Raspberry Tea Health Benefits

by Sandi Busch, Demand Media
    Real raspberries boost the nutrients in raspberry tea.

    Real raspberries boost the nutrients in raspberry tea.

    Most packaged raspberry tea bags and commercially prepared raspberry iced tea drinks rely on raspberry flavor. While they have nutrients from the natural tea, such as potassium, folate and flavonoids, you’ll forfeit nutrition obtained from the real fruit. A batch of raspberry tea made at home that blends brewed tea with raspberries delivers significant nutrition in the form of antioxidants and essential minerals.

    Fiber

    Brewed tea doesn’t have any dietary fiber, but raspberries can add a boost of soluble and insoluble fiber. The amount of fiber you'll gain depends on how much of the fruit pulp is used. The raspberries can be simmered, strained to remove pulp and then only the juice used for tea, but that eliminates the fiber. If you puree the raspberries and add that to brewed tea, the fiber is retained. One-half cup of raw raspberries, which is about enough to flavor a cup of brewed tea, has 4 grams of fiber. That amount represents 10 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 16 percent for women.

    Antioxidants

    One-half cup of raspberries has 16 milligrams of vitamin C. As an antioxidant, vitamin C circulates throughout the body neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are molecules created as a normal byproduct of biochemical processes. They also develop as a result of stressors such as lack of sleep, sunlight and smoking. If they're not rendered harmless by an antioxidant, free radicals damage and mutate healthy cells, which leads to inflammation and chronic illness. Men should get 90 milligrams of vitamin C daily and women need 75 milligrams, but pregnant women should consume 85 milligrams daily, while those who are breastfeeding need 120 milligrams.

    Immune Support

    Raspberry tea has two minerals that support the immune system: iron and zinc. Brewed black tea and raspberries both contain the two minerals, but raspberries provide 80 to 90 percent of the total amount. Iron is needed for the growth of specialized cells that regulate the immune response and attack cancerous cells. Zinc must be available for the production and normal functioning of white blood cells that destroy bacteria and viruses. Men get 6 percent of the recommended daily intake of iron and 3 percent of zinc from 1 cup of black tea plus one-half cup of raspberries. Women gain 3 percent of iron and 4 percent of zinc.

    Flavonoids

    Raspberries and brewed black tea both contain flavonoids that deliver a variety of health benefits. Raspberries contain one type of flavonoid -- anthocyanidins -- and tea has another type called flavanols. These flavonoids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities. They may also help prevent cancer by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, preventing cancer cells from spreading and stimulating enzymes that remove carcinogens from the body.

    About the Author

    Sandi Busch has been a health writer since 2000. Her articles have been published in The Autism Asperger's Digest, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, newsletters for health organizations such as NAMI, the book "Early Intervention and Autism" and Web content for hospitals. Busch received her B.A. in psychology from Westminster College and studied nursing at George Mason University.

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