Raspberries Are Bursting With Fiber, Vitamin C, and More Healthy Benefits
Snack on these tart, juicy gems by the handful.
Raspberries are so delicious that they feel like an indulgence. But did you know that they offer tons of health benefits, too? These bright bursts of flavor were first gathered in Turkey in the first century and soon became a staple for many communities across Europe as food, medicine, and a natural dye for textiles. The sweet, tart flavor of raspberries make them the perfect addition to breakfast staples, classic desserts, buzzworthy beverages, and sweet sauces or spreads.
The nutrition found in raspberries positively impacts nearly every body system due to their being “a good source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber,” says registered dietitian Tina Covone, MS, RD, CDN. Here’s why raspberries are such a healthy fruit to eat regularly, by the handful from the fridge, over yogurt, or in a smoothie.
Related:The Top Ways Blueberries Improve Your Health, According to an RD
Raspberry Nutrition and Health Benefits
Raspberries are packed with vitamin C.
You can find vitamin C in so many more foods than just the citrus fruits, and raspberries are at the top of the list. In fact, with one cup of these dazzling berries you’ll meet over half of your daily vitamin C needs. This will help to boost your immune system, brighten your skin, and promote healthy growth and repair within your body.
Raspberries are high in fiber for healthy digestion.
When it comes to high-fiber foods, and high-fiber fruits, you really can’t beat the fiber content of berries—especially raspberries. Fiber is commonly found in the skins and seeds of fruits and veggies. Given that raspberries are pretty much tiny packages of delicious skin and seeds, you may be able to guess just how full of fiber they are. “One cup of raspberries contains 8 grams of fiber,” Covone says, which can put a sizable dent in the 25 to 35 grams of fiber needed in a day. With both soluble and insoluble fiber, plus prebiotics, raspberries contain many different kinds of fiber that will keep you satisfied, regular, and feed your healthy gut bacteria.
Raspberries are full of manganese.
Manganese is a mineral not often talked about, but super vital for overall health. Raspberries are a good source of this elusive nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium and metabolize carbohydrates while building healthy bones, hormones, and connective tissues. One cup of raspberries provides over 40 percent of your daily manganese needs.
Raspberries deliver on antioxidant plant compounds.
When many health professionals think of plant compounds, one of the first food examples they might recommend is berries, including our beloved raspberry. Raspberries are high in so many bioactive plant compounds including flavonoids, ascorbic acid, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid. All of these compounds are antioxidants, “which can help to prevent inflammation,” Covone explains. They’re also effective at helping our cells fight off inflammation- and disease-causing free radicals throughout the body.
Related:7 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Eat Every Day for Long-Term Health
Raspberries may help support cognitive function and brain health.
There’s promising evidence that raspberries help our brains function at their highest level. One systematic review found that berry-based supplements, including those containing raspberries, were associated with overall improved cognition, memory, executive functioning, processing speeds, and attention spans. While the subjects of this review were older adults, researchers indicated that these results can be extrapolated to anyone enjoying berries and berry-based supplements. Berries (including raspberries) also contain flavonoids, which have been found to "significantly improve cognitive capabilities" and fend off neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, according to a review article in Frontiers Aging Neuroscience.
Raspberries may help manage blood sugar and insulin resistance in diabetics.
Some interesting studies have been done exploring red raspberries’ connection to managing diabetes. One of which, published in Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, found raspberry consumption to be associated with both reduced inflammation and lower blood sugar levels after eating in study subjects with type 2 diabetes. Another study found that eating raspberries was also tied with lower blood sugars after eating in individuals with prediabetes, lowering insulin needs and potentially even improving their insulin sensitivity, reducing the risk for progression to full-blown type 2 diabetes.
Related:Nuts, Berries, and 4 More Foods to Eat for Brain Health
Raspberry Recipes and Ideas
The health benefits of raspberries are impressive, but nothing beats the taste of a perfectly ripe raspberry. While they are the perfect snack to enjoy on their own, there are also so many recipes to include them in, any day of the week (or any time of the day!).
“Even when raspberries are not in season, frozen raspberries are also a great option,” Covone adds. Here are some delicious ideas to get you started.
Blend raspberries into any combination of produce-packed smoothies, smoothie bowls, or a simple bowl of mixed berries or fruit salad.
Breakfast Topping for Oatmeal, Cereal, Granola, and yogurt
What better way to start your day than with the antioxidant punch of berries? Raspberries are the perfect topping or addition to overnight oats, cold or hot cereals, pancakes, or spread on toast as jam (we love this raspberry chia seed jam recipe). The tart flavor of raspberries is also a tasty contrast to creamy yogurt and crunchy granola in a yogurt parfait.
Try your hand at homemade jam using fresh raspberries. It won’t only taste incredible, but you can also regulate how much added sugar goes in.
Wholesome Baked Goods
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Baked goods and raspberries go hand-in-hand. Try adding raspberry jam or whole raspberries to muffins, cakes, crumbles, cobblers, cookies, scones, tarts, pancakes, and sweet breads.
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Whether it’s plain water, seltzer, simple syrup, or a craft cocktail, raspberries (fresh, frozen, muddled, or pureed) are perfect for infusing into all of your favorite beverages.
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