As we're quickly approaching the middle of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, today's post is about a delicious bone-healthy fruit that's in season now. It’s listed as an alkalizing Foundation Food in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, and despite its sweet taste, it’s low in sugar and high in Vitamin C.
I’m thrilled to give you all the practical information you need on this flavorful, brightly-colored fruit, so you’ll know the many ways it benefits your bones and your overall health. Plus you’ll also find a delicious recipe for mini fruit pies that’s the perfect way to…
Include Raspberries In Your Bone-Healthy Diet
This incredibly versatile fruit can be frozen, whirled into smoothies, pureed and frozen into pops, and cooked into sauces. Raspberries can be eaten fresh on salads, yogurt, cereal, or just out of hand. You may even find them growing wild in your area. Raspberries are a sweet and juicy way to get some very important nutrients that build up your bones.
- Vitamin C is one of the primary vitamins you’ll find in raspberries. One cup of raw berries delivers more than half the recommended daily allowance. Not only is Vitamin C crucial for your bones and overall health, but studies show that absorption of this vitamin decreases with age.
So as we grow older, we have a greater need for Vitamin C. According to research, adults between the ages of 65 and 96 have a lower blood level of Vitamin C than younger adults who take in the same amount of the vitamin. This is likely due to changes in the biological process of Vitamin C intake, specifically a decrease in a key molecular transporter.1
In addition, Vitamin C is vital for the proper metabolism of Vitamin D. These two vitamins work together, and a deficiency in Vitamin C can lower Vitamin D levels significantly.
- Manganese, another Foundation Supplement in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, is plentiful in raspberries – almost half the RDA can be found in one cup. Manganese is essential for the synthesis of connective tissue found in bone, and this mineral protects against bone demineralization. Manganese also plays a role in fatty acid metabolism. Speaking of fatty acids…
- You don’t usually think of Omega-3 Fatty Acids when you consider fresh fruit, but amazingly, raspberries actually contain these essential fats. Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation, and it’s been scientifically proven that Omega-3s increase calcium absorption and maintain bone density.2
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, chilled so it’s solid and cut into small pieces
- 3 to 5 tablespoons iced distilled water
- 1 1/2 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 3 tsp stevia powder (adjust to taste)
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch or arrowroot (you can substitute with non-GMO cornstarch if you prefer).
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup almonds, slivered
- 2 tablespoons honey (adjust to desired sweetness)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Place almond flour, whole wheat flour, and salt in bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined. Add coconut oil and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add water, one tablespoon at a time, and pulse just until dough comes together (be careful to not over mix).
- Pat dough into a 6 x 5-inch rectangle and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill at least 1 hour.
- Cut dough lengthwise into 3 pieces and crosswise into 4 pieces to create 12 equal pieces. One at a time, place a piece of dough in an oiled muffin cup, and use your fingers to press it firmly and evenly up the sides to make a shell. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix raspberries, stevia and tapioca starch or your chosen thickener.
- In a large bowl, mix almond flour, almonds, honey, cinnamon and salt.
- Add butter and mix until mixture is crumbly.
- Fill muffin cups with raspberry mixture and top with almond mixture.
- Bake about 30 minutes or until pastry is golden and fruit is bubbling.
- Cool and serve.
Raspberries Contain Bone-Building Polyphenols
I devote an entire chapter of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program to antioxidants, and one of the segments discusses a class of antioxidants known as polyphenols. These important plant chemicals increase osteoblast production, and a group of polyphenols known as flavonoids accounts for raspberries’ beautiful red color.
Raspberries contain anthocyanins, a group of flavonoids that provide a number of health benefits, from improving brain function to regulating inflammation. And they have high levels of epicatechin, flavonols shown to stimulate osteoblast differentiation.
You’ll also find quercetin in raspberries, a polyphenol that has been shown to decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This is important for building strong bones, because excessive cortisol creates a very acidic environment that deteriorates bone.
Yet another antioxidant that’s plentiful in raspberries is ellagic acid. Ellagic acid is anti-inflammatory and promotes neurological health, and research suggests that the ellagic acid in raspberries is especially bioavailable.
Because of their significant antioxidant content,
Raspberries Have A Wide Range Of Health Benefits, Including Cancer Prevention
Ellagic acid, which was just mentioned, has been shown to prevent cancer. According to research from Ohio State University, the ellagic acid in raspberries stimulates certain enzymes that detoxify carcinogenic substances.3
Ellagic acid does more than just prevent cancer cells from taking hold – it can actually kill them. Exciting new research from the Medical University of South Carolina showed that daily ingestion of 40mg of ellagic acid (about 1 cup of raw raspberries) actually caused cancer cells to stop proliferating within just 48 hours. After 72 hours, the cancer cells died by apoptosis.4
The protective effects don’t stop there. Raspberries also protect your skin.
Raspberries Protect Your Skin From Sun Damage
With summer in full swing, this is especially good news if you wish to minimize exposure to the toxic chemicals found in many sunscreens. Once again, ellagic acid comes to the fore – this particular antioxidant is responsible for raspberries’ ability to prevent the wrinkles and inflammation associated with too much sun exposure. A 2010 study published in Experimental Dermatology concludes:
“…ellagic acid prevented collagen destruction and inflammatory responses caused by UV-B.”5
And since raspberries don’t contain high levels of pesticides, you can buy the conventional kind instead of organic. So I can’t wait to share this delicious, pH-balanced recipe with you that features raspberries.
Magical Raspberry Mini Pies*
Note: You can make one large pie instead, if you prefer
Recipes like this help you with ideas for dishes that include Foundation Foods in your daily meals and snacks. This is crucial for building bone density without drugs, and it’s one of the primary reasons why I’ve created Bone Appétit, the companion cookbook to the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.
Bone Appétit is the perfect addition to the Program, because it gives you so many creative and delicious recipes and ideas for using nutrient-rich, bone-building Foundation Foods that you might otherwise not eat in your daily diet.
You see, osteoporosis is not a disease; it’s a symptom of a systemic imbalance caused by acid accumulation in the body. Eating the right foods corrects this imbalance and promotes a pH-balanced body environment in which your bones can thrive. Additionally, Foundation Foods are rich in bone-building vitamins and minerals your bones need to be strong, healthy, and fracture-resistant.
Till next time,
1 Michels AJ, Joisher N, Hagen TM. “Age-related decline of sodium-dependent ascorbic acid transport in isolated rat hepatocytes.” Arch Biochem Biophys. 2003;410(1):112-120. Web. (PubMed)
2 Kruger, Horrobin. “Calcium Metabolism, Osteoporosis and Essential Fatty Acids: A Review.” Progress in Lipid Research. 1997.
3 Stoner, Gary D., et al. “Cancer Prevention with Freeze-dried Berries and Berry Components.” Semin Cancer Biol. Oct. 2007; 17(5): 403-410. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2196225/#__ffn_sectitle
5 Bae, JY, et al. “Dietary compound ellagic acid alleviates skin wrinkle and inflammation induced by UV-B irradiation.” Exp Dermatol. 2010 Aug; 19(8): e182-90. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20113347