What are raspberries good for?

Raspberry Renown
Botanical name: Rubus idaeus

Raspberries Nutrition Facts

Wild raspberries have been growing for thousands of years in different areas around the world, including Alaska, Eastern Asia, Hawaii, Europe and North America.1  Today, the raspberry industry is thriving, producing 540,000 metric tons in 2018.2 The top five producers include Serbia, Poland, the U.S., Mexico and Chile.3

While there are more than 200 species of raspberry, they're divided into red, black and purple groups.4 Red raspberries are somewhat pink in color, black raspberries leave the stem on the plant (unlike blackberries) when picked,5 and purple raspberries are a hybridization6 of the red and black varieties.

If you've ever tried picking raspberries, you know their plants bear thorns, so be sure to wear gloves. When buying, examine the berries for freshness and rinse them gently just before eating. Added to smoothies, yogurt, sauces, garden salads, fruit salads and salad dressings, raspberries are versatile and delicious.

Health benefits of raspberries

Cancer-fighting benefits of raspberries (and other berries) have long been attributed to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.7 Ellagitannins,8 for instance, may have the power to switch signals sent to potential cancer cells, keeping them benign and curtail the number of those in existence by sending signals that encourage cell death (scientists call it apoptosis).9

Ellagic acid is another antioxidant, discouraging diseases associated with oxidative stress10 and inflammation, such as  insulin resistance, diabetes,  atherosclerosis and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.11 Phenolic flavonoids like quercetin, gallic acid, cyanidins, pelargonidins, apigenin and kaempferol are among the most prominent in raspberries.12,13

Vitamin C, a powerful natural antioxidant that helps zap free radicals and fight infection,14 is one of the biggest benefits in raspberries, with 26.2 milligrams per 100-gram serving.15 In fact, the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) value is one of the highest of all fruits — 4,882 per 100 grams.16 Magnesium, too, is present in raspberries, with 22 grams per 100-gram serving.17 Potassium helps control heart rate and blood pressure,18,19 and the vitamin A, E, and K levels also are certainly worth mentioning.20

Raspberries contain oxalates21 — much more in black than in red varieties22 — which scientists say might discourage a large black raspberry intake. The problem is that oxalates link with calcium and may crystallize, causing health problems like the formation of kidney stones.23

In addition, raspberries contain fructose, which may be harmful to your health in excessive amounts, so it’s best to consume them in moderation. Read more about growing raspberries at home and the health benefits they can offer.

Raspberry nutrition facts


Serving Size: 3.5 ounces (100 grams), raw
  Amt. Per
Serving
% Daily
Value*
Calories 52  
Total Fat 0.65 g  
Saturated Fat 0.019 g  
Trans Fat  
Cholesterol 0 mg  
Sodium 1 mg  
Total Carbohydrates 11.94 g  
Dietary Fiber 6.5 g  
Sugar 4.42 g  
Protein 1.20 g  
Vitamin A 2 ug Vitamin C 26.2 mg
Calcium 25 mg Iron 0.69 mg

Studies done on raspberries

Black raspberry extracts (RSE) were found to slow the growth and even kill breast cancer cells, and help protect against radiation.24

Stomach, prostate, intestine, and breast cancer cells were shown to be inhibited when patients were tested with an array of different berry juices, including raspberry, black currant, white currant, gooseberry, velvet leaf blueberry, low-bush blueberry, and other lesser-known berry types. While some berries had little or no effect on cancer cells, researchers concluded that including berry juices in the diet might prove chemopreventive.25

Raspberry healthy recipes:
Raspberry, avocado and mango salad

Raspberry Healthy Recipes

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries, divided

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red-wine vinegar

1 small clove garlic, coarsely chopped

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

8 cups mixed salad greens

1 ripe mango, diced

1 small ripe avocado, diced

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/4 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts, or sliced almonds (optional)

 

Procedures:

  1. Pour 1/2 cup raspberries, oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender until combined.
  2. Combine greens, mango, avocado, and onion in a large bowl. Pour the dressing on top and gently toss to coat.
  3. Divide the salad among 5 salad plates. Top each with the remaining raspberries and sprinkle with nuts, if using.

This recipe makes five servings.
(From EatingWell.com26)

Raspberries fun facts

Combining raspberries with other species produces a wide variety of other berries. Loganberries are a cross between raspberries and blackberries. Boysenberries are a cross between red raspberries, blackberries, dewberries and loganberries.27 The nessberry is a cross between a dewberry and raspberry.28

Summary

The diversity of phytonutrients in raspberries is unequaled in other fruits. Each one plays an important part in keeping the body healthy, but together they pack an even bigger punch. Reducing cancer risk is one advantage,29 but raspberries can also help slow and even halt the progression of obesity-induced inflammation, diabetes,30 high blood pressure31 and atherosclerosis.32 The wonderful part is that with all these health benefits, you can rest assured that desserts and salads with raspberries can be both delicious and healthy.