Raspberries show more promising health benefits
- Research presented in April at the Experimental Biology conference in Chicago could further enhance the red raspberry's reputation as a healthy food option, according to the National Processed Raspberry Council.
- Scientists found improvement in glucose control and increased satiety in the participants of short-term human trials, while longer-term animal trials revealed "promising effects" of raspberry intake on gut microbiota.
- Study observations support future research into the possible beneficial effects of raspberry consumption on reducing inflammation, obesity and the risk of type 2 diabetes, the council noted.
The raspberry is considered an extremely healthy food due to its impressive nutritional profile. Raspberries contain vitamins, calcium, potassium, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and other nutrients.They also posses the antioxidants alpha and beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and choline.
In addition, prior research has shown raspberries feature polyphenols such as anthocyanin, flavonols, and ellagitannins, which are said to decrease oxidative damage from free radicals. They also have shown potential in animal and human studies for preventing or reducing the risk of chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
"We are excited about this new flurry of studies, which builds on previously published research aimed to better understand the potential health benefits of red raspberries," Tom Krugman, executive director of the National Processed Raspberry Council, said in a statement.
Raspberries are not the only fruit that ranks high in antioxidants. At the top of the list are cranberries, blueberries and blackberries, followed by apples, peaches, mangoes and melons. It's likely that some of the benefits from raspberries identified in the most recent studies — such as glucose control, increase satiety and gut microbiota —could take time before the information is verified or the fruit is available in a quantity or form where people can consume it enough where it has a meaningful impact on their health.
The raspberry is produced predominately in three states: California, Oregon and Washington, according to data from the U.S. Agriculture Department. In 2015, 128,400 tons of the fruit was produced, valued at $581 million — higher than some crops but trailing popular fruits such as apples, strawberries, oranges and grapes.
Further evidence that raspberries have even more health benefits than previously thought could further increase demand for the fruit, and without additional production increases, prices could increase.