A fruit swore by the ancient Greeks, Europeans, and Native Americans for its health wonders is none but blackberry. The tiny, juicy, tasty fruit, measuring only 3-4 cm is the powerhouse of nutrition. Laden with myriads of health benefits, blackberries are one of the most commonly prescribed fruits by doctors. Known to the western world for its medicinal purposes blackberry finds a long history in western culture and this wonder fruit deserves to grab your attention.
Until now, we barely knew about the health benefits of this fruit but thanks to medical research, we are now well-informed. Once you go through these 10 wonderful health benefits, you can’t ignore this fruit any longer.
1. Fights Deadly Diseases
Cancer: Regular consumption of blackberries can prevent a few types of cancer cells. The fruit is known to have ellagic acid which is effective against cancer prevention. It is quite rich in antioxidants especially anthocyanin, which in turn helps to reduce or neutralize the free radicals. Free radicals in our body are known to damage DNA. By preventing DNA damage, the carcinogenic behavior of our body could be lessened.
The research, led by Dr. Minna Rahnasto-Rilla, observed that anthocyanin seems to decrease the activity of carcinogenic genes and elevate the function of cancer-preventing genes. (1)
Diabetes: Though it is one of the most common diseases in the world, it can be lethal. Blackberries with their high potassium and magnesium level prevent spikes in insulin levels. This fruit is high in fiber content. High fiber content slows down the digestion time, resulting in the slow release of blood glucose. Thus, preventing blood sugar spikes. That is why it is also known as one of the low glycemic index foods. Those people suffering from diabetes usually are at risk of heart diseases. So, it is a double delight for diabetes patients.
Heart Diseases: Nutritional epidemiology has enough evidence of the cardioprotective effects of consumption of fruits and vegetables high in fiber, micronutrients, and various phytochemicals. Blackberries are rich in all these.
The free radicals produced in our body are responsible for numerous health problems including deadly heart diseases. The antioxidant and phytochemicals present in blackberries rid your body of these free radicals and thereby reduce heart problems. The good amount of polyphenol in blackberries makes them the right choice for people suffering from cardiovascular diseases. (3)
According to various clinical studies conducted in the USA, blackberries showed a considerable decrease in blood LDL (low-density lipid) level.
2. Fights Skin Problems
Who does not want her skin to be healthy and youthful? The best foundation you can wear is your glowing and lovely skin. Here blackberries are your best friend.
Gives peachy glow to your skin: When your diet is high in blackberries, your blood circulation automatically improves. It increases blood circulation due to improved heart health. Your heart pumps the blood all through the body, thus delivering nutrients and oxygen to the cells. At the same time, also take away the waste from the skin cells. Hence, giving you the desired glow you have always aspired for. (4)
Acne: The high antioxidants present may help in decreasing the inflammation caused due to blocked pores. So, it may help in managing acne-related swelling and discoloration. However, there is no direct research that proves blueberries help in reducing acne.
UV Protection: We know what the harmful UV rays of the sun are capable of. The ellagic acid in blackberries prevents skin cancer caused by UV rays.
Aging: Blackberries are a rich source of vitamin C and anthocyanin, which are strong antioxidants capable of killing free radicals produced in our body through the process of oxidation. These free radicals are known to damage skin cells and cause premature aging. Blackberries can slow down the aging process.
Psoriasis and Eczema: It is found that people suffering from these problems are often low in antioxidants levels in their body. Hence, consuming blackberries may help in reducing swelling by lowering oxidative stress.
Additionally, Strong tea made of blackberry leaves can be applied externally on eczema to speed up the healing process.
3. Boost Your Brain
According to research in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, consuming blackberries is associated with improved memory (5). Memory loss is often an issue with aging due to fewer antioxidants levels and excessive production of free radicals in the body.
The high content of antioxidants in blackberries fights free radicals, thus, saving brain cells from getting damaged by free radicals. Thus, less brain inflammation. Also, a healthy neuron communicates better and results in reversing memory loss.
According to research published, “People who eat two servings of berries a week have a 23 per cent less chance of developing Parkinson’s disease than their peers”. The reason for this is the presence of flavonoids.
4. Add to Your Oral Regime
A study that appeared in the Journal of Periodontal Research reveals that blackberries have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties against some types of oral bacteria. Thus, helping in preventing some of the oral issues like gum diseases and cavities. (6)
The study reported that there was a significant reduction in the activity of two bacteria known to cause periodontal or gum disease. These bacteria are Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum. Moreover, blackberry extract also inhibited the growth of Streptococcus mutans. This bacteria is prominently known for tooth decay.
5. Healthy Bones for Stronger You
Blackberries are rich in calcium and help to strengthen bones and fight osteoporosis. Surprisingly, blackberries contain all those nutrients for excellent bones. It has magnesium, manganese, potassium, and copper in it. Vitamins K, Vitamin C, Vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) B5 (pantothenic acid), and B6 as well as folate. All are bone builders.
Notably, blackberries have a good dose of Ellagic acid that restores and rejuvenates bone because of its anti-inflammatory abilities. Cyanidin is yet another potent element in it, known to inhibit osteoclast. The osteoclast is a cell that breaks the bone cells, causing osteoporosis. Not only this but it is also known to promote osteoblasts(cells that build bone cells). Additionally, there is a bonus benefit especially for women, that is Blackberries help to regulate menstrual cycles.
