A part of the Rosaceae family, blackberries are one of the most nutrient rich foods you can eat. They are a delicious addition to any diet, filled with antioxidants and essential nutrients. While this berry is native to Europe, they are grown worldwide. They are an easy maintenance plant, which do have thorns, but they are definitely worthy of space in your garden.
According to its ORAC value of 5,905 this berry is one of the top ten highest antioxidant foods. A serving of blackberries (about 15) contains 30 milligrams of vitamin C and nearly an entire milligram of manganese. This makes up 50 percent of the daily value (DV) intake for both of those nutrients. In addition blackberries are high in vitamin K, an essential nutrient for bone and heart health.
11 Health Benefits of Blackberries
There are numerous studies that support blackberries and its extracted compounds as strong cancer fighters, as well as its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant benefits.
Cancer Fighter-Blackberries are a wonderful cancer fighting food, in fact it is one of the most widely researched benefits of this fruit. Blackberries contain polyphenols, an antioxidant that that is well known for its cancer fighting ability. Blackberries have a high concentration of anthocyanin (a polyphenol), a well-known tool to fight the development of cancer.
A 2006 study from UCLA investigated a variety of berries and their effects on the growth of various cancers including, breast, colon, oral and prostate. All of the berries exhibited the ability to hinder cancer growth to varying degrees, leading researchers to further study their impact on cancer.
Source of Fiber-Blackberries contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber supports healthy digestion and soluble fiber helps to lower blood sugar levels as well as maintain health cholesterol levels.
Reduces Inflammation-Blackberries help to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. In fact participants in this study saw an 88% reduction in stomach ulcers after consuming Ellagitannin enriched extracts, which were prepared from blackberry and raspberry.
Skin Health-Vitamin C in blackberries offers numerous skin benefits, such as, promoting collagen production, decreasing dry skin, prevent premature aging and generally keeps skin healthy and strong. They also have an antiviral effect on skin infections, especially the herpes virus which is responsible for cold sores.
High in Antioxidants-Blackberries contain high levels of antioxidants which help fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals can not only damage skin, but they are also related to the aging process, as well as health conditions such as heart disease and cancer.
Antibacterial-Many people may not realize that blackberries are beneficial to prevent and control oral diseases. Due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties, blackberry extract is a promising option for periodontal infections.
Immune Health-Blackberries contain vitamin A, which supports the immune system to fight illness and infections. It also helps to support healthy bones, teeth and skin.
Brain Health-Berries are amongst some of the top brain foods. Blackberries in particular are very high in manganese, a nutrient that is critical to healthy brain function. Wild berries versus commercially grown show significant neuroprotective abilities.
Cardiovascular Health-Healthy levels of vitamin K are linked to healthy blood pressure levels, reduced inflammation in the cells that line blood vessel, as well as reducing the risk of heart attack. Vitamin K also helps to stop hardening of the arteries by reducing calcium build up, which can lead to serious disease.
Cyanidin-3-O-glucoside an anthocyanin in blackberries helps to protect blood vessels and can help to delay or stop the onset of some cardiovascular diseases.
Oral Health– This 2013 study found blackberry extract has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory abilities against certain types of bacteria that can cause oral disease. While researchers caution that more studies are needed, they do suggest blackberry extract may help prevent and control gum disease and cavities.
Lowers Cholesterol- This 2010 study from the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition suggests that anthocyanins in the berries of the Rubus genus (which include blackberries and raspberries) reduces (LDL) cholesterol by 50 percent, which is linked to a significant reduction in atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and heart disease.
Nutrients in Blackberries
Just one serving (about 15) blackberries contains:
- 62 calories
- 14.7 grams carbohydrates
- 2 grams protein
- 0.7 gram fat
- 7.6 grams fiber
- 30.2 milligrams vitamin C (50 percent DV)
- 0.9 milligram manganese (47 percent DV)
- 28.5 micrograms vitamin K (36 percent DV)
- 0.2 milligram copper (12 percent DV)
- 36 micrograms folate (9 percent DV)
- 1.7 milligrams vitamin E (8 percent DV)
- 233 milligrams potassium (7 percent DV)
- 28.8 milligrams magnesium (7 percent DV)
- 308 IU vitamin A (6 percent DV)
- 0.9 milligram niacin (5 percent DV)
- 0.9 milligram iron (5 percent DV)
- 0.8 milligram zinc (5 percent DV)
- 0.4 milligram vitamin B5/pantothenic acid (4 percent DV)
- 41.8 milligrams calcium (4 percent DV)
- 31.7 milligrams phosphorus (3 percent DV)
How to Include More Blackberries in Your Diet
Blackberries have a glycemic index of 25, which is acceptable on a diabetic diet if consumed in moderation.
Add blackberries to your granola, hot oatmeal or cereal.
Add blackberries to your fruit salad or yogurt.
Make a smoothie with blackberries.
Make a berry pie or crisp.
Add them to your green salad.