Health Benefits of Raspberries

Health Benefits of Raspberries

Not only are raspberries enjoyable all year long, but these brightly-colored gems are also delicious and versatile. Raspberries have an impressive nutritional profile that makes them one of the healthiest choices in the produce aisle.

Some benefits of raspberries include being high in nutrients and antioxidants and low in sugar, helping to boost cognitive health, and protecting against chronic diseases.

Here are seven health benefits of raspberries, plus simple ways to include fresh and frozen options in meals and snacks.

Are Low in Sugar

Raspberries are one of the lowest-sugar fruits. They contain less than 2.7 grams per 100-gram portion (about 3/4 cup), compared to about 17 grams in a small apple. The low sugar content makes them an excellent option for anyone with a sweet tooth who wants to minimize their overall sugar intake.

Are Rich in Anti-Aging Antioxidants

Raspberries are antioxidant powerhouses with their high vitamin C content.

One review noted higher intakes of antioxidant-rich fruits like raspberries are associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Antioxidants are substances that might delay or prevent some forms of cell damage. When you exercise, convert food into energy, or are exposed to cigarette smoke, air pollution, and sunlight, your body naturally produces free radicals, which are unstable molecules.

Too many free radicals can lead to oxidative stress, triggering cell damage. Fortunately, some research has found antioxidant molecules may counteract oxidative stress.

Antioxidants might also help reduce inflammation, a known trigger of premature aging. The natural protective substances in raspberries may also reduce arthritis pain.

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May Protect You From Cancer

Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in raspberries may help protect against cancer. Some evidence suggests that those compounds might reduce the reproduction of cancer cells.

One study noted that raspberries provide ellagitannins and anthocyanins. Ellagitannins and anthocyanins are phytochemicals, which are chemicals that may have cancer-fighting properties.

Are High in Fiber

Raspberries are one of the highest whole food sources of fiber, offering 6.5 grams per every 100 grams (about 3/4 cup).

Fiber has several health benefits, which include:

  • Contributing to fullness
  • Controlling blood sugar
  • Supporting good digestive health

Raspberry fiber may also help beneficial gut bacteria flourish. This can have a positive effect on people with obesity, metabolic syndrome, and other chronic gut diseases.

May Help Prevent Diabetes

One study randomly assigned 32 adults between the ages of 20 and 60 years to three breakfast meals. Each meal was similar in calories, fat, and carbohydrates.

However, they had different portions of frozen red raspberries: One meal contained no raspberries, the second included one cup, and the third provided two cups.

Researchers found that for those at risk of diabetes, eating more raspberries may lower blood sugar and reduce the amount of insulin needed to manage blood sugar levels.

Sharpen Your Brain and Memory

Raspberries help counter oxidative stress, an imbalance between cell-damaging free radicals and the body’s ability to fight off their harmful effects.

Because oxidative stress is considered a risk factor in diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, raspberries are a top brain-supporting food. One review noted the flavonoids in berries have been shown to help improve coordination and memory.

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Nutrition of Raspberries

You can find the following nutrients in one cup (123 grams) of raspberries:163

  • Calories: 51–57kcal
  • Fiber: 6.5g
  • Vitamin C: 23mg
  • Manganese: 0.494mg

One cup of raspberries provides 32 milligrams of vitamin C. That amount is approximately 43% of the recommended daily target of vitamin C for females and 36% for males who don’t smoke. Vitamin C supports immunity and skin health and helps produce collagen.

Raspberries also contain manganese, calcium, and vitamin K, which play roles in bone health. In addition, raspberries supply smaller amounts of vitamin E, B vitamins, magnesium, copper, iron, and potassium.

Risks of Raspberries

Generally speaking, raspberries are a healthy addition to one’s diet. However, some people are allergic to raspberries.

In addition, some fruits can be contaminated with bacteria that lead to food poisoning. Food poisoning may involve stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. To help protect against food poisoning, rinse raspberries under running water, cut off any bruised or damaged areas, and dry the raspberries with a clean paper towel before eating.

Tips for Consuming Raspberries

Raspberries are a beautiful and tasty addition to numerous dishes and work well in sweet and savory meals. If you are looking for a quick way to add raspberries to your daily meals or snacks, try some of the following recipes:

  • Add them to oatmeal or overnight oats, garden salads, whole grain side dishes, and desserts.
  • Slightly mash them to make a colorful sauce you can put on anything from two-ingredient banana egg pancakes to broiled fish or oven-roasted veggies.
  • Whip frozen raspberries into smoothies, or thaw and eat them just like you would fresh raspberries.
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You can also warm frozen raspberries over low heat on the stovetop with freshly grated ginger root and cinnamon (and maybe a touch of pure maple syrup) as the base for a mock cobbler. Top with almond butter or rolled oat crumble, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, or shaved dark chocolate.

Frozen, thawed, or fresh raspberries also make a great snack, paired with nuts, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate squares, or drizzled with nut butter or spiced tahini.

A Quick Review

Raspberries have several health benefits. They pack a lot of nutrients that help keep you healthy and may protect against chronic diseases. What’s more, they can satisfy your sweet tooth without being high in sugar.

Frozen or fresh, raspberries are easy to incorporate into your daily meals or snacks. Add them to the side of your breakfast, toss them into a smoothie, or bake them into a mock cobbler. Any way you eat raspberries, you’ll take advantage of their many health benefits.


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