December 21, 2015 – As far as healthy foods go, berries top 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 extoled 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 consumer, the native homegrown species could be even more alluring.
Research being conducted by the University of Agriculture in Krakow and recently published in Open Chemistry suggests that black raspberries 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 the amount of antioxidants in black raspberries was three times higher than the other fruits under investigation. Remarkably, the number was even higher for phenolics or the amount of anthocyanines – with black raspberries topping their humble cousins by over 1000 per cent. But most interestingly, black raspberries seem to be characterized by a higher content of secondary metabolites, which have been proved beneficial for human health.