7 Impressive Benefits of Raspberries

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated - Medically reviewed by Sarah Pledger (M.S., R.D.)

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Rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, raspberries are delicious fruits with many health benefits. They have a high concentration of ellagic acid, a phenolic compound that helps lower the risk of cancer.

The oil from raspberries has a sun protection factor. Furthermore, it helps prevent obesity and fatty liver disease and also has anti-aging properties. By improving your immune system, these berries look after your overall health. These are easy to include in your diet. Raspberries can be included in your diet by using them in recipes, eating them raw, or adding them chilled to your drinks. Except for all the forms that you include raspberries to tantalize your taste buds, and provide you health and nutrition benefits at the same time!

The taste of these fruits are sweet and have a subtly sharp tinge. Raspberries easily melt in your mouth because of their soft and sweet texture. They come in a range of colors like pink, purple, black, yellow, orange, and white. There are two hybrids, namely loganberries and boysenberries. Seasonally, most varieties are cultivated in California from June till October.

Nutrition Facts

Raspberries, raw
Serving Size :
Water [g]85.75
Energy [kcal]52
Energy [kJ]220
Protein [g]1.2
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.65
Ash [g]0.46
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]11.94
Fiber, total dietary [g]6.5
Sugars, total including NLEA [g]4.42
Sucrose [g]0.2
Glucose (dextrose) [g]1.86
Fructose [g]2.35
Calcium, Ca [mg]25
Iron, Fe [mg]0.69
Magnesium, Mg [mg]22
Phosphorus, P [mg]29
Potassium, K [mg]151
Sodium, Na [mg]1
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.42
Copper, Cu [mg]0.09
Manganese, Mn [mg]0.67
Selenium, Se [µg]0.2
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]26.2
Thiamin [mg]0.03
Riboflavin [mg]0.04
Niacin [mg]0.6
Pantothenic acid [mg]0.33
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.06
Folate, total [µg]21
Folate, food [µg]21
Folate, DFE [µg]21
Choline, total [mg]12.3
Betaine [mg]0.8
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]2
Carotene, beta [µg]12
Carotene, alpha [µg]16
Vitamin A, IU [IU]33
Lutein + zeaxanthin [µg]136
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.87
Tocopherol, beta [mg]0.06
Tocopherol, gamma [mg]1.42
Tocopherol, delta [mg]1.04
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]7.8
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.02
16:0 [g]0.02
18:0 [g]0
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.06
18:1 [g]0.06
20:1 [g]0.01
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.38
18:2 [g]0.25
18:3 [g]0.13
Sources include : USDA

Raspberry Nutrition

Raspberry contains noteworthy amounts of polyphenolic antioxidants like anthocyanins that are associated with optimal health. It’s the anthocyanins that provide berries their rich color that is associated with countless health benefits.

Anthocyanins have been shown to likely help reduce the risk of several chronic diseases like diabetes, some metabolic diseases, and microbial infection. According to research published in the Nutrients Journal, dietary anthocyanins appear to be combatting insulin sensitivity through various mechanisms and have the potential to modulate disease states like diabetes. However, more research is required to These compounds also improve visual ability and have a neuroprotective effect. Several mechanisms of action are reported, but the main mechanisms are free-radical scavenging, positive changes in blood biomarkers, and lowering inflammatory cytokines.

These berries also have a high proportion of dietary fiber which has countless contributions to digestive health and regulations. They are one of the plant foods with the highest ranking of fiber content. Of all contents, the fiber comprises around 20% of the berry’s total weight.

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, Raspberries are excellent sources of vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber. They are also rich in B vitamins, folic acid, copper, and iron. They have the highest concentration of antioxidant strength amongst all fruits. This is due to its high concentration of ellagic acid, anthocyanins, gallic acid, quercetin, cyanidin, catechins, pelargonidin, kaempferol, and salicylic acid. However, yellow raspberries and other pale-colored fruits have a much lower percentage of anthocyanins.

A wooden bowl filled with fresh raspberries kept on a wooden table

New studies conclude that raspberries may prevent cancer. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Health Benefits of Raspberries

The health benefits of raspberries include their ability to aid in weight loss, improve skin health, and strengthen the immune system. Let’s take a closer look at the most common and useful benefits.

Weight loss & Gut Health

Raspberry is high in dietary fiber, prebiotic compounds, and manganese. Fiber aids in delaying gastric emptying, making you feel fuller for longer. In addition to this, the fiber in berries is known to help keep your bowel movements regular.

