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6 reasons raspberries are so good for you

Cynthia Sass, RD, M.P.H., health.com on

Published in Health & Fitness

Raspberries are enjoyable all year long, whether they’re fresh or frozen. These gorgeous gems aren’t just delicious and versatile; they also have an impressive nutritional profile that makes them one of the healthiest choices in the produce aisle. Here are six health benefits of raspberries, plus simple ways to include both fresh and frozen options in meals and snacks.

1. Raspberries have lots of nutrients.

One cup of raspberries provides over 50% of the minimum daily target for vitamin C, which supports immunity and skin health and helps produce collagen. Raspberries also contain manganese and vitamin K, which both play a role in bone health. And they supply smaller amounts of vitamin E, B vitamins, magnesium, copper, iron and potassium.

2. They’re low in sugar.

Raspberries are also one of the lowest-sugar fruits, at just 5 grams per cup fresh, compared to about 20 grams in one medium apple. This makes them a great option for anyone with a sweet tooth who wants to minimize their overall sugar intake.

3. They’re rich in anti-aging antioxidants.

Raspberries are antioxidant powerhouses. These health-protective compounds have been tied to lower rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Raspberry antioxidants also help reduce inflammation, a known trigger of premature aging.

4. They may protect you from cancer.

Raspberry antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds are associated with cancer protection by reducing the reproduction of cancer cells. However, research also shows that the phytonutrients in raspberries, such as ellagitannins, may actually help kill cancer cells by signaling apoptosis, or programmed cell death.

 

5. Raspberries are high in fiber.

A cup of raspberries packs an impressive 8 grams of dietary fiber, a third of the daily minimum goal. That fiber also contributes to fullness, blunts blood sugar by slowing digestion, and supports good digestive health. Raspberry fiber also helps beneficial gut bacteria flourish. The latter are linked to stronger immunity and a more positive mood.

6. Raspberries may sharpen your brain and memory.

Raspberries help counter oxidative stress, which is essentially an imbalance between the production of cell-damaging free radicals and the body’s ability to fight off their harmful effects. Because oxidative stress is a causative factor in diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, raspberries are a top brain-supporting food. The flavonoids in berries have also been shown to help improve coordination, memory and mood. And berries help with general brain “housekeeping” by clearing out toxic proteins tied to brain dysfunction.

How to add more raspberries to your meals

Raspberries make a beautiful and tasty addition to numerous dishes, and they work well in both sweet and savory meals. Add them to oatmeal or overnight oats, garden salads, whole-grain side dishes and desserts. Slightly mash them to make a colorful sauce for anything from two-ingredient banana-egg pancakes to broiled fish or oven-roasted veggies. Whip frozen raspberries into smoothies, or thaw and use them just like fresh.

(Health delivers relevant information in clear, jargon-free language that puts health into context in peoples’ lives. Online at www.health.com.)

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