What are raspberries?
Raspberries are a berry fruit related to the blackberry and rose. They are grown in the UK over the summer and autumn months, and are actually little bunches of reddish-pink druplets that are tightly packed together. They have a sharp, sweet taste.
About 20 fresh berries count as one of your five-a-day.
Nutritional benefits of raspberries
An 80g serving of raspberries provides:
- 20 kcals / 87 kJ
- 1g protein
- 2g fat
- 7g carbohydrates
- 7g fibre
- 136mg potassium
- 26mcg folate
- 26mg vitamin C
What are the top 5 health benefits of raspberries?
1. May improve blood sugar management
With a low glycaemic index (GI) and high fibre content, raspberries are a useful dietary inclusion if you need to monitor your blood sugar levels. Animal studies suggest that when raspberries are fed alongside a high-fat diet, they help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin response. This may be because raspberries are rich in tannins, plant compounds that inhibit the enzymes that break down starches.
2. May have cancer protective properties
Raspberries are rich in protective antioxidants that may protect against cancer. Animal studies suggest this may be helpful for colon, breast and liver cancer. However, human studies are needed to confirm these findings.
3. May alleviate arthritis
Loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds such as anthocyanins, animal studies appear to show that raspberries reduce the symptoms of arthritis. These studies also show a lower risk of developing arthritis as well as less damage to the joints in those that developed the condition. More research and human trials are needed to confirm these effects.
4. May reduce signs of ageing
Being rich in protective plant compounds called polyphenols, raspberries may help reduce the signs of ageing and improve balance and strength. The berries are also rich in vitamin C, which is important for collagen production and may protect the skin from UV damage. Much of these findings are the result of animal models, so more human trials are needed.
5. May protect against metabolic syndrome
A 2017 study found that mice with metabolic syndrome (a medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity) that were fed a single serving of raspberries each day saw improvements in weight and insulin sensitivity. A body of research supports these findings, but more studies are required to confirm the relevance of these results to humans.
Are raspberries safe for everyone to eat?
Raspberries, along with fruits such as apples, peaches, avocados and blueberries, contain natural chemicals called salicylates. Some people are sensitive to these compounds and may experience an allergic reaction, such as skin rash or swelling.
If you are concerned about food allergies, please consult your GP or registered dietician for guidance.
Read more from the NHS website about allergy symptoms.
Healthy raspberry recipes
Orange & raspberry granola
Cinnamon crepes with nut butter, sliced banana and raspberries
Peanut butter overnight oats
Instant frozen berry yogurt
Cranberry & raspberry smoothie
Raspberry ripple chia pudding
This article was reviewed on 12 February 2021 by Kerry Torrens.
Nicola Shubrook is a nutritional therapist and works with both private clients and the corporate sector. She is an accredited member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Find out more at urbanwellness.co.uk.
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