Prebiotics, such as those found in raspberries, has been shown to help grow and maintain healthy gut flora. Around 90% of prebiotic fiber makes it to the small intestine still intact where it feeds beneficial strains of bacteria helping them grow and flourish.

The trace mineral manganese keeps your metabolic rate high, and thereby burns fat. If you are looking for a delicious and effective way to lose weight, raspberries can be the best natural option.

A collaborative study by the Center for Nutrition Research, Institute for Food Safety and Health, Illinois Institute of Technology and Department of Nutrition, University of California suggests that red raspberries help reduce obesity.

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Reduce Wrinkles

Research conducted by the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto claims that raspberries have antioxidant potential that can prove beneficial for many health issues.

The antioxidant powers of these berries come from vitamin C, which effectively helps reduce the age spots and discoloration. Raspberries work like magic on wrinkles. They protect the skin from the harmful sun rays. By filling in minor wrinkles, they can help you restore your youthful appearance.

They can be made into great facial masks for glowing skin; just mix 1 cup of plain yogurt and 2 cups of fresh raspberries, then blend the mixture until it becomes completely smooth. Apply the mixture to your entire face and keep it on for 15 minutes and then wash it off with tepid water.

Prevent Macular Degeneration

Three servings of raspberries per day can prove to be a brilliant natural remedy for macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is an age-related medical condition that affects your vision. This leads to a loss of vision in the midpoint of the visual field due to damage to the retina. This can occur in both “dry” and “wet” forms.

You can get these benefits by these raspberries to your morning cereal or lunchtime yogurt. You can alter the taste and look of any green salad by adding a handful of these fresh raspberries and balsamic vinegar. You can mix the frozen raspberries with a spoonful of honey and some vanilla soy milk, then freeze this mixture for 20 minutes and spoon it into serving cups. Also, a great garnish for raspberries is a small sprig of mint. (Read more: The New Healing Herbs: The Classic Guide to Nature’s Best Medicines by Michael Castleman)

Anticancer Potential & Infection Prevention

Raspberries are an excellent antioxidant-laden food that contains ellagic acid. A study, published in the Journal of Carcinogenesis, has shown that raspberry polyphenols exhibit anti-cancer effects.

They efficiently stop undesirable damage to cell membranes by neutralizing free radicals. Ellagic acid is a phytonutrient component of raspberries with key substances like kaempferol, quercetin, and the cyanidin-based molecules called cyanidin-3-rutinoside and cyanidin-3-glucosyl-rutinoside. These flavonoid molecules are again broken into anthocyanins, which give raspberries their rich, red color. The anthocyanins of raspberries are responsible for their unique antioxidant properties and also some antimicrobial ones. This promptly cuts down the overgrowth of certain bacteria and fungi in the body. These growths often lead to different vaginal infections and sometimes even result in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Promote Optimal Health

Raspberries, blackberries, and muscadine grapes all have metalloproteinase enzymes. These are essential for the development and renovation of tissues, however, if they are produced in abnormally high amounts, they may act as a catalyst for cancer development. They have high amounts of vitamin C, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, manganese, niacin, potassium, and copper. This makes them a complete fruit to offer overall, healthy prosperity.

Promote Feminine Health

They are generally good for all, especially pregnant women and lactating mothers. (Read more: Smart medicine for a healthier child by Janet Zand, Robert Rountree, Bob Rountree, Rachel Walton) Raspberry leaves can be used as herbal teas for women. The tea can regulate menstrual cycles and decrease excessively heavy menstrual flows. For pregnant women, raspberry tea successfully relieves nausea, prevents hemorrhaging, reduces pain, and helps in childbirth. For lactating mothers, raspberry tea or eating the fruit helps increase the production of breast milk.

Strengthen the Immune System

A 2016 study confirms that raspberries are rich in effective antioxidants as well as phytonutrients. These elements proficiently reinforce your immune system and help your body fight diseases.

High Nutrient Value

Other than the outstanding phytonutrient content, raspberries are rich in traditional nutrients, primarily in the antioxidant and B vitamin categories.

According to the USDA Nutrient Database, raspberries are an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C, two important antioxidant nutrients that protect the body’s tissue from oxygen-related damage. Raspberries are also good sources of riboflavin, niacin, folate, magnesium, potassium, and copper. They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber. The amazing nutrient content of raspberries makes them a smart food great choice with high nutrient density and only a for having a negligible effect on blood sugar level in the ½ cup to 1 cup servings.

