7 Health Benefits Of Raspberries You Should Know Of

From being swirled into angel cakes and pureed into smoothies to being placed in parfaits and on cheesecakes – raspberries are a culinary delight. But that’s not all there is to this ruby red fruit. Nutritionists can’t get enough of the health benefits they offer and we’ve listed a few of them out for you.

1. May Prevent A Decline In Cognitive Function

Include raspberries in your diet to avoid memory impairment as you age. Several animal studies have found a positive link between the intake of flavonoids (antixidants) in berries with improved memory and decreased rate of decline in cognitive ability related to aging.1 In addition to this, studies have found that flavonoids interact with important neuronal signalling which, in turn, inhibits cell death due to toxins produced by alcohol consumption, manganese poisoning, and botox. In addition to this, they promote blood flow in the hippocampus (the part of the brain that controls long term memory and spatial learning) that promotes new nerve cell growth in the brain.2


2. May Lower Blood Sugar Levels

If you’re watching your blood sugar levels, stock up on those raspberries. The dietary fiber and polyphenol (antioxidants) content of raspberries is linked to lowered blood sugar levels. They do this by suppressing proteins that lead to metabolic dysfunction and insulin resistance in obese individuals who consume a high-fat diet.3 In addition to this, raspberries are high in tannins. These block alpha amylase which are enzymes that convert starch to sugar. By doing this, tannins in raspberries prevent quick spikes in blood sugar levels. Besides this, raspberries are low in sugar as well. If you’re diabetic, be sure to consult a professional before consuming raspberries.4

3. May Promote Heart Health

Eating raspberries regularly may keep your heart in good shape. Recent studies have found that consuming flavonoid-rich foods, like raspberries, lower the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, even in small quantities. In fact, one such study found that regular, sustained intake of antioxidants from berries reduces the risk of heart disease by 32 percent in young and middle-aged women. In particular anthocyanins (a type of flavonoid and an antoxidant) reduce inflammation, prevent platelet buildup, and reduce blood pressure, all of which lead to heart problems.5


In addition to this, the potassium in raspberries has been found to reduce the risk of death from ischemic heart disease.6

4. May Prevent Cancer

The antioxidant-content of red raspberries may inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Test tube studies have found that regular supplementation blocks the growth of cancer cells on colon, prostate, breast, and oral cancer cells.7 In addition to this, another such study found that red raspberry extract eliminated up to 90 percent of stomach, colon, and breast cancer cells, while a separate test tube study found that an antioxidant in red raspberry known as sanguiin H-6 prompted the cell death of 40% of ovarian cancer cells.8 9


To add to this, one animal study has found that the extract of red raspberries prevented the growth of liver cancer in mice, with the risk of tumor development decreasing with each additional dose of the extract. That said, further studies, especially those on humans, are needed before confirming this benefit.10

5. May Aid Weight Loss

With only 64 calories per cup, their natural sweetness, and the fact that they’re 85 percent water, raspberries make a great snack if you’re watching your weight.11 One study that was conducted on mice found that the ones fed raspberries gained less weight than the ones who were on a high-fat diet. A separate study found that mice fed a high-fat diet and given high doses of raspberry ketones gained less weight than those that weren’t. That said, human studies on this are ambiguous and need further research.12 13


6. May Improve Arthritis

[pullquote]Fresh raspberries have a short lifespan so be sure to buy local and consume them within 2 days. Avoid any that look crushed or moldy. Whenever possible, eat raspberries raw and avoid products with added sugar such as jams.[/pullquote]

Raspberries block COX-2, an enzyme responsible for causing inflammation and pain. This makes them a good defense against arthritis.14 Some studies have found that rats treated with red raspberry extract had a lowered risk of arthritis as opposed to those that didn’t.15 In rats that had arthritis, raspberry extract lowered the severity of symptoms. In another study, rats given the extract had lesser swelling and joint destruction than those who weren’t.16


7. May Reduce The Symptoms Of Skin Aging

Raspberries are high in vitamin C, the holy grail of healthy, younger-looking skin. This vitamin acts like an antioxidant which fights free radical damage, improves collagen production, and reverses sun damage.17