Juicy and refreshing, benefits of raspberries are a wonderful snack and a favorite ingredient in fruity smoothies. However, it turns out that they are also very good for your health, potentially influencing everything from the severity of your allergies to the condition of your skin. Here are ten of the most incredible and powerful reasons to consider stocking up on raspberries.
1. They support cardiovascular health
Raspberries contain plant pigments called anthocyanins, and studies show that a diet rich in anthocyanins may be linked to a lower risk of death from heart disease. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that anthocyanins seem to inhibit the high levels of inflammation linked to heart disease, and suggest that regular consumption of these flavonoids could cut heart attack risk by more than 30% in the young and middle-aged. As a bonus, the benefits of raspberries provide you with potassium, which helps to lower stroke and heart attack risk by regulating blood pressure.
2. They could reduce your risk of developing cancer
Raspberries are an excellent source of ellagic acid, a phenol antioxidant that appears to be able to protect cells against the type of DNA mutations that can cause malignancies to develop. Lab tests show that ellagic acid is also capable of causing cancer cell death without damaging other, healthy cells.
Meanwhile, when cancerous tumors have already developed, animals who consume a diet rich in benefits of raspberries demonstrate slower tumor growth and progression. In particular, one fascinating study showed an 80% reduction in colon cancer growth. Further, ellagic acid may stop metalloproteinase enzymes from proliferating, thereby reducing the likelihood of cancer spreading.
3. They have antibacterial properties
As well as helping your heart, anthocyanins may be able to cut your risk of bacterial infections. In particular, raspberry juice is proven to inhibit the growth of Salmonella, E. Coli and Shigella. There is also promising data suggesting that raspberry juice can slow the reproduction of Candida albicans, the common fungus that leads to yeast infections like oral thrush. However, this relationship is more contentious, and research is ongoing.
4. They protect the eyes
Macular degeneration is the most common cause of lost sight in older age. Thankfully, fruits like raspberries are packed with antioxidants that, if regularly consumed, reduce the risk of macular degeneration by at least 35%. It’s also worth noting that vitamin C and zeaxanthin in raspberries can help to protect the eyes from damage caused by harmful UV light.
5. They may help you lose weight
A single serving of raspberries contains over 40% of your recommended intake of manganese, a mineral that boosts your metabolism. Consequently, you will burn more calories at a faster rate for a while after eating raspberries, which can help you shed unwanted weight. Meanwhile, if you’re not dieting, the spike in metabolic rate can help you maintain your current, healthy weight.
6. They could help to maintain youthful skin
The aforementioned anthocyanins in raspberries also encourage increased production of collagen, the structural protein responsible for the smooth, glowing skin associated with youth. Skin products containing anthocyanins may also be able to protect the skin from damage by potentially toxic free radicals and reduce the damage caused by UV radiation.
7. They assist with diabetes management
If you’ve been diagnosed with either type of diabetes, you’ll want to ensure that your diet is particularly high in fiber, as fiber helps to keep blood sugar levels under control. Studies on type 1 diabetes patients who eat plenty of fiber show a decrease in blood glucose levels, while those with type 2 diabetes demonstrate not only healthier blood sugar levels but also better insulin levels.
8. They can be useful during pregnancy
Raspberries are a traditional remedy for nausea and morning sickness that often occur in the first trimester of pregnancy (as well as beyond the first few months for some unlucky women!). However, it may be worth avoiding raspberry leaf tea until much later in pregnancy, as some women swear that it helps to bring on labor and makes the process easier.
9. They are good for hay fever sufferers
If you’re struggling with the red, itchy eyes and constant attacks of sneezing associated with hay fever, reach for a bowl of raspberries. They contain quercetin, another amazing antioxidant that is also a natural antihistamine. Since excessive histamine is responsible for hay fever symptoms, raspberries may help you to enjoy time outdoors without feeling miserable.
10. They could help to maintain cognitive function
Finally, the quercetin in raspberries may also play a key role in helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other common forms of dementia. For example, a team of scientists at Cornell University has found that quercetin consumption in mince leads to brain cells being protected from some of the damage linked to dementia.
There is also a connection between flavonoids and memory improvement, making raspberries great for brain power at any age. Quercetin is also available in supplement form if you’d prefer to try a higher dose.