Raspberries are native to North America and said to be one of the most consumed fruits on earth. There are over 200 varieties of raspberries having different colours like white, red, pink, purple, yellow, orange, and black. with the most popular being the red and black varieties. They can be frozen, pureed, processed into juice, dried and powdered and still retain their nutritional content. Apart from its juicy taste and attractive colour, the health benefits of raspberries also add to the reason people love to consume them.
What are the health benefits of raspberries?
Prevents age-related macular degeneration
Raspberries contains zeaxanthin, an antioxidant which prevents age-related macular degeneration, a medical condition that damages the retina and affects the visual midpoint. Three or more servings of raspberries per day has proven to be a natural remedy against macular degeneration. Raspberries also contain vitamin C which protects the eyes from UV damage and ellagic acid which boosts eye vision.
Intake of raspberries has been shown to improve cognitive ability and concentration. The phytonutrients and potassium found in raspberries also improves memory and prevents age-related memory loss.
The antioxidants in raspberries helps protect the sperm from oxidative damage, promote conception and decrease the risk of miscarriage. Also, the magnesium and Vitamin C in raspberries enhances both male and female fertility.
The antioxidant and ellagic acid, present in vegetables and fruits like raspberries is responsible for lowering oxidative stress, neutralizing free radicals and decreasing inflammation thereby proliferating the growth of cancer cells. These include esophagus, skin, pharynx, lung, colon, bladder, endometrial, breast, and pancreatic cancer cells.
Promotes healthy tissues and blood vessels
One of the health benefits of eating raspberries is its ability to repair body tissues due to its vitamin C content. It forms collagen, a protein which is necessary to produce blood vessels and aid in cell regeneration of the cartilages, skins and bones. Raspberries also contain iron which is necessary for the formation of red blood cells.
Raspberries have a low glycemic index, contains fiber, fructose, rheosmin and tiliroside. Tiliroside produces a protein which breaks down body glucose, maintains sugar and insulin levels in type 2 diabetes patients. Rheosmin increases fat metabolism while fructose is a natural sugar that does not need insulin for metabolism therefore good for diabetic patients.
Maintains cardiovascular health
Anthocyanins and other bioactive phenols present in raspberries reduces the risk of heart disease. It contains vitamin C which prevents plaque formation, salicylate an effective blood thinner and potassium which helps regulate blood pressure and ensures optimum function of the heart muscles.
Raspberries are rich in phytochemicals which are known to boost weak immune systems. They are also rich in anthocyanin which helps fight off infections and keeps the body healthy. Their vitamin C content which is water-soluble increases the body’s immunity to fight infections and eliminates free radicals.
Posses anti-inflammatory properties
Raspberries help to fight the inflammation responsible for ulcerative colitis. It reduces inflammations of stomach, joints, bones, intestine and cardiovascular system.
Several cosmetic products use raspberry oil as an ingredient because the antioxidants (such as vitamin C and ellagitannins) present in the fruit helps protect the skin from premature aging and the damaging effect of UV rays.
Beneficial during pregnancy
Raspberry fruits and leaves are beneficial during pregnancy. Raspberry tea relieves nausea, prevents hemorrhaging, reduces labour pain and aids childbirth. Both the fruit and tea help lactating mothers increase their flow of breast milk.
Aids weight loss
Raspberries are low in calories and high in fiber keeping the stomach full for a long time. They also contain manganese, the trace mineral which boosts metabolism and burns fat, making weight loss one of the top health benefits of raspberries.
Nutritional values of Raspberries
Raspberries contain vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, niacin, thiamine, folate, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and choline. It is rich in zinc, phosphorus, calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium and potassium.
They have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of any fruit on earth, almost 10 times as much as tomatoes. They have an abundance of phytonutrients such as cyanidins, anthocyanin pigments, kaempferol, ellagic acid, pelargonidins, ellagitannins, quercetin, gallic acid, catechins and salicylic acid.
A 100 grams of raw raspberry contains 85.8 grams of water, 53 calories, 11.94 grams of carbohydrate, sugar content of only 4.42 grams, 6.5 grams dietary fiber, 0.65 grams fat and 1.2 grams protein.