Although often overshadowed by cousins blue and straw, raspberries boast some potentially pretty amazing health benefits. Let’s take a deeper look at the scientific research surrounding this overlooked berry.
Raspberries can be touted for its impressive nutritional status. One cup of fresh Raspberries contains:
54% of RDA*
41% of RDA*
12% of RDA*
*RDA stands for Recommended Dietary Allowances (average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of 97%–98% of healthy people).
As you can see, Raspberries offer a myriad of nutrients in just one cup. Not only are they low-in-calories, making them the ideal snack but they are also packed with fibre and Vitamin C, which I will get more info below. Manganese and Vitamin K are also important as they improve bone health and can reduce inflammation in the body. In addition to those listed above, Raspberries contain smaller amounts of Vitamin E, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Copper.
Raspberries are rich in a variety of antioxidants. Antioxidants are health-promoting compounds that protect the body against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can lead to many diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and premature ageing. Therefore, a diet rich in raspberries and other potent antioxidant foods may reduce the risk of these diseases, as well. For example, Vitamin C is considered an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and disease-preventing properties. Just 1 cup of fresh raspberries contains over 50% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C. Other antioxidants found in raspberries include quercetin, flavonoids and ellagic acid.
More than 90% of North Americans are not consuming the recommended amount of fibre daily. One cup of raspberries contains an impressive 8g of fibre, almost a third of the daily recommended intake. Fibre can not only help you feel full longer but has also been shown to help control blood sugar, supports gut health and leads to an overall stronger immune system.
There has been increased interest, as of yet, in diseases that affect brain health like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Antioxidants, especially flavonoids which are found in berries, have been shown to reduce the oxidative stress that leads to cognitive decline. Flavonoids can also help improve your mood, memory and concentration. What’s not to love!
Consuming a diet rich in berries, including raspberries, is associated with a reduced risk of many diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancers. In a 2016 study, obese and diabetic mice were fed freeze-dried raspberries over a period of 8 weeks. Researchers found that the mice who were fed freeze-dried raspberries had improved inflammation and decreased levels of oxidative stress as compared to the control group. The study concluded that “raspberry consumption may be effective in decreasing the levels of oxidative and inflammatory stress that promote morphological changes in the heart at an older age, thus preventing or delaying heart diseases.” 
Best Ways to Add More to Your Diet
Not only do raspberries host numerous health benefits, but they are also known for their culinary versatility. There are so many things you can do with these delicious berries! Here are a few of my favourites:
- As a snack! Raspberries make the perfect snack because they are low in calories, full of fibre to help you feel full longer, and are easy to pack to take with you when you’re on-the-go.
- As a yogurt, cereal, waffle, pancake or oatmeal topper.
- In addition to summer salads. Raspberries pair particularly well with walnuts and either feta or goat cheese.
- Baking – raspberries can be added to muffins, scones, crumbles, tarts and my favourite, cheesecake.
- Mix it in with your favourite smoothies, to get that beautiful red colour. Try out AURAs very delicious Berry Hibiscus Smoothie Bowl Recipe. YUM!
Kirstin Berrington is an AURA Team member with a passion for all things nutrition and health. As a nutritionist, she is equipped with a B.Sc. in Human Nutritional Sciences to help answer all your food-related questions.