6. Support a Healthy Gut
As we know that our gut has a full ecosystem of bacteria called the gut microbiome, and food rich in fiber is important for a healthy gut microbiome. Emerging research has begun to show the relationship between gut and skin health. Imbalances in the functionality of gut bacteria may result in various skin issues like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and premature skin aging. Blackberries are abundant in fiber content and hence support a healthy microbiome and potentially healthy skin.
7. High in Fibre
Blackberries contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. A 100 gram serving of blackberries has 14 percent of fiber, which is quite high. This fiber helps in regulating blood glucose levels as well as maintaining a healthy cholesterol level in the body.
Fiber is a complex carbohydrate and the body cannot break it down into smaller sugar molecules, it interferes with the release of blood glucose, thus slows down the whole process.
Not only this, fibers encourage better absorption of water and this makes the stool bulky and easy to move out. Therefore, helping in better digestion and regular bowel movements. If you are constantly struggling with constipation, then blackberries must find a place in your diet.
8. Help You Maintain Your Weight
Since they are high in fiber and liquid content, berries give you a sense of fullness. Further, they are low in calories, so one can add them to the ketogenic diet or low-carb diet. 1 cup of blackberries has only 65 calories as per the United States Department of Agriculture.
Interestingly, there may be something more going on when it comes to weight loss. A study published in August 2018 observed that “overweight and obese men in a small randomized, controlled trial who ate a high-fat diet along with just under an ounce of blackberries per day for a week burned more fat and had improved insulin sensitivity compared with the control group.” Thus it’s a win-win situation for all the ladies longing for beautiful skin and fascinating figures.
9. For a Healthy Pregnancy
Often during pregnancy, women are found to be deficient in their folic acid level. And amazingly, blackberries are the source of folate. Folate is essential for optimal cell functioning and tissue health, as it reduces the risk of birth defects in newborns. Besides this, the presence of Vitamin C and antioxidants elevates the immune response of the expectant mother. Moreover, rich amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus result in the healthy bones of a pregnant woman. Thus, overall make your pregnancy healthy. (7)
10. Other Benefits
Adding new cells: Magnesium, copper, manganese, and potassium present in blackberries help to produce new and healthy red blood cells (RBC) and white blood cells (WBC). Apart from this, magnesium is a miracle for our body as it creates energy in our body, helps in protein formation, healthy muscle movements, and better nervous system functioning.
For super immune response: Blackberries are a superfood for a super immune response as it has an abundance of Vitamin C, phytoestrogens, various vitamins, and minerals. Daily intake of Blackberries helps in fighting against pathogens, resulting in protection from different sorts of infections and illnesses.
For hemorrhoids, dysentery, and diarrhea: The pulp of blackberry is known for healing hemorrhoids. Boiling blackberries and drinking the strained liquid helps in treating dysentery and diarrhea.
Heal your wounds: Yet another wonder it can do is to heal your wounds. Blackberries contain astringent tannins in their leaves, so topical application of tincture of Blackberry leaves causes constriction of blood vessels that results in the cure of small wounds. Since blackberries have a good percentage of Vitamin K on it, it is known to help in accelerating the normal blood clotting.
There are certain things you must always keep in your mind whenever you come across blackberries:
- You save yourself from diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular issues, digestive ailments, and even cancer.
- You are adding glow to your skin by improving blood circulation and increasing the antioxidants level in your body.
- You are managing your weight.
- You are making yourself smarter and stronger with elevated brain functioning and healthy bones.
- You are on the way to become a superwoman with a super immune system.
- You are further giving a boost to your oral health regime, getting rid of all the tooth and gums problems.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Is There Any Side Effect Associated With Blackberries?
They are safe to consume and do not cause any side effects. But make sure you are not allergic to them. Also, make a point that canned blackberries may contain added sugar or some preservatives. This can result in negative health effects. Always choose fresh and non-processed berries. However, when it comes to the intake of blackberry leaves, you should be cautious. Large intake may spike tannins in your body and may result in stomach complications like nausea and vomiting. You may add milk to your tea made of blackberry leaves to neutralize the effect of tannins.
How Many Blackberries Do I Need to Eat?
Having 1 cup of blackberries per day is healthy. 2 cup serving is about 148 grams. Follow moderation in your food intake. Neither deficiency nor excess of food is good.
How to Include More Blackberries in Your Diet?
You may add blackberries with your breakfast, maybe in your porridge or fruit smoothie. Also, you can add blackberries to your salad with some yogurt. Even you can make your dessert healthy by adding blackberries to them like apple and blackberry pies.
How to Freeze/Store Blackberries?
You need to first rinse them properly to dislodge any dirt or bugs. Drain them and dry them. Now put them in ziplock bags or vacuum sealer bags. Now keep them in the freezer. Once they are frozen, remove as much air as possible and seal the bag.
- “Could berries help to fight cancer?” – medicalnewstoday.com
- “Diabetes and Fruit” – webmd.com
- “Berries: emerging impact on cardiovascular health” – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “8 Surprising Blueberry Benefits for Your Skin” – healthline.com
- “Strong scientific evidence that eating berries benefits the brain” – acs.org
- “Antibacterial Effects of Blackberry Extract Target Periodontopathogens” – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Folic Acid: the Vitamin That Helps Prevent Birth Defects” – health.ny.gov