Raspberries: Nutrition, Health Benefits, & Uses

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

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 known for its antioxidant properties.

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. [1]

The taste of these fruits is sweet and has a subtly sharp tinge. Raspberries easily melt in your mouth because of their soft and sweet texture. Seasonally, most varieties are cultivated in California from June to October.

What is Raspberry?

Raspberries are edible fruits belonging to the rose family. Although counted among berries, botanically speaking, they are aggregate fruits. This is because it evolves from a single flower containing more than one ovary.

Raspberries date back to prehistoric times. They are believed to have evolved in Eastern Asia. Today they are hugely popular in Northern Europe and North America. Due to its popularity, raspberry has been cultivated and evolved into many different types. In the 19th century, new hybrid varieties of raspberry, like the loganberry and boysenberry, were developed through crossbreeding.

Raspberries are of many different types, including black, red, purple, and golden raspberries. Of these, red raspberry is the most popular. It is harvested during the summer and fall months and is best eaten when fresh.

Nutrition Facts

Raspberries, raw
Serving Size :
Water [g]85.75
Energy 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 [2]

Raspberry Nutrition

According to the USDA, 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 among 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. Anthocyanins are also responsible for their rich color. [3]

Raspberries also have a high proportion of dietary fiber, counted among the highest fiber-rich plant foods. Fiber comprises around 20 percent of the berry’s total weight.

Carbs in Raspberries

A cup of raspberries contains less than 15g of carbohydrates. This is lower than many other fruits, such as an apple. Keep in mind the high fiber (8 g) and fairly low sugar (5.4 g) content. This makes raspberries not just low in carbs, but also a good alternative when it comes to healthy carbs. It is a popular food among those on a keto diet.

Calories in Raspberries

A cup of raspberries contains 64 calories. Of these, total fats are less than a gram with no trans fat. Given the low carbs and high fiber content, raspberries are ideal for those who are looking for low calorie, weight-loss foods.

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

Sprinkle raspberries on your granola or salads. 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.

Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants, found in plants, aid cells in battling oxidative stress—a risk factor for diabetes, and more. Raspberries boast vitamin C, quercetin, and ellagic acid, anthocyanins among their potent antioxidants. According to research, raspberries contribute to reduced inflammation, oxidative stress, lower risk of chronic diseases, and may potentially repair damaged DNA.

A study in Nutrients journal shows that anthocyanins combat insulin sensitivity, modulating diseases like diabetes and enhancing visual ability with neuroprotection. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

May Aid in Blood Sugar Control

Raspberries offer potential benefits for blood sugar control. Research suggests that raspberries may enhance insulin sensitivity. Studies even indicate that raspberry consumption is linked to reduced inflammation and improved blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. Furthermore, raspberries contain manganese, a mineral essential for bone health and blood sugar regulation [9] [10] [11]

Aids Weight Loss

Raspberry, a low-calorie fruit rich in dietary fiber and manganese can aid in weight management. Dietary fiber contributes to a feeling of fullness, delays gastric emptying, and promotes regular bowel movements. Manganese plays a role in boosting metabolic rates and assisting in fat burning. Additionally, red raspberries contain raspberry ketone, a compound that has shown potential for weight management when used with other supplements, though more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness. [12] [13] [14]

May Improve Skin Health

The antioxidant powers of these berries come from vitamin C, which effectively helps reduce the age spots and discoloration. Multiple studies have shown the benefits of raspberries in dealing with skin-related issues. A 2019 study, published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity found that the extract of red raspberries helped in reducing skin damage caused by UVB exposure. A 2020 animal study showed black raspberries could help reduce itchiness and inflammation associated with allergies.

Raspberry also enhances skin health with its high vitamin C content. Vitamin C promotes collagen synthesis and protects against UV radiation. It also supports wound healing and minimizes raised scar formation in clinical studies. [15] [16] [17]

To make facial masks for glowing skin, blend a cup of plain yogurt with 2 cups of fresh raspberries. Apply the mixture to your face and keep it on for 15 minutes. Wash it off with tepid water.

Prevent Macular Degeneration

The anthocyanins and vitamin C found in raspberries also make them very good for your eyes. A study found that phenolic compounds like anthocyanins in black raspberries could improve eyesight, and night vision, reduce eyestrain, and help prevent macular degeneration. Vitamin C is also counted among the essential nutrients required to prevent eye diseases and macular degeneration. [18] [19]

In fact, it has featured in the American Macular Degeneration Foundation cookbook, Eat Right for Your Sight. The book features a delicious pear raspberry galette. [20]

 Infection Prevention

The anthocyanins of raspberries are responsible for their unique antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. A review commissioned by the Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission found that black raspberries contain ellagic acid, a phenolic compound that protects the body from harmful elements. [21]

Strengthen the Immune System

Raspberries can do wonders for our 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. [22]

High Nutrient Value

As mentioned above, raspberries are rich in traditional nutrients, primarily in the antioxidant and B vitamin categories. According to the USDA, raspberries are an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C, two important antioxidant nutrients that protect the body’s tissue from oxygen-related damage. The high nutrient content of raspberries makes them a smart food choice. With high nutrient density and a negligible effect on blood sugar levels, raspberries are among the healthiest fruits you can eat. [23]

How to Buy & Store Raspberries?

Raspberries are highly perishable. Hence, it pays to be careful when buying and storing them.

Buying Raspberries

  • Select firm, fleshy, and dark-colored berries. Avoid the ones that are soft, mushy, or moldy.
  • Berries are often sold in small punnets. 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.
  • It is best to buy them in-season. Fresh ones are usually available from summertime through the beginning of fall.

Storing Raspberry

Since raspberries can spoil easily, care should be taken while storing them.

  • Before storing in the refrigerator, pick up and discard the berries that are molded or spoiled. This will prevent the spoiled berries from affecting the other berries in the pack.
  • Place the unwashed, dry berries back in their original container. You can line the container with a paper towel. 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 very quickly.
  • You can also freeze them for long-term storage.

Freezing Raspberries

Raspberries freeze very well. Wash them under the low pressure of the sink sprayer so that they maintain their delicate shape. 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 them in a heavy plastic bag and store them in the freezer. 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. To know more, read our article on How To Freeze Raspberries.

How to Eat Raspberries?

Raspberries are best eaten as they are. They are delicious and bursting with a sweet flavor. You can add them to your morning porridge, granola, pancakes, or waffles. If you have too many raspberries and don’t know quite what to do with them, we recommend making a raspberry jam. We have used raspberry jello in this Sweet And Tart Cranberry Jello Salad Recipe. Alternatively, try them in this Mixed Berry Salad Recipe. Raspberries make a great addition to this Delicious Acai Bowl recipe.

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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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