7 Reasons Raspberries Are So Good for You

The powerful health benefits of raspberries just might surprise you.

Raspberries are enjoyable all year long, whether they're fresh or frozen. These gorgeous gems aren't just delicious and versatile; they have an impressive nutritional profile that makes them one of the healthiest choices in the produce aisle. Here are 7 health benefits of raspberries, plus simple ways to include both fresh and frozen options into meals and snacks.

Raspberries Have Lots of Nutrients

One 100-gram portion of raspberries provides 23 mg of vitamin C, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This is approximately 30% of the minimum daily target for vitamin C for women, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and supports immunity, skin health and helps produce collagen.

Plus, the vitamin C in raspberries increases your body's fat-burning ability, according to research in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition

Raspberries also contain manganese, calcium, and vitamin K, which play a role in bone health. And they supply smaller amounts of vitamin E, B vitamins, magnesium, copper, iron, and potassium, per the USDA.

They're Low in Sugar

Raspberries are also one of the lowest-sugar fruits, at just 2.7 grams per 100-gram portion, per the USDA, compared to about 13 grams in one small apple. This makes them a great option for anyone with a sweet tooth who wants to minimize their overall sugar intake.

They're Rich in Anti-aging Antioxidants

Raspberries are antioxidant powerhouses with their high vitamin C content.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), studies show that higher intakes of antioxidant-rich fruits such as raspberries are associated with a lower risk of chronic stress-related diseases like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and deaths from all causes.

Antioxidants, per the NIH, are man-made or natural substances that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage. When you exercise, when your body converts food into energy, or you are exposed to cigarette smoke, air pollution, and sunlight, your body naturally produces free radicals. These are highly unstable molecules.

Free radicals can cause "oxidative stress," a process that can trigger cell damage. But, in laboratory experiments, antioxidant molecules have been shown to counteract oxidative stress caused by free radicals.

Raspberry antioxidants also help reduce inflammation, a known trigger of premature aging. The natural protective substances in raspberries are also linked to better DNA repair and blocking enzymes that trigger arthritis pain.

They Can Protect You From Cancer

Raspberry antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds are associated with cancer protection by reducing the reproduction of cancer cells. Raspberries are among the few plant foods that provide a source of ellagitannins and anthocyanins, according to a 2016 study in Advanced Nutrition.

Ellagitannins and anthocyanins are phytochemicals, or types of antioxidants that are thought to have cancer-fighting properties, according to a 2019 article from European Food Research and Technology.

Raspberries Are High in Fiber

Raspberries are among the highest whole food sources of dietary fiber, providing 6.5 g/100 g according to the Advanced Nutrition study— a third of the daily minimum goal. That fiber also contributes to fullness, blunts blood sugar by slowing digestion, and supports good digestive health, per the National Library of Medicine's Medline Plus.

Raspberry fiber also helps beneficial gut bacteria flourish. In fact, a 2021 Nutrients article highlighted that scientific evidence suggests that increased dietary fiber consumption can alter gut bacteria, which has can have a positive effect on individuals experiencing obesity, metabolic syndrome, as well as other chronic gut diseases

They May Help Prevent Diabetes

A 2019 study published in Obesity randomly assigned 32 adults between the ages of 20 and 60 to three breakfast meals. Each meal was similar in calories and macronutrients, but they had different portion sizes 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 who were at risk of diabetes, eating more raspberries reduced the amount of insulin needed to manage blood sugar levels. In fact, blood sugar was lower in those who downed two cups of red raspberries compared to those who ate none.

Raspberries Sharpen Your Brain and Memory

As noted above, raspberries help counter oxidative stress, which is essentially an imbalance between the production of cell-damaging free radicals and the body's ability to fight off their harmful effects.

Because oxidative stress is a causative factor in diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, raspberries are a top brain-supporting food. The flavonoids in berries have also been shown to help improve coordination, memory, and mood, according to Harvard Medical School. And berries help with general brain "housekeeping" by clearing out toxic proteins tied to brain dysfunction.

How To Add More Raspberries to Your Meals

Raspberries make a beautiful and tasty addition to numerous dishes, and they work well in both sweet and savory meals. Add them to oatmeal or overnight oats, garden salads, whole grain side dishes, and desserts. Slightly mash them to make a colorful sauce for anything from two ingredient banana egg pancakes to broiled fish or oven-roasted veggies. Whip frozen raspberries into smoothies, or thaw and use just like fresh.

You can warm frozen raspberries over low heat on the stovetop with fresh grated ginger root and cinnamon (and maybe a touch of pure maple syrup) as the base for a mock cobbler, topped with almond butter/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, or a few dark chocolate squares, or drizzled with nut butter or spiced tahini.

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