The science behind superfood stories: Antioxidant properties of raspberry and blackberry fruits grown in Central Europe.
As far as healthy foods go, berries make the top of the list. They contain potent antioxidants, which decrease or reverse the effects of free radicals – natural byproducts of energy production that can play havoc on the body and that are closely linked with heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke or respiratory diseases.
Unsurprisingly, the benefits of berries are extolled in one study after another. It is usually the exotic Goji, Acerola or Acai berries that make the headlines as Superfoods, but for the health-savvy European consumer, the native homegrown species could be even more alluring. The current study from the University of Agriculture in Krakow shows what’s in store for Old Continent foodies in the berries department. The research published now in Open Chemistry suggests that black raspberries grown in Central Europe show greater health benefits than their better-known cousins – raspberries or blackberries.
A group of researchers led by Anna Małgorzata Kostecka-Gugała measured the content of phenolics and anthocyanins in black raspberries, red raspberries, and blackberries, assessing their antioxidant potential and health benefits. They were able to confirm that the antioxidant activity of natural products correlates directly with their health promoting properties.
It turns out that a number of antioxidants in black raspberries was three times higher than the other fruits under investigation. Remarkably, the number was even higher for phenolics or a number of anthocyanins – with black raspberries topping their humble cousins by over 1000%. But most interestingly, black raspberries seem to be characterized by a higher content of secondary metabolites, which have been proved beneficial for human health.
The Central Europe-grown variety of black raspberries showed greater health benefits than raspberries and blackberries. As there are no significant difference fruits collected in either summer or autumn they should remain a solid staple of our diet throughout the seasons.