We have to make a disclaimer at the top of this article: all berries are excellent and delicious. Certain berries receive more attention than others (we’re looking at you blueberries), but all berries contain potent antioxidants and valuable vitamins and minerals that improve overall health. In the case of raspberries, they are enjoyable fresh or frozen to reap the benefits that we detail in this article.
The antioxidant content of plant foods like raspberries may help alleviate a range of health conditions. Raspberries contain vitamins C & E, beta-carotene, selenium, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene are all present in raspberries. These antioxidants work to eliminate free radicals, which are toxic substances that exist in the body. The body naturally produces them in metabolic processes, but others result from unhealthy foods and environmental pollution. If too many free radicals accumulate in the body, you can experience cell damage and health problems. That’s why health experts encourage people to eat more foods, like raspberries, that contain free radicals. Continue reading to learn about the other reasons you should eat more raspberries.
They May Improve Heart Health
Anthocyanins are a group of deep red, purple, and blue pigments found in plants. They belong to a larger category of plant-based chemicals called flavonoids, which are abundant in fruits and vegetables. According to research, anthocyanins can suppress inflammation that may lead to cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association (AHA) encourages most people to increase their potassium intake and eat less sodium. Dietary adjustments like that can help reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease. One cup of raspberries contains 186 milligrams (mg) of potassium, and the AHA suggests people to consume 4,700 mg each day.
They May Protect Against Metabolic Syndrome
It’s important to note that the studies on this point are mainly animal-based. More studies are required in humans to confirm that the positive findings are contingent with the animal study results. For those who are unaware, metabolic syndrome is the medical term for the trifecta of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. A 2017 study found that mice with metabolic syndrome that ate a single serving of raspberries each day experienced improvements in weight and insulin sensitivity.
They May Help Manage Diabetes
As previously mentioned, antioxidants work to prevent inflammation, which may be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The authors of a 2018 review concluded that dietary fiber may help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, fiber may improve symptoms in people who already have type 2 diabetes. Raspberries are naturally rich in antioxidants and fiber, while also being sweet yet low in sugar. They do have some sugar, though, so people with diabetes should take this into account when incorporating raspberries into their account.
They May Have Cancer-Fighting Properties
The high antioxidant content may offer some protection against certain types of cancer. Berry extracts, including raspberry extract, actually block the growth of cancer cells in test-tube studies on colon, prostate, and breast cancer cells. One test-tube study found that red raspberry extract was able to kill up to 90% of stomach, breast, and colon cancer cells. An additional test-tube study showed that sanguiin H-6, an antioxidant in red raspberries, led to cell death in over 40% of ovarian cancer cells. In an animal study, red raspberry extract was able to prevent the growth of live cancer cells in mice.
They May Combat Aging
Antioxidants are truly the shining stars of raspberries, but we don’t want to negate the other nutrients in them. That said, the antioxidants in raspberries have been linked to longer lifespans in various animal studies. Plus, they exhibit anti-aging effects in humans. Raspberries also contain vitamin C, a necessary vitamin for collagen production. Vitamin C also works to reverse the damage to skin caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays. In an eight week study, aging rats fed a diet with 1% or 2% raspberries experienced improvement in motor functions, including strength and balance.