Raspberries: Health Benefits, Recipes and Side Effects
Raspberries are a fruit you can enjoy all year long. Be it frozen or fresh; raspberries are a delicious and versatile fruit. They have many beneficial properties such as anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-allergic, cardio-protective properties and many more. The fruit can range in various colours, from red and black or purple to golden. Each colour has its composition of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
However, red raspberries are among the most commonly grown fruits. They contain a wide range of antioxidants such as vitamin C and E. In addition, they contain selenium, beta carotene, lutein, lycopene and zeaxanthin. It also contains flavonoids which show antioxidant effects. They also have many medicinal uses and can offer promising results in cancer prevention.
Nutritional Value of Raspberries
100 grams of red raspberries contain:
- Calories: 52 kcals
- Fats: 0.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 12 g
- Protein: 1.2 g
Vitamins and Minerals
Raspberries also contain fair amounts of vitamins and minerals such as:
- Vitamin C: 26.2 mg
- Magnesium: 22 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg
- Potassium: 151 mg
- Iron: 0.7 mg
- Calcium: 25 mg
Additionally, raspberries contain other minerals like:
- Vitamin K and E
Raspberries also have a very low glycemic index. Glycaemic index is the food’s ability to convert complex carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar). That makes raspberries a better fruit choice for people trying to manage their blood sugar levels.
Health Benefits of Raspberries 1. Good for Diabetics
Raspberries (especially red) are one of the lowest-sugar berries. That makes them an excellent choice for people who have sweet cravings but want to cut down on their sugar intake. They also have a very low glycemic index which can help regulate blood sugar levels. It is also because of the high amounts of fibre in raspberries. It prevents fast digestion and helps prevent a rise in blood sugar levels.
2. Rich in Antioxidants
Raspberries are a rich source of antioxidants. They contain compounds like beta carotene, lutein, lycopene and zeaxanthin. Studies show that antioxidants help reduce inflammation and prevent premature ageing. Increased amounts of free radicals can cause cell damage in our bodies. Antioxidants also help to eliminate free radicals from the body providing a myriad of health benefits.
3. High in Fibre
One cup of red raspberries can contain up to 8g of dietary fibre. This fibre gives you a feeling of fullness and reduces the need to binge eat. Dietary fibre also slows down the release of blood sugar by slowing down digestion. In addition, it promotes a healthy gut.
Red raspberries also help to promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Gut bacteria help build immunity and help get a healthy digestive system and better food absorption. In addition, according to research, gut bacteria reduces the chances of contracting diseases.
4. Good for Heart
Research has shown that certain flavonoids in red raspberries can help suppress inflammation, leading to cardiovascular disorders. That is because these flavonoids work by reducing the intensity of the immune response. In addition, vitamin C, vitamin A, and many other antioxidant compounds protect the cardiovascular system from damage that free radicals may cause. They also contain potassium which improves blood circulation, blood pressure and keeps the sodium levels in check. As a result, it helps prevent hypertension.
5. Controls Cholesterol
Raspberries are rich in dietary fibre and vitamin C. These nutrients can help reduce bad cholesterol. In addition, it reduces the risk of atherosclerosis. In this condition, the arteries harden and narrow due to plaque build-up. Fibre prevents this by controlling cholesterol production in the body.
Manganese present in raspberries also helps reduce LDL, which helps manage cholesterol while reducing the risk of cardiovascular disorders.
6. Anti-allergic Effect
Red raspberries are rich in quercetin, a flavonoid with antihistamine properties. Research shows that it may inhibit the release of histamine. Histamine is a compound that is a part of the immune response and is responsible for causing inflammation. This antihistamine can help reduce many types of allergies such as runny nose, hives, watery eyes and many other inflammations and swellings.
7. Beneficial in Pregnancy
Red raspberries are full of many essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibres. These compounds are pretty critical for maintaining a healthy pregnancy. For example, vitamin C in red raspberries can help protect the fetus from free radical damage.
They also contain fair amounts of folate. Studies have demonstrated the role of folate in the healthy brain development of the foetus. It may also reduce the risks of many congenital disabilities. They are also rich in zinc, potassium, and iron, which are essential nutrients for mothers to maintain good health during pregnancy.
8. Reduces Risk of Eye Diseases
Red raspberries are full of antioxidants and vitamin A. Antioxidants help reduce the free radical damage to different tissues in the body. Free radical damage could be one of the leading causes of eye diseases.
These antioxidants reduce the risk of macular degeneration, cataract and glaucoma. In addition, the vitamin A content in raspberries is essential for healthy eyes. Vitamin A is a type of retinoid critical to the cone cells present in the eyes. Keeping the cone cells healthy can prolong cell life and health. As a result, this ensures better vision and delays age-related eyesight issues.
9. Anticancer Effect
Including red raspberries in your diet can reduce the risk of developing various types of cancers. Anyhow, they are full of antioxidants like vitamin A, C and flavonoids. These compounds protect the healthy cells from free radicals, which can cause severe damage and increase the chances of colon, abdominal and pancreatic cancer.
According to research, red raspberries contain ellagic acid, a plant-based phenolic compound. It acts as a potent antioxidant and helps in reducing the risk of cancer.
Uses of Red Raspberries
- You can use squashed red raspberries mixed with some honey and yoghurt to make a DIY mask to treat dehydrated skin. Red raspberries are 87% water and can keep the skin moisturised. The various antioxidants can also help to improve skin health.
