Blackberries: Nutrition Facts and Benefits
Summer… Fresh air, warm sun, beach, and tasty fruit salad. If this is your way of spending the lazy summer holidays, then you definitely need to find out more about the most nutritious and delicious summer berries – blackberries. However, it is a myth that a blackberry fruit bush called bramble thrives only in summer.
In fact, blackberries thrive during spring and early summer, being native to Europe but commercially grown in the United States. Technically, each blackberry fruit is not a single piece; it consists of 80-100 small drupelets arranged in a circle. Each berry has a juicy pulp and tiny seed. Blackberries are appreciated for the multiple culinary uses and health benefits due to the rich nutrition profile.
Blackberry: nutrition profile
The list of nutrients and vitamins in blackberries is impressive. First and foremost, blackberries are stuffed with Vitamin C, at the same time being extremely low in calories. Also, most blackberries health benefits are delivered thanks to the high content of both insoluble and soluble fiber. Check a number of blackberry nutrients and vitamins in 3.5 ounces (about 100 grams) of raw berries (the data were given by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)):
- Total calories in blackberries – 43;
- Calories from fats – 4;
- Total fat – 0;
- Saturated fats – 0;
- Trans fat – 0;
- Cholesterol – 0 milligrams (mg);
- Sodium – 1 mg;
- Carbs – 10 grams;
- Dietary fiber – 5 g;
- Protein – 1 g;
- Sugar – 5 g;
- Vitamin A – 4% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDA);
- Vitamin C – 35% of the RDA;
- Calcium – 3% of the RDA;
- Iron – 3% of the RDA.
However, despite all these useful blackberry vitamins, you may consider eating them in moderation because they still have fructose that can be harmful in excessive amounts.
Blackberry fruit: benefits for your health
The WebMD experts along with the researchers from the Mayo Clinic team and Dr. Josh Axe gathered the useful information about the potential blackberry benefits:
Get the powerful “blackberries’ health” due to antioxidants
Powerful antioxidants in blackberries can protect your body in many ways. Phenolic acids, flavonols, and flavonoids and other components, specifically anthocyanosides, can work together in order to protect you from the harmful oxygen-free molecules. Such molecules can bring along multiple diseases, that may be even fatal for a human.
The anti-cancer effect
One of the most appreciated blackberry juice benefits is its contribution to the fight against certain types of cancer. Many scientists have proved during their recent studies that blackberries can be good for people who have the early stages of lung cancer, esophageal cancer, and colon cancer. Such effect is provided by the unique micro-nutrients in blackberries that may stop the growth of the cancer-affected cells.
Better cognitive function
The age-related decline in cognitive and motor function can be improved due to the blackberry tea benefits. If an elderly person drinks 2 cups of blackberry tea or juice per day he or she may expect the improved motor skills, memory, and concentration due to the high antioxidant power.
If you have constipation or other digestive disorders, blackberries can be very helpful because of the high amount of soluble and insoluble fiber. This fiber in berries simplifies the absorption of water in the large intestine organs to add bulk to the stools. Regular eating of blackberries provides regular bowel movements.
Flavonols like anthocyanins in blackberries can make them the best fruit for your heart. Magnesium and fiber can additionally save the arteries from being clogged and stimulate the smooth blood flow. In such way, you reduce the risk of getting various heart disease like strokes, atherosclerosis and support your cardiovascular health.
Other uses of blackberries
Recent studies have also proved that these nutritious berries can be great for other health conditions:
- Weight management – because they are very low in sugar;
- Healthy bones – because of magnesium and calcium;
- Skin care – due to the skin-friendly Vitamins E and C;
- Improved vision – can protect your eyes from the negative impact of the ultra-violet radiations thanks to the high concentration of lutein;
- can be useful for pregnant women as a natural source of folate for the better growth of the fetus’ cells and tissues.
Blackberries: preparation and serving methods
You can recognize even the dried blackberries by their sweet and tart flavor that can be the reason to add them to the fruit salads and smoothies. That is why blackberries are used for sauces, in meat recipes as toppings, os simply as a dessert. Many people also prefer drinking blackberry juices and teas. You can store them fresh in a fridge or pack in a Ziploc bag and keep in a freezer for a few months.
If you prefer fresh berries to the blackberry dry fruit, then you need to use them immediately after buying. To prepare fresh blackberries, don’t wash the berries until you are going to eat them. Rinse the berries in a bowl under cool water, swish around and remove any noticeable dirt. Then gently fish out all the berries and dry with the absorbent towel. In such way, you will increase their flavor and taste.
The simple blackberry food recipes and tips
- they can be a great addition to any vegetable or fruit salad;
- can be added fresh or pureed to homemade ice creams;
- can be squeezed and pureed to prepare juices, syrups, sorbet, jams, and jellies.
- can be added to bread, muffins, pies, pastry, tarts, and puddings.
The safety profile of blackberries
According the team of WebMD, most people tolerate blackberries great, without any allergic signs. However, there are possible allergic reactions if you are sensitive to salicylic acid. In this case, eating blackberries may provoke swelling, redness of lips and tongue, hives, skin rash, eczema, and headache, itchy eyes, wheezing, depression, and insomnia. If you suspect the blackberry allergy, immediately seek a medical help.