blackberries

Blackberries Health Benefits

By

Blackberries (also known as black raspberries) are not the most common fruit you will find amongst fruit and veg produce, but these delicious tasting berries are among the pick of super-fruits, and rank among the top 10 fruits for their anti-oxidant powers.

They contain a whole host of nutrients that help protect and enhance many aspects of our health. Just a generous handful of blackberries contain more fiber than in 2 Shredded Wheat and twice as much Vitamin C as blueberries.

Background

The blackberry is actually a drupe which is a type of fruit where the outer fleshy part is visible, and surrounds a seed. A peach is another example of a drupe.

The blackberry can be found growing in almost every continent in the world on small, bushy vines. Each blackberry is a cluster of little, black fruits.

In Britain, the blackberry plant is known as a bramble bush, because of its prickly thorns. In Northern Europe the plant is known as the ‘cloudberry’ and the ‘dewberry’ in South American.

Here’s Why Eating Blackberries Is So Good For Your Health

Help Fight Cancer

All fruits and vegetables contain anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are found in the pigment of fruit and gives blackberries their strong color. The concentration of anthocyanins in blackberries is particularly high and they are believed to inhibit the promotion and progression of tumor cells.

As well as anthocyanins, blackberries also contain high amounts of polyphenols, both of which have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Clinical trials are still discovering how far blackberries go towards helping to prevent certain cancers, but it is believed that various studies are waiting for FDA approval to treat or prevent skin and colon cancer.

Boosts Your Immune System

Our immune system is an amazing and complex beast that we still don’t fully understand. What we do know is that by having a fully functional and healthy immune system our bodies are able to fight off illness and disease.

Arguably the only aspect of our internal body we need working well to keep us healthy is our immune system. For example, one of the most common remedies for a cold is to consume more Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps protect against free radical damage and is believed to boost a lagging immune system which in turn enables you fight off a cold virus.

A cup of blackberries contain approximately 50% of your RDV of Vitamin C. As well as being vital for our immune system, Vitamin C helps lower blood pressure and improves our cardiovascular system.

It also helps with the absorption of iron from other foods consumed at the same time which may reduce the chance of being anemic.

Good for The Digestive System

Like many fruits, blackberries are high in fiber. The digestive system relies on fiber to keep it functioning properly.

High fiber foods are filling which reduces food cravings and usually contain other healthy nutrients. This in turn helps us to maintain a healthy weight and helps lower cholesterol.

Surprisingly a good handful of blackberries contain approx 8 grams of fiber – which is more fiber than a couple of Shredded Wheat.

Eye Protection

Blackberries have two important cartenoids – lutein and zeaxanthin, which are found in the macula, the light sensitive area at the back of the retina.

Lutein and zeaxanthin help protect the eyes from macular degeneration and damage mainly caused by the sun’s rays and other ultraviolet radiation sources.

Good for Building Strong Bones

Amongst other health benefits, our body needs the mineral manganese to make body tissues, especially bone. The average adult body has roughly 30 grams of magnesium, with most of it in the bones.

A handful of blackberries will provide you with almost 50% of your recommended daily intake of manganese.

Manganese is found in a variety of common foods and although a deficiency is rare, it can occur in people who eat a poor diet with little nutritional value.

Cell Growth

Blackberries contain folate – also known as Vitamin B6 or folic acid. Folate is essential for normal growth and wound healing. It is also used by the body to produce new body cells and tissues.

It is a vital vitamin for pregnant women who need to consume more folate to reduce the chances of birth defects such as spina bifida.

Blackberry Leaves for Healing

Blackberry leaves are rich in tannins which tighten skin tissue and help restrict blood vessels, lessening minor bleeding.

The ancient Greeks were known to chew blackberry leaves to relieve bleeding gums and mouth ulcers. Native Americans used them as a poultice for wounds, rashes, and insect bites.

Blackberry tea is a popular drink that has been used as an herbal remedy for treating colds, mild diarrhea and also for sore throats. In addition, the vitamin C in the leaves helps strengthen the immune system and promotes tissue repair.

How to Add Blackberries to Your Diet

As with any fruit, the best way to eat blackberries to benefit from their health giving nutrients is to eat them on their own, in their raw state.

If you want to add blackberries to your cooking, there are dozens of recipes available on the internet. They give a great look and taste to salads or you could add them to your morning cereal.

Where I grew up in Britain we used to live near rows and rows of wild growing blackberry and elderberry bushes. My grandfather was an absolute connoisseur of homemade wine and regularly produced his own blackberry wine. Not sure how healthy it was once all the sugar was added but I was told it tasted delicious!

RECENT POSTS

You may also like