The raspberry (plural, raspberries) is the edible fruit of a number of species of the genus Rubus. The name originally refers in particular to the European species Rubus idaeus, and is still used for that species as its standard English name in its native area. Other species, mostly closely related in the same subgenus Idaeobatus, also called raspberries subsequently include:
- Rubus strigosus (American Raspberry) (syn. R. idaeus var. strigosus)
- Rubus arcticus (Arctic Raspberry)
- Rubus crataegifolius (Korean Raspberry)
- Rubus occidentalis (Black Raspberry)
- Rubus odoratus (Flowering Raspberry)
- Rubus phoenicolasius (Wine Raspberry)
- Rubus leucodermis (Whitebark or Western Raspberry)
Raspberries are an important commercial fruit crop, widely grown in all temperate regions of the world. Many of the most important modern commercial raspberry cultivars derive from hybrids between R. idaeus and R. strigosus.
Raspberries contain significant amounts of polyphenol antioxidants, chemicals linked to promoting endothelial and cardiovascular health. Raspberries are considered a high-fiber food at over 8 grams dietary fiber per cup. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese, a good source of vitamin K and magnesium and contain some calcium and iron.
The aggregate fruit structure contributes to its nutritional value, as it increases the proportion of dietary fiber, placing it among plants with the highest fiber contents known, up to 20% fiber per total weight. Raspberries are a rich source of vitamin C, with 30 mg per serving of 1 cup (about 50% daily value), manganese (about 60% daily value) and dietary fiber (30% daily value). Contents of vitamin A, B vitamins 1-3, iron, calcium and potassium are considerable in raspberries.
Raspberries rank near the top of all fruits for antioxidant strength, particularly due to their dense contents of ellagic acid (from ellagotannins), quercetin, gallic acid, anthocyanins, cyanidins, pelargonidins, catechins, kaempferol and salicylic acid. All these are polyphenolic antioxidants with promising health benefits under current research.
Due to their rich contents of antioxidant vitamins A and C and the phenolics mentioned above, raspberries have an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of about 4900 per 100 grams, including them among the top-ranked ORAC fruits. Cranberries and wild blueberries have around 9000 ORAC units and apples average 2800.
The following anti-disease properties have been isolated in experimental models.