Last summer my family and I camped on the shore of Lake Superior in northern Michigan. We were delighted to find enough wild blueberries and raspberries that we could snack to our hearts’ content.
The kids still rave about that delicious experience. And here in Alaska, we’re reliving it — but we aren’t alone. Yesterday my out-of-breath son came running into the RV exclaiming, “There’s a moose with a big rack in the raspberry patch!”
Sure enough, we later found moose hair in the bowl of raspberries we’d collected. Then last night, I was picking a fresh batch and noticed a bunny rabbit enjoying the patch with me.
I’ve also been warned that if I’m not careful, I might bump into a berry-loving bear. Raspberry picking may have never been so dangerous, but if I can snatch a few more they may just be worth the risk.
Because berries are among the healthiest fruits — and black raspberries offer at least two very significant health benefits:
First, they inhibit starch-digesting enzymes so more starch is available to feed the friendly flora in the colon. And that’s a great thing, according to this NutritionFacts video, because it:
Softens and bulks up our stools
Reduces colon-cancer risk by decreasing pH
Increases short-chain fatty acid production
Reduces products of protein fermentation (putrefaction)
and decreases secondary bile products.
Second, raspberries fight cancer at both ends of our bodies. In this video, Dr. Greger discusses research looking at their effect on rectal polyps that sometimes progress to cancer:
“After nine months of treatment, half of their rectal polyps disappeared. Normally, you have to go in and cut them out, but the berries made them just totally regress back into the body.”
In this video, topically applied black raspberry gel succeeded reducing or eliminating precancerous oral lesions!
Blueberries also get in on the disease-fighting fun: Type 2 diabetes patients eating just one-half cup of them a day achieved “… significantly lower insulin resistance.”
Not keen on sharing your berry patch with the moose and bears? No problem! Freeze-dried black raspberries hold their antioxidant concentration remarkably well. Frozen aren’t bad either, but heat-processed jam can’t compete.
Finally, after a day of close encounters and wild adventures, red raspberries are one of the best sources of natural, sleep-inducing melatonin. Sweet Dreams!