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Health Benefits of Raspberries
Known as nature’s candy, wild raspberries have been gathered for consumption by humans for thousands of years.
With their rich color, sweet juicy taste, and antioxidant power, it is no wonder raspberries remain one of the world’s most consumed berries.
Raspberries can range in color with each color berry having a unique composition of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
A high consumption of plant foods, such as raspberries, appears to decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality. It can also promote a healthy complexion, increased energy, and overall lower weight.
Several animal studies have shown a positive correlation between intake of flavonoids in berries and memory improvement. They may also decrease the decline in cognitive ability related to aging.
A recent report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition associated the intake of flavonoid-rich foods like raspberries with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease. They stated that even small amounts of flavonoid-rich foods may be beneficial.
One group of flavonoids in particular—anthocyanins—have been shown to suppress the inflammation that may lead to cardiovascular disease.
The high polyphenol content in raspberries may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by preventing platelet buildup and reducing blood pressure via anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
Raspberries contain powerful antioxidants that work against free radicals, inhibiting tumor growth and decreasing inflammation in the body. Those same potent polyphenols that protect against heart disease also help ward off or slow many types of cancer, including esophageal, lung, mouth, pharynx, endometrial, pancreatic, prostate, and colon.
Any plant food with skin has lots of fiber, and raspberries have a lot of skin. Eating high-fiber foods help keep blood sugar stable. Studies have shown that type 1 diabetics who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipid, and insulin levels.
Digestion, detox, and disease prevention
The fiber and water content in raspberries help to prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract. Adequate fiber promotes regularity, which is crucial for the daily excretion of toxins through the bile and stool. Recent studies have shown that dietary fiber may play a role in regulating the immune system and inflammation; consequently, this decreases the risk of inflammation-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
Increased fiber intake has also been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and enhance weight loss for obese individuals.
Easy on the eyes
Foods high in vitamin C, such as raspberries, have been shown to help keep eyes healthy by providing protection against UV light damage.
Raspberries also contain the antioxidant zeaxanthin, which filters out harmful blue light rays and is thought to play a protective role in eye health and possibly ward off damage from macular degeneration.
A higher intake of all fruits (3 or more servings per day) has also been shown to decrease the risk of, and progression of, age-related macular degeneration.
By Megan Ware RDN LD Reviewed by University of Illinois-Chicago, School of Medicine
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