What Are the Health Benefits of Raspberries and Blueberries?

Artem Samokhvalov/iStock/Getty Images

Raspberries and blueberries are popular sweet treats that are eaten for their flavor and attractive color in dishes. Raspberries exist in various colors including red, black, gold and purple. Blueberries are one of the few fruits native to North America. Their peak season is in July, National Blueberry Month. You may enjoy both fruits raw, frozen, dried, canned, cooked or juiced. They are not only delicious, but they also provide several health benefits.

Anti-cancer and Anti-aging Properties

raspberry image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com

The cancer-fighting properties in raspberries and blueberries come from two of their chemical compounds, ellagic acid and vitamin C. These components may be helpful in the prevention of cancer by keeping free radicals from causing damage to cells. Because of the role of free radicals in the aging process, raspberries and blueberries may also slow some signs of aging in the body.

Weight-management Benefits

Blueberries image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com

Eating raspberries and blueberries may help you maintain a healthy weight in several ways. Both of these fruits are rich in insoluble fiber that provides a sense of fullness, which may prevent you from overeating. The carbohydrates in both fruits are slowly released. This prevents sudden increases and decreases in blood-sugar levels, which helps you control hunger and cravings.

Raspberries and blueberries are also low in calories and are naturally fat free. One cup of raw raspberries has only 64 calories, but it is packed with 8 grams of fiber. One cup of raw blueberries has only 82 calories and 3 grams of fiber.

Healthy Blood Vessels and Connective Tissues

skeleton image by JASON WINTER from Fotolia.com

Vitamin C is necessary for the growth and repair of cells in the body. It helps the body make and repair cells of the skin, bones, ligaments and blood vessels. Vitamin C is also helpful for immune-system functioning. Based on a 2000-calorie diet, 1 cup of raspberries contains 53 percent of your daily value of vitamin C. One cup of blueberries contains 23 percent of your daily value of vitamin C.

Other Possible Benefits

raspberries image by Shirley Hirst from Fotolia.com

Manganese is a trace mineral that is abundant in raspberries and blueberries. This mineral makes up the compound called superoxide dismutase, which fights free radicals. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, manganese may offer the following health benefits: decreased premenstrual syndrome symptoms, improved bone health, decreased arthritis pain and protection from low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in diabetics.

One cup of raspberries contains 41 percent of your daily value of manganese based on a 2000-calorie diet, while 1 cup of blueberries provides 24 percent. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, 37 percent of Americans don't get the recommended dietary intake of manganese.