Raspberry Benefits That'll Have You Dreaming of Homemade Jam

Familiarize yourself with the health benefits of raspberries, then find new ways to add the fruit to recipes.

Raspberries In A Bowl
Photo: Getty Images

Raspberries: a sweet and tart snack, the perfect counterpart to a slice of cheesecake, and a showpiece at farmer's market stands around the world. The fruit would doubtless still be a crowd-pleaser even if it brought zero health perks to the table. But as with other berries, raspberries are linked to multiple nutritional benefits — impressive benefits at that. To get a sense of how the benefits of raspberries may affect your health, along with creative recipe ideas that incorporate the fruit, read on.

What Are Raspberries?

The raspberry is a berry that grows from shrubs that are commonly referred to as brambles, and the fruit is likely native to Southwestern China, according to an article published in the journal Horticulture Research. The two main varieties of raspberries include red raspberries and black raspberries, according to the article. Red raspberries get their color from anthocyanins, a type of pigment, according to an article in the journal Antioxidants. Black raspberries, which, FTR, are different from blackberries, are native to North America, according to information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Additional forms of raspberries include yellow and purple raspberries.

Raspberry Nutrition Facts

"Raspberries are a good source of many vitamins and minerals — especially vitamin C and fiber," notes Kylie Sakaida, M.S., R.D., L.D.N. "One cup of raspberries contains approximately eight grams of fiber and 32 milligrams of vitamin C (54 percent of the [recommended] daily value)."

Raspberries happen to be one of the highest food sources of fiber, according to an article in the journal Advances In Nutrition. "Raspberries are an easy way to include more fiber in the diet since they're one of the most high-fiber fruits you can find in a grocery store," says Sakaida. "One cup of raspberries has a whopping eight grams of fiber (about 32 percent of the [recommended] daily value) which can help you quickly meet your fiber goals."

Here are the nutrition facts for one cup (123 grams) of raw raspberries, according to data from the USDA:

  • 64 calories
  • 1 gram protein
  • 15 grams carbohydrate
  • 8 grams fiber
  • >1 gram fat
  • 5 grams sugar

Health Benefits of Raspberries

Find out how various raspberry benefits may impact your health.

Support Healthy Digestion

As mentioned, one of the main raspberry benefits is that the fruit is high in fiber, a nutrient that many people don't get enough of, according to Sakaida. "The average American only consumes 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day, much less than the USDA's recommended daily amounts for most adults — 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men," she says.

Fiber (a type of carbohydrate) offers several health benefits, from stabilizing your blood sugar to helping to lower your cholesterol, but its claim to fame is its role in promoting healthy digestion (i.e., keeping you regular), as Shape previously reported.

May Lower Risk of Chronic Diseases

Eating enough fiber in the form of raspberries and other foods may also lower your risk of certain chronic diseases. "Eating adequate amounts of fiber is linked to important health benefits," says Sakaida. "Studies show a 15 to 30 percent decrease in all-cause mortality, cardiovascular-related mortality, incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke incidence and mortality, colorectal cancer, and type 2 diabetes for people who consume more fiber in comparison to those who consume less fiber."

Antioxidant compounds in red raspberries may also offer a benefit. Specifically, anthocyanins, ellagitannins, and vitamin C in the fruit may help defend your body against oxidative stress, which occurs when your body generates an abundance of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS), according to the Antioxidants article. Both internal and external factors (e.g., pollution or alcohol) can lead to increased ROS and RNS levels, and oxidative stress has been linked to conditions such as cancer and diabetes, according to the article.

May Support a Healthy Balance of Gut Bacteria

Antioxidants in red raspberries (and the substances that form when your body breaks down those antioxidants) seem to have both prebiotic and probiotic effects, according to the Antioxidants article. Thanks to their anthocyanin content, raspberries may help increase bacteria that are thought to be beneficial in your gut while decreasing the amount of pathogenic bacteria, according to the article. Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome may impact more than just your digestion. Research on the gut-brain connection suggests that the makeup of your gut may impact your mental health and vice versa, as Shape previously reported.

How to Use Raspberries In Recipes

You can choose from fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried raspberries at the grocery store, depending on what you're using them for, your budget, and how long you'd like them to last. While the easiest way to get in on the nutritional benefits of raspberries is to enjoy them solo, the fruit can also star in a range of recipes. Here are a few ways to add more raspberries to your diet:

In a smoothie. Whether you have fresh or frozen raspberries on hand, you can chuck them into a blender when crafting a smoothie or smoothie bowl. If you prefer a recipe to winging it, consider this pink ombré berry banana smoothie.

In a salad dressing. Raspberry vinaigrette is a classic for a reason — raspberries can add a hint of sweetness to a dressing. If you're looking for a homemade but easy salad recipe, the raspberry salad dressing recipe found here calls for three ingredients and won't require you to bust out your blender.

Stuffed. Not willing to go to the effort of making chocolate-covered strawberries? Fill a few raspberries with your favorite variety of chocolate chips for a two-ingredient dessert. If you have a little more time, you can try these cheesecake-stuffed raspberries from food blog Foodie with Family or these coconut-stuffed raspberries from Flora & Vino.

In frozen desserts. Raspberries are in season during the summer, so they're a perfect addition to refreshing drinks and frozen desserts. Try these raspberry popsicles from Keep Calm and Eat Ice Cream or this raspberry sorbet recipe from Creme de la Crumb.

In a parfait. Raspberries can add texture to a yogurt bowl or chia seed pudding. Try topping your breakfast bowl with fresh raspberries or cooking fresh or frozen berries to make a sauce, such as this raspberry sauce recipe from The Nourishing Gourmet, to add to your bowl.

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