Last Updated on July 20, 2019 by Michael Joseph
Red raspberries are one of the healthiest choices of fruit, and they taste delicious too.
These berries are low in sugar, high in fiber, and packed with a variety of interesting compounds.
This article takes a look at the potential health benefits of red raspberries and their full nutrition profile.
Raspberries come in a surprising number of colors and varieties, including red, purple, black, golden, and white.
This article refers to red raspberries, which are the most popular variety of raspberry in the world today.
The nutrition tables below show the full nutritional values of raspberries per 100-gram serving (1).
Calories and Macronutrients
|Saturated Fat||0 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||0.4 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||0.4 g|
Raspberries are predominantly a source of carbohydrate, and they contain 11.9 grams per 100-gram serving, most of which is dietary fiber.
|Vitamin||Amount (% RDI)|
|Mineral||Amount (% RDI)|
Health Benefits of Red Raspberries
There are several potential benefits that raspberry consumption can have on our health.
Here is a summary.
1) Raspberries May Improve Vascular Function
Some studies suggest raspberry consumption may have benefits on vascular function, thereby improving cardiovascular health.
Interestingly, a recent double-blind, randomized controlled trial using “dietary achievable amounts of red raspberries” demonstrated a substantial improvement in endothelial function (2).
In this study, participants consuming 200 grams of red raspberries showed “significant improvements in flow-mediated dilation (FMD)” two hours (and up to 24 hours) after consuming the raspberries.
Researchers believe that the polyphenols within red raspberries, such as anthocyanins, are responsible for this effect.
Prior studies using high-dose extracts of black raspberry powder showed similar results (3).
2) Good Source of Vitamin C
Red raspberries are one of the best dietary sources of vitamin C, and they offer 44% of the daily RDI per 100 grams (1).
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that functions as an antioxidant in the body.
Among the numerous functions of the vitamin, it is responsible for the growth, repair, and maintenance of all cells, and it helps to protect against oxidative stress (4).
3) High In Fiber, Low In Sugar
Red raspberries contain 11.9 grams of carbohydrate per 100 grams, and the majority of these carbs (6.5 grams) are from fiber.
In other words; raspberries only contain slightly over 5 grams of “net” (digestible) carbohydrate.
- Improved blood sugar regulation
- Greater satiety and fewer food cravings
- Reduced blood pressure
Low Carb/Diabetes Diets
Since raspberries are low in overall carbohydrate, high in fiber, and low in sugar, they are one of the best choices of fruit for people undertaking a low carb diet.
On this note, many people with type 2 diabetes choose to use a diet low in digestible carbohydrate to manage blood sugar levels.
There is also some (low-quality) evidence that raspberries may help to lower blood sugar levels.
However, most of the studies showing a reduction in blood glucose response used high strength raspberry extracts added to a high-carb meal.
In other words, simply eating whole raspberries by themselves won’t magically lower blood-sugar levels (10).
4) Rich Source of Anthocyanins (Polyphenols)
Similar to other varieties of berries, raspberries contain a high concentration of anthocyanins, which are a type of polyphenolic compound (polyphenol).
There is a lot of debate on the function of polyphenols, what they can do in the body, and their bioavailability.
Although the bioavailability of anthocyanins is relatively low, a recent human trial demonstrated that about 15% of consumed anthocyanins appear in the blood (11).
There are also numerous studies that suggest potential benefits from anthocyanins.
Regarding human studies, a systematic review of 19 randomized clinical trials showed that (14);
- Anthocyanins improved markers of beta cell function and insulin resistance.
- Anthocyanin supplementation slightly lowered total cholesterol and LDL.
However, other than this, there was no impact on fasting blood sugars, weight, blood pressure, or other health markers.
5) High In Manganese
The most concentrated mineral in raspberries is manganese, and the berries contain 34% of the mineral’s RDI per 100 grams (1).
Manganese has a wealth of functions in the human body, and it is essential for optimal bone health, wound healing, and metabolism (15).
The mineral is quite prevalent in food, but raspberries do still provide a significant amount of it.
6) May Have Slight Anti-Inflammatory Properties
However, what happens in a high-dose rodent study does not automatically mean something would have the same effect inside the human body.
There is not a significant amount of evidence for anti-inflammatory effects in humans from raspberries, and more research is necessary for this area.
7) Red Raspberries Seem To Improve Gut Health
In a recent randomized controlled trial on healthy human volunteers, four weeks of red raspberry intake appeared to have a positive impact on the gut microbiota (18).
Specifically, the gut microbiota changes included;
- Firmicutes fell from 83.66% to 48.98%.
- The abundance of Bacteroidetes significantly increased to 34.79% from 5.99%.
Research on the microbiota is in the early stages, but researchers have found a link between the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio and health.
Red raspberries appear to lower Firmicute concentrations and increase Bacteroidetes.
Fresh vs. Frozen
When considering raspberries (or any other berries), many people wonder whether buying fresh or frozen makes a difference.
The good news: there is no major difference.
In one study, researchers recorded the level of vitamins and phenolic compounds in fresh raspberries and then froze the berries. After analyzing the frozen berries, the researchers found no nutritional differences.
In other words; freezing the raspberries had no impact on the level of vitamins and phytonutrients they contained (22).
Whether you buy fresh or frozen, therefore, isn’t really important in respect to the nutrition profile. Fresh and frozen are both good choices, and it is just a matter of price, convenience, and personal preference.
Tasty Ways To Eat Raspberries
Although raspberries taste delicious on their own, here are some simple but tasty ways to eat them.
Raspberries and Cream
Raspberries and cream is a classic option. For taste, it may also be the best.
This combination is an excellent option for anyone watching their blood sugar too; the fat content of the cream will blunt the (minimal) blood sugar spike from the raspberries.
Fresh berries and cream is also a perfect healthy dessert for children.
Healthy Raspberry Yogurt
For a healthy and straightforward raspberry yogurt, all you need is two ingredients;
- ¾ cup (100g) raspberries
- ½ cup (120g) yogurt
Blend them together for a raspberry flavor yogurt that is much healthier than anything you’ll find in stores.
Dark Chocolate Raspberries
To make a batch of dark chocolate-coated raspberries, use the following recipe;
- 200g dark chocolate (ideally 80% cocoa or higher)
- 1 ½ cups (190g) of raspberries
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) heavy cream
Just melt the dark chocolate on the stove, add the cream and raspberries, and ensure the raspberries are fully coated in the chocolate mix.
Next, put the coated raspberries in the refrigerator, wait until the chocolate coating hardens, and then serve.
Red raspberries are a low-sugar, high-fiber fruit with several proven (and some potential) benefits.
As a bonus, raspberries also taste delicious, and they make a great option for a healthier dessert.
For more on fruit, see this guide to the highest fiber fruits.
For more articles about berries, see this review of cranberry fruit.