- You can use raspberries for adding some fun elements to your plain old oatmeal or yoghurt and garnish them with some fresh raspberries. It will help increase the nutritional value and help fulfil the daily nutrient requirements.
Recipes with Raspberries 1. Raspberry Jam
Preparation Time: 40 minutes
- Fresh Raspberries: 200g
- Brown Sugar: 30 g
- Orange zest: 2 ml
- Fresh orange juice: 5 ml
- Fresh lemon juice: 5 ml
- Put the raspberries, sugar, orange zest, lemon juice, and orange juice in a pan and put it on simmer.
- Stir it gently to dissolve the sugar.
- Once the sugar dissolves, increase the heat and bring it to a boil.
- Mix the ingredients occasionally till the mixture is reduced to a third for about 15-20min.
- Meanwhile, put a plate in the freezer.
- Take some jam, put it onto the frozen plate, and freeze for 1 minute.
- To check if the jam is ready, run your finger through the jam on the plate. If the jam wrinkles, remove the pan from the flame. If not, then reduce the mixture some more.
- Transfer the jam into a jar and let it cool.
2. Raspberry Jar
Preparation Time: 15min
- Coconut Milk: 50 ml
- Oasts: 2 tbsp
- Honey: 5 g
- Almond milk: 50 ml
- Lemon zest: 1 g
- Fresh raspberries: 30 g
- Graham crackers (crushed): 5
- Combine the coconut milk, honey, almond milk and lemon zest using an electric mixer. Combine till you get a smooth mixture
- Take a jar and layer each jar with fresh raspberries, the filling and crushed graham cracker.
- Repeat the layers to fill the jar.
- Keep the jars in the fridge and serve chilled.
TIP: you can substitute honey with coconut sugar
Possible Side Effects
Raspberry allergy occurs in people who are allergic to salicylates. You may experience symptoms such as
- Itchy, tingly mouth
- Swollen lips
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Sneezing, hives
- Difficulty in breathing.
The Bottom Line
Red raspberries are a fantastic fruit choice that falls in the superfoods category. They are rich in many nutrients like Vitamin A, C, E and K and essential minerals like phosphorus, manganese, selenium, iron, copper, zinc. Along with that, they are also rich in antioxidants.
These nutrients are very beneficial and help improve the immune system, fight allergies, reduce the risk of various diseases, including cancer. They are also a great fruit choice for people with diabetes as they have a very low glycaemic index and can help control blood sugar.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Q. How many raspberries should I eat in a day?
A. 2-3 handfuls of raspberries in a day can prove to be quite beneficial. They can help meet your daily nutrient requirements of vitamin C and A and provide you with various antioxidants.
Q. Which is better for you, blueberries or raspberries?
A. Raspberries are a much healthier choice as they have 18% more Vitamin C. They also contain four times more magnesium than blueberries. Additionally, they are much lower in sugar than blueberries.
Q. Are raspberries superfood?
A. Raspberries fulfil all the requirements of a superfood. They contain very high amounts of vitamin C and manganese. They are also full of antioxidants and flavonoids, with excellent health benefits.
Q. Can you eat raspberries every day?
A. Yes, you can consume raspberries every day. They can help boost your energy levels and immune system and improve feminine health. Having raspberries every day can also reduce the risk of getting cancer.
Q. Is raspberry good for skin?
A. Yes, raspberries can be good for the skin as they contain antioxidants. In addition, they can help slow down the rate of cell ageing and prevent oxidative damage to the cells by eliminating free radicals.
Q. Are raspberries high in sugar?
A. Raspberries have natural sugars, but in low levels. Thus, they can be a great choice of fruit for diabetic people. They can help manage blood sugar levels and satisfy sweet cravings.
Q. Are raspberries good for weight loss?
A. Yes, raspberries can aid in weight management. Nevertheless, they contain dietary fibres that prevent hunger and cravings for junk food. Thus, they prevent unhealthy weight gain.
Q. Are raspberries good for belly fat?
A. Yes, raspberries are low in fat and calories. When paired with a proper diet and exercise, they can help to reduce fat and manage weight. Their fibre content may also contribute to managing a healthy weight.
Q. What happens if you eat raspberries every day?
A. Eating raspberries every day can have many health benefits. They are full of various nutrients like vitamin A, C, manganese, potassium, vitamin B complex etc. In addition, they have antioxidants, anticancer, cholesterol-lowering properties and much more.
Q. What are the side effects of raspberries?
A. If you are allergic to raspberries, they can cause swelling, watery eyes, runny nose, hives, itchy mouth etc.
Q. Is raspberry good for your stomach?
A. Yes, raspberries are rich in dietary fibre, promoting better digestive health. They also promote the growth of good gut bacteria, which encourage better absorption of food. They act as food to the friendly gut bacteria and help in nutrient absorption.
Q. Is raspberry carb or protein?
A. Raspberries contain more carbohydrates than protein. They have up to 12g of carbohydrates and only 1.2g of protein per 100g of serving. Therefore, this makes them a better source of carbs than protein.
Q. How many net carbs are there in 100g raspberries?
A. 100g of raspberries can contain up to 12g of carbohydrates.
Q. How much kcal does a raspberry have?
A. 100g serving of raspberry contains about 52kcals.
Q. Are raspberries keto?
A. No, raspberries are a carb source and cannot be considered a keto food source.
Q. Are raspberries good for pregnant females?
A. Yes, raspberries can be a great nutrient source for pregnant females. They ensure healthy foetal growth as they contain folate and zinc. They are also helpful in treating gestational diabetes.
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