Summer is the season of berries — and there are so many to choose from to sprinkle on your morning granola, snack on midday, mix into a filling smoothie, or add to a crisp fruit. These small fruits pack a serious health punch.
“Berries are one of the most nutritional dense fruits,” he says Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and National Media Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “They are loaded not only with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants but also with fiber!”
And if you’re on a weight loss journey, they’re an important fruit to have in your fridge. That’s because berries really beat all other fruits when it comes to dietary fiber content.
“Fiber is one essential nutrient you need to include more of in your diet when you are looking to lose weight,” explains Ehsani. “Berries provide feelings of fullness, as fiber-rich foods are digested at a slower rate than foods lower in fiber. This can help you from overeating at meal times and prevent you from reaching for more snacks throughout the day as well.”
She adds that foods rich in dietary fiber like berries provide a slow release of energy into your bloodstream over time, which keeps your blood sugar more stable.
“More balanced blood sugar prevents falls or dips, which is also important when trying to lose weight,” says Ehsani.
With that in mind, Ehsani says that the best berry to keep on hand if you’re trying to lose weight is raspberries.
How raspberries can support your weight loss journey
One cup of raspberries contains 65 calories, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of dietary fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 1.5 grams of protein.
“The reason raspberries are so high in dietary fiber is because the berry is actually composed of mainly little seeds,” says Ehsani. “One cup of raspberries contains 53% of your daily value of vitamin C, helping you support your immune system at the same time!”
She adds that most of the carbohydrates in raspberries are coming from the fiber, making them a naturally low carbohydrate food, which can assist when trying to lose weight. And since one cup of berries is under 100 calories per cup, they’re also a healthy low-calorie option when you’re trying to lose weight.
“Eating nutrient-dense, low-calorie foods like raspberries can be the perfect substitute when you’re craving something sweet, but looking for it not to pack too many calories,” adds Ehsani. “You can eat more of the low-calorie food in place of the higher-calorie ones.”
How to eat more raspberries
Looking for ways to add more raspberries into your diet? Ehsani suggests you can add berries to your smoothies, smoothie bowls, and on top of chia seed pudding or yogurt.
“Add it to your ice cream bowl, on top of your piece of toast or waffle in the morning, and add them into your bowl of muesli or cereal or oats,” she says.
Plus, you can make your own high-fiber jam (using fresh or frozen).
“Just mash your raspberries and mix with chia seeds and let sit. You will see the jam thicken as it sits, which you can then swirl into yogurt, spread on top of toast instead of regular jelly or jam,” says Ehsani. “Blend frozen raspberries along with a frozen banana, and it turns into a creamy soft-serve like healthy fruity soft-serve ice cream alternative.”
You could even add them to savory dishes! “Add berries to your grain and bean bowl or add them on top of a kale or spinach salad,” Ehsani recommends.