08 July, 2011
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- Linus Pauling Institute; The Possible Health Benefits of Anthocyanin Pigments and Polyphenolics; May 2001
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Nutritional Value of Black Raspberries
Black raspberries are a dark berry similar to raspberries and blackberries. They are native to North America and can typically be found fresh in the month of July. You can use black raspberries in similar ways to red raspberries. They are an excellent snack and you can also use them in pie recipes and to top cereal.
A 100 g serving, or about 2/3 cup, of black raspberries contains 72 calories. The majority of these calories come from carbohydrates of which there are 17 g. One serving of black raspberries also contains 5 g of natural fruit sugar and 1.7 g of fiber, which is about 5 percent of the daily value for adults. Black raspberries are low in both fat and protein, with .1 g and 1.4 g per serving, respectively.
Black raspberries are higher in iron than many other fruits, with 1.4 mg per serving. This provides 18 percent of the daily value for men and 8 percent for women. Iron is essential for the formation of hemoglobin, which is the oxygen-carrier protein found in red blood cells. A lack of iron can lead to health issues such as fatigue. Black raspberries also contain a small amount of calcium; one serving supplies 3 percent of the daily value.
Black raspberries contain small amounts of both vitamin A and vitamin C. One serving supplies 3 to 5 percent of the daily value for both of these nutrients. Vitamin C is important for collagen formation and the absorption of iron. Vitamin A promotes proper night vision.
Black raspberries are high in ellagic acid, a plant chemical also found in other dark fruits and some nuts. According to the American Cancer society, ellagic acid was found in some animal studies to slow the growth of some cancerous tumors such as those in the lungs and esophagus. This has not been backed up with valid research in humans.
The dark blue to black color of black raspberries comes from the presence of pigments called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins provide not only color to black raspberries, but they also provide nutritional benefit, as they are antioxidants. Like other antioxidants, such as vitamin C, anthocyanins can protect your cells against damage from toxins called free radicals. According to The Linus Pauling Institute, anthocyanins may help to improve your vision, fight inflammation and treat ulcers. More research is needed in these areas before recommendations on anthocyanin intake can be made.
- black raspberries image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com