Blackberries are native to Europe.
They come from brambles, which are a type of thorny bush.
Here are some of the potential health benefits associated with eating blackberries, and how to include more blackberries in a typical diet.
1. Vitamin C
Blackberries contain a high level of vitamin C. One serving of 100 grams (g) contains 35 per cent of an individual’s recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C.
Humans are unable to synthesize their own vitamin C, so it is essential to include it as part of a healthy diet.
Vitamin C is involved in protein synthesis and is necessary for the body to produce collagen and certain neurotransmitters. These processes are vital for many bodily functions, including wound healing.
Vitamin C also has antioxidant properties and is involved in immune system functioning.
2. Source of fibre
A 100 g serving of blackberries contains 14 per cent of the RDA of fibre. Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot break down into smaller, sugar molecules, as it does with other carbs. Fibre plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels and sugar consumption.
There are two types of fibre in food, soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fibre dissolves in water, and it is associated with lowering blood sugar levels and helping a person maintain a healthy level of cholesterol.
Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in water but supports healthy digestion.
Blackberries contain both soluble and insoluble types of fibre.
Blackberries contain high levels of antioxidants, such as anthocyanins. Antioxidants help people to fight against the adverse impact of free radicals in the body.
The body uses antioxidants to reduce the damage that free radicals can cause. It is possible that when people eat foods that contain antioxidants, they are supporting this process, but more research is required to confirm this.
4. Vitamin K
Blackberries are an excellent source of vitamin K. This is a necessary nutrient for blood clotting, which is essential for proper wound healing.
People have also linked good bone health to vitamin K. However, it is essential that a person discusses their vitamin K intake with their doctor if they are on any blood thinners.
5. Vitamin A
Blackberries also contain vitamin A, which serves several functions in the body. Vitamin A supports the immune system, which combats infections and illness. It also supports the growth and maintenance of teeth and bones, as well as keeping skin healthy.
Vitamin A is responsible for producing the pigments in the retina of the eye and helps to support sight, particularly in dim lighting.
6. Brain functioning
A study in 2009 found that rats that consumed blackberries had improved cognitive and motor skills compared to a control group of rats that did not consume blackberries.
The authors of the study suggested that this could be due to chemicals called polyphenols that are in blackberries.
More research is needed to determine if these benefits occur in humans.
People can easily include blackberries as a part of any healthy diet. A popular method is to consume blackberries with breakfast.
People can include them as part of a fruit salad with plain or Greek yoghurt. Alternatively, they can add blackberries to cereals, including porridge.
Another simple way to include blackberries into a diet is in fruit smoothies.
Blackberries work well in smoothies with other berries, such as blueberries or raspberries, or with apples. Adding protein powder and oats can increase the nutritional content and help a person feel fuller for longer.
Blackberries also work well in desserts, such as apple and blackberry pie or crumble. Desserts, however, often contain high levels of sugar, which may detract from some of the health benefits associated with blackberries.
Health Benefits of Blackberry
- Being rich in antioxidants, blackberries help the body in fighting free radicals and thus, avoid various types of cancer.
- The high tannin content, and the resultant antiseptic properties, of blackberries, make them good for tightening tissues as well as treating minor bleeding.
- Consumption of blackberry has been found to be beneficial for those suffering from diarrhoea and intestinal inflammation.
- Mild infections, like sore throats and mouth irritations, can be treated with the help of blackberries.
- Blackberries have been used to alleviate haemorrhoids also.
- Blackberries have been found to have anti-bacterial properties and can even help cleanse the blood.
- Regular consumption of blackberries has been seen to delay the process of ageing.