By Jennifer Fisher @ thefitfork.com
Looking for a refreshing superfood this Spring? Look no further than the humble raspberry. These berries pack a big nutritional punch in a very small package.
I hate to play favorites when it comes to berries, but I’m pretty partial to red raspberries. Not only are they beautiful and super delicious, a handful of raspberries makes me feel like I’m getting a special treat. While many may think of raspberries as merely a colorful garnish for indulgences like chocolate, cheesecake (and even champagne!), I think they are stunning enough to stand on their own, and they are good for your health!
Did you know that an entire cup of raspberries has only 52 calories? In addition to being a low-calorie food, one cup of raspberries provides 7 grams of dietary fiber and 44 percent recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Raspberries are also rich in a range of phytonutrients that can help prevent free radicals from doing damage to your body. Intense training, such as running and lifting weights, can increase free radical production which slows down muscle repair. However, consuming antioxidant rich foods, such as raspberries, is a natural way to combat this stress and recover from workouts faster.
The flavonoid quercetin is also found in raspberries. This plant pigment is believed to play a role in heart health and the prevention of cardiovascular diseases (this is of particular interest to athletes). Some scientists studying exercise biochemistry believe that quercetin may enhance endurance and overall athletic performance by serving as an anti-inflammatory agent, improving mitochondrial (energy) function in cells, and boosting the central nervous system with a caffeine-like jolt.
How To Use Them
Store raspberries in the refrigerator, ideally in a container with some air-flow and rest them on a paper towel to reduce excess moisture. Don’t wash raspberries until you’re ready to eat them. Not only are these berries fragile, but pre-washing accelerates spoilage. I love to eat raspberries unadorned, but they are perfect to blend into smoothies and as a topping for Greek Yogurt and granola.
Try this simple low calorie snack: Stick a single chocolate chip into the open center of a raspberry. Enjoy!
Jennifer Fisher is an enthusiastic Core Power fan and user. Along with being a contributor to the fairlife team, she’s a #FitFluential Ambassador, #IDEAfit Inspired Blogger and contributor at the Cooking Light Blogger Connection. Jennifer is also a fit food & healthy living guest speaker, competitive master’s runner, CrossFit enthusiast and mother of three pre-teen through teen boys! For more on Jennifer, visit her blog TheFitFork.com and follow her on twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.