Blackberries belong to the Rubus genus in the Rosaceae family and have been used for their medicinal values for more than 2000 years. The traditional usage of blackberry fruit, leaf, bark and roots by the Romans and Greeks was for healing numerous health conditions that ranged from mild infections to venomous bites. In fact, during the 18thcentury the Greek cure of using blackberry for treating gout was so influential in Europe that it was famously known as the ‘gout berry’. Recent scientific evidences have contributed extensively in unearthing the therapeutic potential of blackberries and its worldwide consumption.
Here are HFR’s Top 10 Health Benefits of Blackberries:
- Full of Fiber: One cup of blackberries has over 7.6 grams of fiber, which more than a cup of bran flakes. Their high fiber content also gives you energy and keeps you full, which is great way to stay away from unhealthy snack foods. Fiber is also an excellent digestive aide.
- Full of anti-oxidants: Blackberries are brimming with antioxidants that protect the body. They are full of phenolic acids, flavonoids and flavonols particularly anthocyanosides present in blackberries work against the harmful oxygen free molecules and counteract their action- meaning they act as a natural detox for the body.
- Improve Brain Power, including Cognitive and Motor Function: Medical journal “Nutritional Neuroscience” claims that black berries can help you maintain motor and cognitive skills you age. The study indicated that berries improved balance and coordination improved over a stretch of time. The polyphenols in blackberries increase antioxidant levels enough to make them, which is potentially beneficial to aging adults.
- Improved Oral Health: Eating blackberries kills illness-causing oral bacteria. An Oregon State University study states that blackberries contain gallic acid, rutin and ellagic acid, a natural phenol antioxidant found in fruits and veggies that has anti-carcinogenic and anti-bacterial properties. In 2012, researchers from the University of Kentucky and the University of North Carolina testes blackberries’ anti-bacterial properties on 10 different kinds of bacteria. The studies concluded that blackberry can kill pathogens and has antivirus properties helpful to treat periodontal infections.
- Anti-cancer properties: Blackberry fruit’s antioxidant properties are helpful in preventing lung cancer, colon cancer and esophageal cancer. They have micronutrients that exert chemopreventive effect and prevent the spread of cancerous cells. Scientists have attributed the anti-cancer activity to the prevalence of anthocyanins and other phytochemicals such as ellagic acid and cyaniding-3-glucoside.
- Healthy heart: Flavonols such as anthocyanin protect the heart. High levels of magnesium and fiber protect the arteries from blockage and stimulate smooth blood flow. The high levels of magnesium also helps regulate blood pressure and protect against heart attack.
- Immunity booster: The phytoestrogens, vitamins and minerals in blackberries boosts immunity and eating blackberries helps fight various pathogens and protects from body from infections and death.
- Aids in weight management: Blackberries are low in sugar and high in fiber, which assists in maintaining a healthy weight.
- Healthy bones: The magnesium and calcium found in blackberries help maintain healthy bones. The calcium strengthens the bones and the magnesium content in the blackberries aids the absorption of calcium and potassium in the body, and phosphorus aids in regulation of calcium and assists in building strong bones and contributes in proper cellular functioning.
- Normal blood clotting: Blackberries are high in vitamin K which helps in normal clotting of blood and promotes healthy blood and circulation. Vitamin K is also useful for protein modification and plays an important role in protecting bones from osteoporosis.