Did you know that there are actually over two hundred (200) different types of raspberries? Some are black, whilst others are purple and even red (with the red being the most common variety).
Scientists know little about the origins of raspberries, but we are told that red raspberries have been around for approximately two thousand (2000) years, and they are considered one of the most popular berries worldwide.
This post “Warning: Red Raspberries for pre-diabetics,” seeks to inform those concerned about their health, especially where diabetic runs in the family.
Health Benefits of Eating Red Raspberries
Red raspberry is a popularly eaten berry which is tasty and sweet. The leaf and the fruit of the red raspberry have also been used as medicine in the past. It has been documented that the red raspberry leaf is used for diabetes, diarrhea, and respiratory issues, such as flu.
It is also used for heart problems, fever, and vitamin deficiency. The red raspberry promotes sweating, urination, and bile production. According to the experts at “webmed“, it is not uncommon for red raspberry to be used to purify the skin and the blood.
It has also been noted that raspberry leaves are used by women for painful and, or, heavy periods, morning sickness, to prevent miscarriage, and to ease labor and delivery issues. The many health benefits of red raspberry do not stop here, as it is sometimes applied directly to the skin to ease sore throat and rash on the skin.
Today, we still use the red raspberry leaf and fruit as medicine. Red Raspberries are high in fiber and possess little sugar. Yes, this makes red raspberries an excellent fruit for diabetics.
Let us take a look to see why they are so precious and should be eaten by all, but, more so, those of us diagnosed with diabetes.
Raspberries are low in calories, sugar, and carbohydrates. Yes, your eyes are not failing you. Low calories are excellent for diabetics, especially bearing in mind that a number of diabetics are also obese. Low sugar and carbs are also great news for us in order to avoid having those dangerous spikes.
We get only 32 calories from a half a cup of raspberries. That same amount gives us 7 grams of carbohydrates and 2.7 grams of sugar. The glycemic index of raspberry is only 26, making it a good option for those wanting to lose weight.
A Little Side Note About the Glycemic Index
The glycemic index is a scale used to rank the carbohydrate found in food. The higher the score, the more likely that the food being measured will raise our blood sugar.
Low scored foods gradually raise blood sugar, thereby preventing that sharp spike possible when we eat other foods with a high score. These low ranking foods score below 55. The foods with mid-range glycemic index scores anywhere between 55 and 70, whilst foods high on the index scores above 70.
Here are some great fruits for diabetics because they have a glycemic index below 40; raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
The Fiber In Raspberries
Raspberries contain a lot of fiber. They contain more fiber than most fruits. We get as much as eight (8) grams of fiber from one (1) cup of raspberry.
The big deal about fiber is that it keeps us feeling satisfied for a longer time and it feeds our gut bacteria so that they are better able to do their job to keep us healthy. Fiber also helps to regulate our blood sugar.
The Link Between Raspberries and Vitamin C
Recently I did an article about Vitamin C and the possibilities for diabetics, well, you made the correct guess. (Click here for the article about Vitamin C and diabetes.
A lot of Vitamin C is found in raspberries. Vitamin C supports our immune system and prevents oxidative stress. It has been found to assist in the fights against high blood sugar and high cholesterol.
Manganese? Is this a Type of Mango?
Raspberries also contain manganese which plays an important role in regulating glucose and protecting our kidneys. For those of us consuming a variety of medication for diabetes and her other lifestyle friends, we understand quite well that our kidneys are also at risk.
To be able to consume raspberries to protect our kidneys is indeed a blessing and a wonderful gift from God, through nature. You will agree with me that raspberries are looking like a fruit that diabetics should try to include in our weekly diet due to her many positive health benefits.
There is More: Red Raspberries to Prevent Diabetes
Here are some other goodies we get from consuming raspberries; biotin, copper, folate, vitamins E and K, magnesium, pantothenic acid, and potassium. Powerful antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, flavonols, and tannins are found in raspberries.
