigerator), they should only be purchased one or two days prior to use.
- Choose berries that are firm, plump, and deep in color, while avoiding those that are soft, mushy, or moldy.
- If you are buying berries prepackaged in a container, make sure that they are not packed too tightly and that the container has no signs of stains or moisture, indications of possible spoilage.
- Do not wash your raspberries until right before you eat them, as water will cause them to spoil faster.
Raspberries make excellent additions to smoothies, unsweetened plain yogurt or kefir, and, of course, they’re great as a snack all by themselves, or with a little splash of cream or coconut milk.