Raspberries: Nutrition & Benefits

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.

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. Seasonally, most varieties are cultivated in California from June till October.

What is Raspberry?

Raspberries are edible fruit 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 best eaten when fresh.

Nutrition Facts

Raspberries, raw
Serving Size :
NutrientValue
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

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 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. Anthocyanins are also responsible for their rich color.

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

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.

Rich in Antioxidants

Raspberries are rich in potent antioxidants known as anthocyanins. Research has shown that anthocyanins can help reduce the risk of several chronic diseases like diabetes, metabolic diseases, and microbial infection. According to research published in the journal Nutrients, dietary anthocyanins appear to be combatting insulin sensitivity through various mechanisms and have the potential to modulate disease states like diabetes. These compounds also improve visual ability and have a neuroprotective effect.

Aids Weight Loss

Raspberry is high in dietary fiber, manganese, while low in carbs, sugars, and fats. The role of low carbs and low calories has been explained above. Fiber aids in delaying gastric emptying, making you feel fuller for longer. Fiber also helps to keep bowel movements regular. It contains manganese, required in trace amount, which keeps metabolic rates high. This helps in burning fat.

Red raspberries are also preferred by many for its raspberry ketone, a chemical found in the fruit. Studies have shown that it can be effective in certain cases of obesity when taken with other supplements. However, there is insufficient evidence on its efficacy or its ability to reduce obesity by itself.

Reduce Wrinkles

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.

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, 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.

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

Anticancer Potential & Infection Prevention

Raspberries are an excellent antioxidant-laden food that show anticancer potential. A study, published in the Journal of Carcinogenesis, showed that raspberry polyphenols exhibited anti-cancer effects on colon cancer.
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 known as a potent anticarcinogen. The review found different studies to show that it can be effective in dealing with breast, colon, oral, esophageal, and cervical cancers.

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.

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.

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 which 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 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 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 in 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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