Eating healthy is usually seen as this giant sacrifice of taste buds where you must essentially eat boiled vegetables, raw fruit, some strange concoction of grain and lentil and top it off with chia seeds. But as healthy and beneficial that may be, we have a much more delectable food to recommend to you today. And that is the humble blackberry!
This tiny sized succulent berry can be grown almost all over the country, and the short fruit is excellent to garnish sweets as well as to eat as a snack. Preparations and recipes abound all over the internet.
It is amazing how popular culture has been entirely silent on the health benefits of this cheap berry. Just look at how a small serving can be loaded with nutrients.
A 100 gram serving of the berry is pretty easy to obtain, given the berries come cheap at around $3 per ounce, depending on where you live. This 100 gram has a whopping 21 mg of Vitamin C. There are 19.8 micrograms of Vitamin K, which is regarded as essential in blood clotting and healing of the body. Add to this copious amounts of Vitamin A, B and E, and you have a mini-cocktail of Vitamins. The berries have a pretty good amount of Magnesium, Calcium, Iron and Zinc as well, and they’re high in Potassium and low in Sodium. With 1.39 grams of protein and a 9.61 grams of Carbs, you can probably see why nutritionists are going gaga over it.
The flavor isn’t pretty bad either. The black and red berries can make your dessert preparation light up with color, while also adding a pretty enjoyable crunch to it. Adding Blackberries to the daily post-workout smoothie is really taking off. Some are even incorporating it in breakfast, to top off a bowl of healthy cereal or the occasional pancake.
Nutritional Benefits of Blackberries
There are a lot of benefits accorded to Blackberries in several journals of science, nutrition and well being. Not all studies, and hence all claims mentioned here, might be peer-reviewed, but there are quite a lot of great benefits that are really harmless to try for.
Blackberries are pretty rich in antioxidants, minerals, micronutrients, and phytochemicals, along with a good amount of fiber to hold it all together. Native Alaska Blackberries are sometimes labeled healthier.
Health benefits of blackberries
- Good for the Heart
Your heart function is helped by the nutrition cocktail that blackberries are. In a research conducted in Policlinico Universitario, Messina, Italy, which was also published in “Life Sciences” journal in 2003, the antioxidants in the juice of Blackberries was good for vascular tissue, which had been damaged due to free radicals. The researchers concluded that a class of compounds called Anthocyanins could increase this antioxidant activity of the juice, thus acting as a shield against cardiovascular trouble.
- Periodontal Wonders
The University of Kentucky and the University of North Carolina in 2012 conducted research on the effects of blackberries on pathogens that are easy to find in the mouth. They tested the extract of the berry on 10 different kinds of bacteria, and found significant benefit in using the same to treat and prevent periodontal infections.
In easier terms, eating blackberries might help kill disease causing bacteria in your mouth. Oregon State University identified Gallic Acid, Rutin and also Ellagic Acid found in the fruit for their antiviral as well as antibacterial properties. What a fun way of keeping your teeth and gums healthy!
- Neuroscientific benefits
When aged rats were fed blackberries for 8 weeks, researchers noted their motor performance, balance as well as coordination was better than the mice who didn’t get blackberries in their diet. The effect has been attributed to polyphenols which the berries are rich in to have raised anti-oxidant levels and thus having proved helpful to adults of higher ages. Also, short-term memory performance was noted to be significantly greater. This particular study was published in 2009 in the journal “Nutritional Neuroscience”.
- Oncological asset
A 2006 published study from “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” says eating more berries like blackberries along with your regular diet may lower risk of cancer. This is a major benefit, considering the number of cases of cancer we hear on a daily basis.
Blackberries are not just some recent fad in food habits. The fruit has been around for a pretty long time, and it has been the part of the lives of a lot of Americans. The berry is available cheap too, which poses it as an easy alternative to morbidly expensive supplements which might be overshooting your body’s needs anyways.
You can add blackberries to your smoothies, pancakes, dessert and even eat them raw as a midday snack, or maybe couple it with some low-fat cream if your exercise routine allows it. Blackberries can also be made into a jelly that is sure to leave you smacking your lips. I’ve even seen people use them raw or blended only to add colour to their cakes or tarts. You could even put them on top of the cake, or on a dollop of jelly for that ooh factor. Experiment away and let us know how many health benefits of blackberries did you enjoy!