From Antioxidants to Digestive Health: Impressive Health Benefits of Raspberries

by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN

Raspberries are not only one of the most popular berries in the world, but they also boast a sweet-tart flavor and velvety texture. They come in several different colors, such as black, purple, and golden, with the most common type being the red raspberry, which has different subspecies native to Europe and North America.

Enjoyable fresh or frozen year-round, raspberries are not only versatile and delicious but also have an impressive nutritional profile, making them one of the healthiest choices in the produce aisle.

In this article, we will dive deeper into the world of raspberries, examining their characteristics, their various advantages and benefits, their nutritional composition, and other pertinent details.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak with your doctor before changing your nutrition or workout program.

Nutritional Composition of Raspberries

Raspberries are known to have many nutrients and are very low in calories. One cup of red raspberries contains the following nutritional value:

  • Calories: 64
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Cabs: 14.7g
  • Fat: 0.8g
  • Protein: 1.5g
  • Vitamin C: 54% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin K: 12% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 41% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 5% of the RDI
  • Iron: 5 of the RDI
  • B vitamins: 4-6% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 7% of the RDI
  • Copper: 6% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 5% of the RDI

6 Health Benefits of Raspberries

Raspberries offer a plethora of health benefits besides their tangy and delightful taste. Below are six of their health benefits.

1.      Potent antioxidants may decrease disease risk

Antioxidants are beneficial plant compounds that aid in combating and healing oxidative stress within cells. Oxidative stress directly correlates to an increased risk of various illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Raspberries are an excellent source of potent antioxidants such as vitamin C, ellagic acid, and quercetin. Although raspberry’s antioxidant content is similar to that of strawberries, it is only half that of blackberries and a quarter of blueberries.

Based on animal studies, raspberries and raspberry extracts may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties that can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

An eight-week study conducted on diabetic, obese mice found that those that consumed freeze-dried red raspberries had fewer indications of inflammation and oxidative stress than the control group.

2.      It may protect you from cancer

Raspberries contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that could potentially safeguard against cancer.

Evidence indicates that these properties may decrease the replication of cancer cells. In fact, according to a 2016 study in Advanced Nutrition, raspberries are one of the limited plant-based foods that provide ellagitannins and anthocyanins, which are phytochemicals.

As per a 2015 Molecules study, phytochemicals are antioxidants that have the potential to combat cancer.

3.      Improve sexual well-being and boost fertility

Raspberries, which have high levels of antioxidants, can help guard sperm against oxidative damage. Also, the presence of vitamin C and magnesium in raspberries can improve male fertility and testosterone production, respectively. Because of their ability to enhance fertility, raspberries can be an ideal pre-bedtime snack.

Moreover, antioxidants are thought to shield the embryo post-conception, thereby helping reduce the chance of miscarriages. Raspberries also contain proanthocyanins that can relax blood vessels, allowing better blood flow to sensitive areas and resulting in greater arousal.

Finally, the zinc present in the fruit helps stimulate libido.

4.      May alleviate arthritis

Raspberries are loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds like anthocyanins. According to animal studies, raspberries can decrease the symptoms of arthritis.

The studies have also shown a lower risk of developing arthritis as well as minimal damage to the joints in those that developed the disease. A study conducted on rats indicated that those treated with red raspberry extract had a reduced likelihood of developing arthritis compared to those in the control group.

Furthermore, rats treated with red raspberry extract who developed arthritis had milder symptoms.

5.      Assist in maintaining a healthy weight

Raspberries can aid in managing a healthy weight due to their high fiber and low-calorie content. Two cups of raspberries provide 16g of fiber and only 128 calories. This fiber content reduces calorie absorption and promotes a sense of fullness, leading to weight loss.

According to a study, adding raspberries to a high-fat diet has also been shown to prevent weight gain in mice.

6.      Raspberries may have anti-aging effects

The high antioxidant content of raspberries may help combat the signs of aging by fighting free radicals, which has been linked to anti-aging effects in humans and longer lifespans in various animal models.

Raspberries are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants that can benefit skin health and combat signs of aging. Additionally, studies suggest that consuming raspberries may improve motor functions in aging individuals.