Already recognized for their fiber prowess and heart-health benefits, raspberries are in the news again, this time for their anti-cancer potential.In a recent Ohio State University study, rats who feasted on black raspberries, a variety of the common red raspberry were 50% less prone to developing cancerous esophageal tumors.Also, if tumors did develop, they were only half the control size!

Black raspberries beat back cancer on various fronts: suppressing growth of cancer cells, reducing inflammation, inhibiting capillary networks that support tumors and triggering cancer cell death.

What’s behind these impressive results? Researchers credit the black raspberries’ anthocyanins, a type of polyphenol also found in strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, red cabbage and grapes. In addition to fighting other types of cancer (oral, prostate, colon), anthocyanins are believed to help boost brainpower, and even aid weight loss, by increasing production of hormones that regulate appetite and fat metabolism, according to other lab studies.This circles back for added throat protection, since excess weight can aggravate acid reflux, which is linked to higher esophageal cancer risk.Indeed, every extra 22 pounds you gain doubles your risk of esophageal cancer.

Raspberries are the top berry source of fiber with eight grams of fiber in just one cup serving which also supplies roughly 40% of your manganese needs, and nearly that same amount of your vitamin C needs.

Try our Raspberry Smoothie for a delicious way to enjoy berry benefits.

Published March 1, 2009