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Seeing Red: The Health Benefits of Raspberries

We all know we should be eating more fruits and vegetables in our diets. Not all fruits are created equally, though, with some having more nutrients and fewer natural sugars than others. Raspberries are certainly in this category, and rate highly for those looking to get the most nutritional punch out of the fruit they consume. 

Related to the rose, red raspberries are just one color of these tart berries. Raspberries can come in several colors including black, purple, and even yellow. Fresh raspberries typically have a short shelf life, and need to be eaten quickly or stored and processed properly to take advantage of all the nutritional value they contain. The health benefits of eating raspberries are wide ranging, and cover everything from improving blood sugar levels to improving collagen production and even helping to improve eye health with nutrients such as lutein. 

Health Benefits of Raspberries

The list of health benefits found in raspberries is quite long. As you may expect, they are great sources of a range of vitamins, polyphenols, minerals, and other nutrients including:

  • vitamin C
  • vitamin E
  • vitamin A 
  • vitamin K
  • magnesium
  • calcium
  • selenium 
  • folate
  • lutein
  • beta carotene
  • potassium
  • manganese
  • lycopene 

Many of these nutrients are antioxidants that help fight the corrosive effects of free radicals. Raspberries also contain extra antioxidants in the form of flavonoids. These compounds include a variety known as anthocyanins. Commonly found in dark red, purple, and bluish fruit, anthocyanins can lower your overall oxidative stress, which can lead to a long list of benefits for your health including lower cholesterol, improved heart health, and more. Flavonoids are also known to help manage blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and may improve cognitive function. The anti-inflammatory properties of raspberries can also help manage symptoms of arthritis, as well as helping to curb the damage of generalized inflammation that is linked to many chronic diseases.

Raspberries are also a great source of phytonutrients. These compounds, such as ellagic acid, have shown promise in killing cancer cells by helping to signal cell death. More research is needed in this area, but initial studies suggest this effect may benefit individuals suffering from colon, prostate, breast, and oral cancers. One study in particular showed red raspberry extract to be particularly effective at killing stomach cancer cells.

Studies have also shown that eating raspberries, and foods made with raspberry extracts, are linked to lower rates of heart disease, obesity, and several other chronic diseases. With a relatively low glycemic index, raspberries do not contribute to increases in blood sugar levels in the way some other fruits such as strawberries or mangoes do with their higher levels of carbohydrates. This can be particularly important for people who have insulin sensitivities such as type 2 diabetes or who have weight loss goals that are dependent on keeping insulin levels low to minimize fat storage. Raspberries also contain tannins that may help to block digestive enzymes responsible for breaking down starches. 

Raspberries are an excellent source of dietary fiber. A cup of raspberries has as much as 8 grams of fiber. For those looking to increase the fiber content of their diet without the extra carbs of some other high fiber fruits, raspberries are a great option.

Harnessing the Nutritional Benefits of Raspberries

For all the good things you can say about red raspberries, they are not a very durable fruit. Unlike apples or citrus fruits that can be shipped and stored relatively easily, raspberries have a relatively short shelf life. For many people, fresh raspberries are not as available as some other fruit varieties, but this is all the more reason to find ways to sneak these delicious, nutritious berries into other food and beverage products. 

There are many different ways to include the great taste, natural health benefits, and even the vivid color of raspberries to give your products an edge. With consumer sentiment increasingly trending away from products with long ingredient lists, using natural sweeteners and colors made from products like raspberries can give your product a significant edge.

Particularly where the health benefits of raspberries are concerned, ensuring you get your ingredients from a partner who can guarantee a quality product is vital. Some compounds such as vitamin C are relatively fragile, and care must be taken to ensure the fruits that contain them are processed properly to maintain the highest nutritional value possible. At FruitSmart, sourcing, processing, and preserving fruit is the core of what we do. We provide our partners with the highest quality fruit products possible for whatever application can be dreamed up. 

The opportunities for including our black raspberries and red raspberries in your products are nearly endless. Not only does FruitSmart make juice concentrates packed with nutrients and flavor, but we also create purees and essences for applications in everything from jams to baby food. Our raspberries are also available as essences to provide the concentrated, delicious flavor of these tart berries when needed. 

FruitSmart also upcycles the pomace (skin and pulp) from our fruit as another way to capture the powerful anthocyanins, fiber, and other compounds found in raspberries. These can be included in cereals, nutrition bars, and more. 

At FruitSmart, we believe in building lasting relationships with our partners, which means we go beyond offering the standard product sample pack. We work to understand the challenges you are trying to solve to help provide the best solution possible. If you want to know more about how we work with our partners to create innovative, nutritious products, contact us today.

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