Blueberries, peaches, and other summer fruit favorites frequently take center stage. However, blackberries, which are at their best in the warmer months, should be included in your fruit smoothies and salads. There is a lot to appreciate about blackberries, from their deep purple hue to their deliciously tart flavor. However, given their high fiber, antioxidant, and vitamin content, it is unfortunate that they are frequently disregarded. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about the delicious berry, including a variety of uses for blackberries and fun recipe suggestions.
HOW DO BLACKBERRIES WORK? On shrubs, blackberries are a tiny, bite-sized fruit. According to the University of Kentucky , they belong to the “bramble” or “caneberry” group of fruits, which also contains raspberries. Blackberries are also indigenous to eastern North America, claims North Carolina State University .
Contrary to popular belief, blackberries aren’t actually berries. According to an article in the journal Antioxidants, a real berry is described as a single fruit with seeds and fleshy pulp (like blueberries or cranberries). Blackberries, on the other hand, are classified as aggregate fruits in botany because they are composed of numerous drupelets, which are tiny, round, meaty fruits, as stated by Colorado State University . Each of these drupelets, which grow in a cluster to create what we know as a blackberry, has a tiny seed within.
Given that they are frequently referred to as berries and are similar to berries in terms of their nutritional value and method of consumption, this article will refer to blackberries as berries.
BLACKBERRY HEALTH According to data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) , blackberries include important elements like fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, and even some calcium. Blackberries, along with other berries, are also a fantastic source of antioxidants. According to an article in the journal Molecules, this is because they contain a lot of anthocyanins, which are antioxidant plant pigments that provide a purple, blue, or red color. Aside: Other fruits including apples, plums, grapes, etc. also contain anthocyanins.
The USDA provides the following nutritional information for 1 cup (144 grams) of raw blackberries:
Calories: 62 14 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fat. 8 gms of fiber 0.7 g of sugar BLACKBERRIES’ HEALTH BENEFITS The impressive blackberry nutrition facts have a number of advantages. Learn more about the health advantages of blackberries here, as reported by nutritionists and studies.
CAN DECREASE THE RISK OF CHRONIC DISEASE Reach for blackberries if you want to increase the amount of antioxidants in your diet. According to Sandy Younan Brikho, M.D.A., R.D.N., registered dietitian nutritionist and founder of The Dish on Nutrition , blackberries provide antioxidant substances like vitamin C, quercetin, tannins, and anthocyanins, among others. This is significant because oxidative stress , a key factor in the emergence of chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, can be warded off by antioxidants.
Here’s the skinny: When your body’s supply of cell-damaging chemicals known as free radicals increases, oxidative stress happens. According to an article in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, risk factors for this include a sedentary lifestyle, environmental pollutants, and particular eating habits. According to University of Kentucky 0 in Foods, high fat and high carb diets in particular are associated to oxidative stress. According to qualified dietitian University of Kentucky 1, antioxidants (such as those present in blackberries) balance out these free radicals and stop them from doing cellular damage. Consuming a lot of blackberries and other foods high in antioxidants may therefore help manage oxidative stress and reduce your chance of developing chronic diseases.
IMMUNE FUNCTION MAY BE SUPPORTED Your immune system is another advantage of blackberries. Blackberries are abundant in vitamin C, as previously mentioned; one cup contains University of Kentucky 2, which is a significant portion of the RDA for University of Kentucky 3 set by the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board. According to University of Kentucky 4’s article in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, this vitamin is essential for a functioning immune system. To begin with, vitamin C contributes to the body’s ability to produce white blood cells, which fight off pathogens. According to the University of Kentucky 5, vitamin C is also engaged in the healing of wounds. Pasquariello adds that blackberries also contain magnesium and vitamin A, two elements important for strong immune responses and reactions. So eating lots of blackberries could be helpful if you’re trying to avoid becoming sick.
MAY IMPROVE NEURITHALAMIC HEALTH The common blackberry is an excellent source of antioxidants and aids your brain as well. For instance, University of Kentucky 6 in Neurobiology of Aging states that the brain is extremely vulnerable to oxidative stress, especially in older individuals. According to Pasquariello, the oxidative stress can harm neurons, or nerve cells, potentially resulting in neurodegenerative disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. But when frequently ingested, blackberries’ antioxidants can help by reducing oxidative stress, so preventing brain damage.
