Blackberries don’t get as much love as they probably should. When you’re in the same family as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, it’s easy to go overlooked. The raspberry is the most closely related to the blackberry, but what makes them different is that the blackberry doesn’t have a hollow core, and the taste is a bit different. The blackberry doesn’t go completely overlooked, however, as they are still used in a lot of different culinary ways.
Blackberries aren’t typically eaten on their own, however. The most common use comes as an ingredient, such as in a blackberry pie. You should be eating blackberries on their own more often, though. They might not taste quite as sweet as strawberries or blueberries, but they have their own wide range of benefits. Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of blackberries, while breaking down those great benefits.
Nutrition of Blackberries
You are going to be getting a lot of nutrition with each serving of blackberries. One cup is a good sized serving for any food, but it’s not very often that you can eat an entire cup of something for only 62 calories. Not many fruits have protein, either, but you are getting two grams from each serving of blackberries. Even better, you are getting nearly one third of your daily recommendation of dietary fiber.
When it comes to the vitamins and minerals, blackberries are certainly not lacking. You are getting half of your vitamin C recommendation with each serving, and 36 percent of your vitamin K recommendation. Other vitamins in lower amounts (under 10 percent) include vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, niacin and riboflavin. Manganese is the most abundant mineral found in blackberries with nearly half of your recommendation. Copper is next with 12 percent while other important ones such as magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium and zinc all come in at under 10 percent.
The biggest benefit that you’re going to be seeing by eating more blackberries is going to be for your digestive health. Blackberries have a tremendous amount of fiber, including insoluble fiber that allows your intestines to function more efficiently. If you suffer from constant diarrhea or any other digestive issues, blackberries are going to help you become more regular and comfortable in the bathroom.
Blackberries will also help any inflammation that you may have in your digestive tract. The fiber, combined with antioxidants that include flavonoids can help prevent certain forms such as cancer (including colon cancer). Even outside of the digestive system, blackberries can help reduce your chances of lung cancer and other types as they attack free radicals in your body that cause chronic diseases.
Those same antioxidants that are going to be helping your digestive system are also going to have a big boost for your heart. Without inflammation, you are helping to prevent a lot of heart diseases that come with inflammation. Blackberries also contain a lot of manganese and magnesium that assist in your blood flow, avoiding an irregular heartbeat.
Vitamin K in blackberries are also beneficial for your blood overall, as you will have a more normal clotting ability. When your blood is operating at a high capacity, there are a lot of problems that you’ll be avoiding. If heart disease runs in your family, you really need to be eating more blackberries.
The vitamin K (as well as vitamin C) that helps your heart will also make your bones much stronger. There is also a decent amount of calcium and magnesium, which are building blocks to stronger bones. Stronger bones will prevent bone loss down the road, reducing your chances of osteoporosis and arthritis.
Even if you already have one of these bone problems, blackberries can help reduce the effects. They will aid in preventing further bone loss, while the anti-inflammatory properties can also reduce joint pain. Blackberries are also good for younger people developing bone strength since the vitamin C helps your body to produce more collagen, aiding in bone growth and flexibility.
If you want to make sure that your skin and hair are looking good, blackberries make a great addition to any diet. Blackberries contain plenty of antioxidants that help your skin to moisturize, fight off signs of aging and even repair sun damage much faster. There are a ton of different vitamins in blackberries, and vitamin C is the big one because it helps to boost collagen production.
With moisturized skin that isn’t flaking or peeling, that will also help your hair as your scalp needs to be healthy to produce more thicker hair. Finally, blackberries will help your eyes because of the lutein content. This allows you to fight off UV rays while bringing more oxygen to your eyes, helping to prevent normal aging problems like cataracts or macular degeneration.
For those that are looking to lose weight, eating a diet that’s low in calories and high in fiber is going to have a huge benefit. The fiber aids your digestive system to be more efficient, giving you a metabolism boost in the process. You can eat a lot of blackberries without getting a lot of calories, while also getting a natural energy boost that doesn’t have spikes or crashes. Instead of a bag of chips or a candy bar, you’ll be thanking yourself when you eat blackberries for a snack.
Summing it Up
After seeing all of these great benefits, you’re probably eager to start eating more blackberries. While you should certainly be incorporating them into your diet, you don’t want to eat too many at once. Since blackberries are high in fiber, too much fiber can cause some intestinal discomfort. It might also take some time to get used to the increase in fiber if you haven’t been getting enough. It’s a normal feeling that takes a couple of days to get used to, but it’s minor.
There is also a decent amount of sugar in blackberries, but not as much as many other foods. As long as you are eating fresh and raw blackberries, you won’t be getting much sugar at all. It’s the canned version that you have to look out for. The last small warning is that blackberries might temporarily change the color of your urine, but this isn’t a major issue unless it lasts for weeks on end.
So there really aren’t any serious problems that you can get from eating a lot of blackberries. While they might not be your favorite fruit out there, they are low in calories, high in benefits and extremely low on side effects. Make sure to add this wonderful fruit to your diet, and you will see those great benefits almost immediately.