Do note that Vitamin K is great for our bones as it helps us to absorb calcium, thereby improving bone health and will ultimately prevent fractures. Vitamin K also has a reputation for reducing insulin resistance, especially in more mature adults.
Anthocyanins are antioxidants that help to prevent cardiovascular disease, as well as eye-related complications associated with diabetes. These antioxidants reduce chronic inflammation which is associated with the development of a number of diseases, including diabetes.
The tannins (ellagic acid) is a polyphenol which also has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers. Again this is great news for diabetics and our loved ones. The truth be told, too many of us are suffering from a lifestyle of inflammatory “foods.”
Red Raspberry has chemicals touted for their antioxidant effects and also the role they play in helping to relax blood vessels. It is said that these chemicals also cause our muscles to contract or relax. This is dependent on the dose and the muscle that is involved. It is for this reason that red raspberry is used in easing labor and delivery.
More Diabetic Connection With Raspberries
Studies done on animals have shown that the polyphenols and fiber we get when we consume red raspberries can reduce oxidative stress in the obese diabetic. Again, be reminded that quite a number of diabetics also struggle with weight issues.
A study of women with gestational diabetes discovered that raspberries may be able to effectively reduce the amount of insulin these women needed if they consumed raspberry leaf. Just imagine drinking some tea made from raspberry leaves and not needing to take the full dose of insulin.
Black raspberries were found to help in the control of blood sugar and to reduce inflammation, but this was in the case of pre-diabetics. They also protect our liver (black raspberries) and helps to lower our cholesterol.
Okay, so I know the above point was about the black raspberry, but do be reminded that diabetics need liver protection (due to medication) and sometimes drugs to lower cholesterol. Wow! I think we need to consume all the raspberries we can find.
Whether or not we like to hear this, but we cannot underestimate the healing effects of plant-based foods.
Vitamin K has some blood clotting tendency and if we are taking blood thinners, then this could defeat the purpose. This may be something noteworthy to discuss with ones’ doctor.
Ways to Include Raspberries in our Diet
When selecting raspberries, we should look for those that are firm, plump, and colorful. It should not be mushy or moldy. This diabetic treasure (raspberries) is in season from mid-summer all the way through fall.
Note however that frozen raspberries are usually available for sale. These are no less delicious than her fresh counterpart.
It is worth mentioning here that raspberries spoil quickly and so they should be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of two days. It is best to wash them when we are ready to eat them as this helps to keep them fresh.
So what if they attract a good price and they are in season? Not to worry, as mentioned before, raspberries freeze well and they are equally delicious.
Raspberries taste delicious in smoothies, especially the frozen ones and they can be kept frozen for a year. Raspberries can be stored in a freezer bag or on a cookie sheet.
I also like raspberries as part of my topping on yogurt. It is great in my salad as well and adds that extra sweetness which goes easy on my blood sugar. I do eat a little pancake and ice cream at times (not regularly), to which I love to add a little raspberry.
I love to blend a variety of berries, loaded with ice in the middle of the day, drizzled with some lime juice as I find this to be super refreshing. This also is blood sugar friendly.
It is a fact that we have been given food as our medicine. Red Raspberries and raspberries, in general, are no exception, as they have been found to be helpful in controlling diabetes and to ease/prevent some of the other ills she sometimes keeps as a company (high cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases, etc.).
Raspberries are filled with fibers, low in calories, have a low glycemic load, low in sugar and carbs, thereby making her a great food for diabetics and pre-diabetics. Raspberries are no doubt a must in the fight against diabetes and other lifestyle illnesses.
I am Josephine Crawford and I have been interested in health-related topics for the past 15+ years. I did some formal studies in the area, which taught me to use food and lifestyle changes to help my body to heal.
I am also a trained teacher and librarian, who believes in lifelong learning. I love to help others. I am passionate about helping others, I am regaining my health and for that reason, I created this site.