DIGEST HEALTHYLY AND PROMOTE IT Even your intestines can benefit from blackberries’ health advantages. According to University of Kentucky 7, the juicy fruit has both soluble and insoluble fiber. Both varieties have benefits for digestive health, which is excellent news for your GI system. As previously mentioned by Shape, insoluble fiber (which doesn’t dissolve in water) can increase stool volume. According to Brikho, the increased bulk may make it easier for stool to move through the digestive system, thus relieving constipation. In contrast, soluble fiber turns into a gel-like substance when it is dissolved in water. This may help to thicken up stools and reduce diarrhea.
SUPPORT BONE HEALTH AND BLOOD CLOTTING The health of your bones and your body’s capacity to produce blood clots may both be enhanced by additional blackberry health benefits. Blackberries contain about University of Kentucky 8, or around 30% of the nutrient University of Kentucky 9, in just one cup. According to Pasquariello, “Vitamin K helps the body build the proteins that’stop’ bleeding, aiding in the wound’s closure and eventual healing. According to the North Carolina State University 0, vitamin K also contributes to the formation of the proteins necessary for the development of strong bone tissue. In reality, North Carolina State University 1 and North Carolina State University 2 are related conditions that are characterized by weak and porous bones.
BLACKBERRIES COULD BE RISKY Blackberries are generally safe to eat because they aren’t known to interact with any medications, foods, or illnesses, according to Brikho. According to North Carolina State University 3 in the journal Antioxidants, there are a relatively small number of cases reporting blackberry allergies (or berry allergies in general), but they do exist. As advised by the North Carolina State University 4, approach with caution if you’re new to blackberries and have a history of food allergies. Keep an eye out for signs like stomach cramping, rashes, coughing, or trouble swallowing.
HOW TO BUY AND EAT BLACKBERRIES “You can get blackberries in the grocery store in a variety of forms, such as jam, jelly, lemonade, and pie filling,” says Brikho. The most nutrient-dense options are whole blackberries, which may be purchased fresh or frozen, she says. The cause? Gaining the most nutritional value from blackberries is made possible by the fact that fresh and frozen blackberries are devoid of additives such added sugar and salt.
According to North Carolina State University 5, when buying blackberries, seek for berries that are shiny, plump, and firm. Any berries that are mushy or bruised should be avoided as they may be spoiled. According to the North Carolina State University 6, blackberries can be kept at home for up to two days, uncovered in the refrigerator, but you shouldn’t wash them until you’re ready to eat. If not, the moisture will hasten their deterioration. Blackberries can also be frozen by spreading them out on a baking sheet with a rim and freezing it overnight. The berries won’t cling together because of this. After being frozen, place the berries in airtight bags or containers that are safe for the freezer, and consume within six to eight months.
IDEA FOR BLACKBERRY RECIPES Fresh blackberries that are in season are deliciously sweet, tangy, and juicy. Additionally, there are many original methods to consume them, even though they are undoubtedly excellent on their own. Pasquariello observes, “There are so many sweet and savory ‘ways to use’ them.” Here are a few delectable ways to take advantage of blackberries’ health advantages:
blended drinks. Making a smoothie or smoothie bowl is one of the simplest ways to take advantage of the health advantages of blackberries. For a tropical twist, try mixing them with other fruit like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries or banana and pineapple.
a salad. Use Pasquariello’s advice and add halved blackberries to your next salad. They go well together, she adds, “in a summer salad made with baby greens, fresh tomatoes, roasted chickpeas, and almonds.”
within mocktails. Blackberries can be used to organically sweeten your next cocktail recipe. A delicious spritz can be made by mashing a few blackberries with the back of a wooden spoon, then adding ice, lime juice, chopped mint, and seltzer (or kombucha).
having flesh. These North Carolina State University 7 from Martha Stewart are proof that the sour sweetness of blackberries pairs well with the savory flavor of pork. You avoid red meat? Try the North Carolina State University 8 recipe from the Flavour and Savour culinary blog.
with toast. Dress up your toast with fresh blackberries for a simpler alternative to jam or jelly. They go particularly well with butter, cream cheese, or ricotta, as well as other creamy foods. According to Pasquariello, another delectable option is to top crusty toast with blackberries, brie, and honey.