Origin of Raspberries

Raspberries have a long history and their existence dates back to prehistoric times. Wild raspberries are believed to have originated in Asia, but there are also varieties of raspberries that originated in the USA. The raspberry seeds were probably carried by travelers or animals that crossed and migrated to the Bering Strait (south of the Arctic Circle) during ancient times.

In prehistoric times, hunter-gatherers moved across vast distances to collect food. While coming back to the villages they threw away some smaller sized raspberries and later, these grew up to be raspberry plants. Thus, these plants started to propagate in new areas.

The first mention of raspberries in literature or historical records was found in an English book based on herbal medicine that was dated in 1548. The cultivation of raspberries began widely in Europe and North America during the 19th century when many new hybrid varieties of raspberry-like the loganberry and boysenberry started to develop through either a fortuitous way or due to intentional crossbreeding. Currently, the leading producers of raspberries include Poland, Germany, Yugoslavia, Russia, Chile, and the United States.

How to Buy & Store Raspberries?

Raspberries are highly perishable, thus you can purchase them only one or two days before use. Select the berries that are firm, fleshy, and dark in color. Always avoid the ones which are soft, mushy or moldy. If you are buying berries that are already packed in a container, ensure that they are not packed too tightly as the package can crush the berries and damage them. The container also should not have any stains or moisture, which indicates spoilage. Fresh ones are usually available from summertime through the beginning of fall.

Raspberries are easily perishable fruits, so a great deal of care should be taken while storing them. Before storing in the refrigerator, pick up and discard the berries that are molded or spoiled to avoid other berries from spoiling. Place the unwashed, dry berries back in their original container or keep them lined with a paper towel and then cover it with a plastic wrap. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator for one or two days; never keep raspberries at room temperature or in strong sunlight for too long, it will spoil them quickly.

Raspberries freeze very well, thus making long-term storage easier. Wash them moderately in the low pressure of the sink sprayer so that they maintain their delicate shape and then pat them dry with a paper towel. Arrange the berries in a single layer on a flat sheet and place them in the freezer. Once the berries are frozen, you can keep the berries in a heavy plastic bag and store in the freezer where they will stay in a proper state for up to one year. If you wish to preserve their bright color, add a little lemon juice to the raspberries.

Raspberry Recipes

Raspberries and other forms of berries have truly magnificent color, aroma, and flavor that do not require any recipe for consuming. However, if you wish to enhance your diet with a complete nutritious meal, you can, of course, add raspberries to make your recipes unique.

Raspberry Smoothie

To make a raspberry smoothie, mix one packet of flavored raspberry gelatin with half a cup of boiling water. Keep blending this mixture until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Then add half a cup of vanilla yogurt, half cup of the fruit and one cup crushed ice. Blend the drink well, until it becomes smooth.

Raspberry Tea

To make raspberry tea, put 5 tea bags of raspberry flavor into 5 cups of hot water. You can also empty the tea into a large bowl, take a towel and cover your head, then stoop over the bowl to enjoy the aroma. This practice will not only bring back your energy but also imparts most of the raspberries’ benefits.

You will find almond butter and raspberry jam in commercial stores nowadays, which has reportedly become very popular.

Tips to Savor Raspberries

  • You can mix fresh raspberries in with rich millet porridge for a sweet morning breakfast treat that is also highly nutritious.
  • To enhance your dish’s flavor and look, sprinkle some fresh raspberries with balsamic vinegar.
  • You can also mix yogurt with raspberries, honey, and freshly ground mint with as a topping of waffles or pancakes.
  • Considering how much sweetener you use, homemade raspberry coulis is a great option to use as a sauce for either flavorful chicken dishes or sweet desserts.
  • Try eating a bowl of berries with a spoonful of light whipped topping and a pinch of chopped pecans or walnuts.
  • Adding raspberries to different kinds of cereals and salads is a traditional method of consuming this fruit as well.
  • You can also mix frozen berries with low-fat milk and bananas to make a smoothie.
  • If you have dried berries at home, try them out as snacks with some added spices such as a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dash of Himalayan salt.

Raspberries have been a popular food for ages. The knowledge of their health benefits is spreading steadily and more and more recipes including raspberries are being invented all the time. Consuming these berries fresh provides the maximum nutritional value, but applying some tweaks to the texture will still bring a boost to your health and give you nutritional benefits. So eat raspberries and be well!

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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