Scientifically checked

Rose Hips

By Alyssa Morlacci
Updated on 14. Sep. 2020

Rose hips have a lot to offer in terms of health: The sour little fruits are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients that protect the body from disease and promote overall wellness.

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Rose hips...

  • ...provide important plant compounds. The rose hip owes its red color to its abundant flavonoids. The most abundant are quercetin and catechin, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing effects on joint inflammation. These natural colorants often act throughout the body, but are especially known for their protective effect against cell damage.
  • ...aid digestion. Rose hip is rich in pectin, a soluble fiber that is particularly good for our intestines. It ensures proper digestion, and binds toxins and excess cholesterol so that they are less harmful to the body.
  • ...strengthen skin and eyesight. With about 800 micrograms of vitamin A in every 100 grams of rose hip, adult women can access their average daily requirement (men need about 20 percent more). Vitamin A ensures healthy skin and mucous membranes, strengthens vision and also promotes the growth of body cells.
  • ...are high in fiber. Every100 grams of rose hip has 6 grams of fiber, which keeps you feeling full and feeds the good intestinal bacteria.
  • ...are packed with vitamin C. With an incredible 1,250 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams, rose hips are one of the best suppliers of the substance that strengthens the body's defenses and helps burn body fat.
  • ...protect the vessels. Among the many healthy secondary plant substances in rose hips is lycopene, a so-called antioxidant that can prevent damage to the heart and vessels. Studies suggest that people who have a lot of lycopene in their bodies are better protected against strokes.
  • ...can relieve bladder problems. Natural medicine uses an infused tea made from fresh rose hip seeds to remedy bladder and kidney problems.

What You Should Know About Rose Hips

Rose hips are sour and incredibly rich in vitamin C. Rose hips ripen during the time of year when we need to have good defences at the beginning of autumn. But, the later in the year you pick them, the sweeter they are. They can even still be picked in spring, after they have remained on the bush throughout the winter frost.

Rose hips are nothing more than the fruits of various wild rose species. Apple and potato roses are known for their particularly delicious rose hips; many gardeners cultivate them for exactly this reason.

Depending on the type of rose, rose hips look somewhat different. Their shape can vary from roundish to an elongated-oval.

Origin

Rosehips are native to Central, Northern and Eastern Europe.

Season

Depending on the rose variety, you can pick rose hips from the end of August until well into November. When they are at their optimum state of ripeness, the fruits can be plucked easily. You can tell rose hips are ripe when their skin is sensitive.

Taste

Due to the high content of vitamin C and ascorbic acid, rose hips taste sour yet fruity.

How Healthy Are Rose Hips?

With an average of 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams, this already proportion can even rise to as much as 5,000 milligrams depending on the rose type and maturity. 

Rose hips have a lot to offer in terms of health: The sour little fruits are full of lycopene, an antioxidant that is effective in preventing cancer, among other things. Lycopene can particularly prevent damage to the heart and blood vessels, and studies have found that people with a lot of lycopene in their bodies have a much lower risk of a stroke.

Also present are vitamin B1 and B2, minerals (iron, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus), tannins, essential oils and the water-soluble fiber pectin. Even 50 grams of rose hips cover more than half of the daily fiber requirement and thus promote digestion.

Rose hips are almost unbeatable in terms of their vitamin A content: With about 800 micrograms of vitamin A in each 100 grams, the fruits contain the average daily requirement of an adult woman (men need around 20 percent more). Vitamin A ensures healthy skin and mucous membranes, strengthens vision and promotes the growth of body cells.

Nutritional values of rose hips per 100 grams  
Calories 108
Protein 4 grams
Fat 1 gram
Carbohydrates 19 grams
Fibers 6 grams

Shopping and Kitchen Tips

Shopping

Fresh, raw rose hips are rarely available for purchase. However, you can buy the fruit as a fine rose hip pulp in well-assorted supermarkets, and of course in organic food stores and health food shops.

Storage

Storing rose hips for too long can negatively alter the taste and vitamin content. If you cannot process them immediately after they're picked, rosehips should be kept in the refrigerator for a maximum of two to three days.

Preparation

Cleaning and preparing rose hips can be a chore, because after washing and draining, each fruit must first be removed from the stem and flower attachment, then cut in half and deseeded.

It's best to wear disposable gloves because the inside of rose hips can create an itchiness on the skin.

If you want to save yourself from the time-consuming pulverizing process, you can choose a more convenient method: Simply boil the washed rose hips covered with water for about 10 minutes until they are soft and then pass them through a fine sieve.

Preparation Tips For Rose Hips

Eating rose hips raw is not advisable because they're intense acidic. In addition, the substances in the small kernels irritate the mucous membranes; only heat destroys this property. The chopped fruits are perfect for preserving chutneys and jams, but can also be used for meat dishes or desserts.

The Bavarians and Austrians like hot or cold soup made from rose hips, which is cooked with sugar and sago. In Sweden you can even buy rose hip soup ready to eat as "nyponsoppa" and enjoy it with crumbled crispbread.

Knowledge To Go

They taste sour and are super healthy. Above all, rose hips are high in vitamin C and A contents — offering more than almost any other fruit.

Scientifically checked by our EAT SMARTER experts
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