With their vivid hue and juicy flesh, raspberries add flavor and natural sweetness to your diet. They also offer health benefits; berries, including raspberries, boast some of the highest antioxidant levels of any fruit, notes the Berry Health Benefits Network at Oregon State University. Raspberries offer a broad nutritional profile that includes beneficial carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that offer a range of health benefits.
Carbohydrates and Fiber
Most of a cup of raspberries' 64 calories come from carbohydrates. The 15 grams of total carbohydrates per cup of raspberries include 5.4 grams of sugar -- naturally-occurring sugars that provide you with energy -- as well as 8 grams of dietary fiber. Because they're so high in fiber, raspberries make a heart-healthy addition to your diet, and eating raspberries helps lower your cholesterol. A single cup of berries provides 21 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 31 percent for women.
Add raspberries to your diet and you'll boost your intake of copper and manganese. Both minerals keep your connective tissues -- a group of tissues that includes your bones and skin -- strong. Copper also helps prevent DNA damage by functioning as an antioxidant, while manganese helps you metabolize carbohydrates and regulate your blood sugar levels. A serving of raspberries provides 111 micrograms of copper, or 12 percent of your recommended daily intake. Each serving also boasts 0.82 milligram of manganese -- 36 and 46 percent of the recommended daily manganese intakes for men and women, respectively.
Reach for raspberries and you'll consume more vitamin C, along with vitamin K. Both nutrients nourish your musculoskeletal system -- vitamin K supports bone development, while vitamin C helps strengthen the tendons and ligaments that stabilize your joints and attach your muscles to bone. Vitamin K also aids in wound healing by supporting blood clot formation, and vitamin C is an antioxidant. A cup of raspberries contains 9.6 micrograms of vitamin K, which is 11 percent of the recommended daily intake for women and 8 percent for men. A serving of berries also provides 32.2 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 43 and 36 percent of the recommended daily vitamin C intakes for women and men, respectively.
Antioxidants and Phytonutrients
Some of raspberries' high antioxidant potential comes from its phytonutrient content. Raspberries come packed with flavanoids -- specifically anthocyanins, a group of nutrients that help give the berries their color. A diet rich in flavanoids not only fights cell damage because of their role as an antioxidant, but also promotes tissue health by supporting proper cell communcation. Raspberries also contain ellagic and gallic acids, two nutrients with cancer-fighting properties.
- Berry Health Benefits Network: Fact Sheets
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Raspberries, Raw
- Iowa State University Extension: Role of Carbohydrates
- Linus Pauling Institute: Fiber
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Copper
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Manganese
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin K
- Linus Pauling Institute: Flavonoids