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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Raspberries, Raw
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Tea, Black, Brewed, Prepared With Tap Water
- Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fiber -- Start Roughing It
- National Academies Press: Vitamin C
- Linus Pauling Institute: Flavonoids
- USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods, Release 3
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images