The Extraordinary Berry
Health Benefits of Blackberries and Raspberries Fruit

There are many good reasons to eat raspberries and blackberries.

They are high in Vitamin C, which prevents scurvy, reduces risk of stroke, and helps prevent cancer initiation. They are good
sources of Folate, which is an especially important nutrient for pregnant women, since it helps prevent neural tube (spinal
column) defects. It may also help prevent heart disease. They are cholesterol free and virtually fat free. They are sources of
dietary fiber that lowers cholesterol and may help prevent colon cancer and heart disease. They are low in calories. All these
make bramble fruit a good addition to your diet.

But that's not all. Raspberries and blackberries have been shown to contain healthful substances which research shows may
slow down the aging process, boost immunity, and protect against chronic disease, including heart disease and cancer.

An increasing number of studies link various foods--especially berries and other intensely colored fruits and vegetables such
as strawberries, blueberries, and carrots--with improved health and disease prevention. Some of the healthful, bioactive
substances in these foods appear to be the pigments that give them their bright colors. Others are flavor compounds, such as
those that give an astringent taste to the seeds.

For example, anthocyanin, which gives berries their red color, is an antioxidant that scavenges free radicals, which may cause
aging of cells. Researchers are currently linking anthocyanin activity to improving vision, controlling diabetes, improving
circulation, preventing cancer and heart disease, and retarding the effects of aging, particularly loss of memory and motor
skills. Ellagic acid, a phenolic compound found in berries, has exhibited anti-carcinogenic effects against a wide range of
carcinogens in several tissues. And ellagic acid has been shown, in studies with rats and mice, to contribute to significant
inhibition of colon, esophageal, liver,lung, tongue, and skin cancers.

Why not just take a nutritional supplement?
When it comes to nutrition, no one has been able to outsmart Mother Nature. Research shows that it is a combination of
phytochemicals working together with the berry's fiber, vitamins, and minerals which make it so effective. For example, the
combination of anthocyanins, Vitamin C, and ellagic acid can act together, contributing to berries' high ORAC (Oxygen
Radical Absorbance Capacity) value, a measure of antioxidant effectiveness. Antioxidants are shown to work best when
combined; the presence of fiber, and other plant compounds enhance the health benefit. Scientists have also found that
raspberries blackberries may have cancer-fighting properties, but cannot attribute them to only one component.  For these
reasons, a nutraceutical source --a food with health properties-- is a more viable antioxidant option than a dietary supplement.
And a lot tastier!
RELATED TOPICS: Honey

Some honey — much of which is imported from Asia — has been found to contain
toxins like lead and other heavy metals, as well as drugs like chloramphenicol.
There might be something funny in your honey.

Food-safety experts have found that much of the honey sold in the United States
isn't actually honey, but a concoction of corn or rice syrup, malt sweeteners or
"jiggery" (cheap, unrefined sugar), plus a small amount of genuine honey,
according to Wired UK.

Worse, some honey — much of which is imported from Asia — has been found to
contain toxins like lead and other heavy metals, as well as drugs like
chloramphenicol, an antibiotic, according to a Department of Justice news release.

And because cheap honey from China was being dumped on the U.S. market at
artificially low prices, Chinese honey is now subject to additional import duties. So
Chinese exporters simply ship their honey to Thailand or other countries, where it
is relabeled to hide its origins, according to NPR.org.

This international "honey-laundering" scandal has now resulted in a Justice
Department indictment of two U.S. companies and the charging of five people with
selling mislabeled honey that also contained chloramphenicol.

Honey Solutions of Baytown, Texas, and Groeb Farms of Onsted, Mich., have
agreed to pay millions of dollars in fines and implement corporate compliance
measures following a lengthy Justice Department investigation. [The Science of
Food: 10 Odd Facts]

"This is a huge deal for the industry. This is the first admission by a U.S. packer,"
of knowingly importing mislabeled honey, Eric Wenger, chairman of True Source
Honey, told NPR. True Source Honey is an industry consortium with an auditing
system to guarantee the actual origin of honey.

Honey isn't the only food product subject to impurities and mislabeling. Olive oil is
often cut with cheaper oils and sold at premium prices, a practice that's expected
to expand as a shortage of the oil (caused by a 2012 drought in southern
Europe) hits global markets.

A possible solution to the honey-provenance quandary has come from an unlikely
source: astronomy. A laser isotope ratio-meter was developed to search for
methane gas on Mars, according to Wired UK. But that same technology can be
used to analyze the smoke given off by heated honey, olive oil or other food to
find its unique carbon "fingerprint" and determine its origin.

A sample of honey, for example, can be matched to the flowers of a specific
geographic region through the laser analysis.

"You will know, in the case of olive oil, if it genuinely comes from Sicily or if it is a
counterfeited fake," Damien Weidmann, laser spectroscopy expert at Rutherford
Appleton Laboratory in Harwell, England, told Wired UK.

Honey is an ideal application for the laser isotope ratio-meter because "it's an
expensive product to buy, but you can create a counterfeit product that looks
very similar using sugar instead of bees," David Bell, director of Protium
(manufacturer of the isotope ratio-meter), told Wired UK.