Blackberries are among the healthiest berries and a great addition to a healthy diet.
They are abundant in nutrients which provide them health boosting ability. With a high level of phytonutrients and antioxidants, they are responsible to protect from chronic diseases.
Let’s explore the health benefits and nutrition they provide.
1. Rich source of Antioxidants
It contains a high amount of nutrients like: (1)
- Fiber – 53 g (21% of RDA)
- Vitamin C – 21 mg (35% RDA)
- Vitamin K – 19.8 mg (25% RDA)
- Folate – 25 mg (6% of RDA)
- Manganese – 0.6 mg (32% of RDA)
- Copper – 0.2 mg (8% of RDA)
Blackberries contain a high level of Vitamin C. One serving of 100 gram of blackberries provide 21 mg of Vitamin C which is 35 percent of recommended daily allowance (RDA).
Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant and provides blueberries high antioxidant activity.
Yet it contains a high level of Vitamin C, the credit of its antioxidants activity goes to its dense bioactive compounds.
Blackberries contain a high level of phenolic and anthocyanin which is found to provide major of the antioxidants activity.
Let’s have a look the blackberries polyphenolic compositions. (2)
- Flavonols and Flavons: Kaempferol glycosides, Quercetin glycosides, Myricetin glycosides
- Anthocyanins: Cyanidin glycosides, Pelargonidin glycoside, Peonidin glycosides
- Phenolic acids and Hydrolyzable tannins: Ellagic acid and its glycosides, Ellagitannin, Gallic acid, and galloyl esters, p-coumaric acid and coumaroyl glycosides
With a high level of antioxidants activity, blackberries help to fight against free radicals and prevent adverse effect due to free radicals.
Free radicals are responsible to damage healthy cells thus increasing the risk of diseases like cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.
With a high level of antioxidant activity, blackberries prove to be the best food to stay protected from degenerative diseases.
Wrap Up: With a high level of Vitamin C, phenolic and anthocyanin compound, it proves to provide high antioxidant activity.
2. They’re high in fiber
For a better health, it is recommended to eat 25-30 gram of fiber daily.
Instead of being recommended, the intake of fiber is half of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA).
As said, the rise of health problem is not due to unhealthy nutrients but due lack of healthy nutrients. Fiber is among that nutrient which is found to provide protection from health problems. (3)
100 gram of blackberries has 5.5 g of fiber which is 21 percent of RDA.
Increased intake of fiber lowers the risk of Heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes as it:
- Lower the blood cholesterol
- Control blood sugar level by slowing the rate of sugar absorption
It is also helpful in weight loss and weight management due to its satiety effect. Eating a cup of berries loaded with fiber is responsible for higher satiety which prevents overeating or craving for unwanted foods.
There are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble fiber.
Blackberries contain both fiber which supports its additional benefits
Insoluble fiber: Are not soluble in water but are required for healthy digestion.
Soluble fiber: Are soluble in water, hence have cholesterol and blood sugar lowering effect. Soluble fiber is also fed by gut bacteria which add more benefits by eating blackberries.
Wrap up: With insoluble and soluble fiber, blackberries provides a quite varied benefit.
3. Boost Immunity
Blueberries are an abundant source of antioxidants which provide protection from cancer.
The antioxidants which provide protection from cancer also improves immunity to fight against common infections.
One serving of 100 gram of blackberries provides 21 mg of Vitamin C which is 35 percent of recommended daily allowance (RDA).
Vitamin K, which is 19.8 mcg (22 percent) and vitamin A 214 IU (4 percent), also improves immunity.
With a high dose of Vitamin C, K, A, and other antioxidants compound, consuming blackberries can be beneficial for the immune system.
Wrap up: With a high level of immune stimulating antioxidants, the immune system gets stronger and it cuts the period of recovery from common cold and infections.
4. Supports Cardiovascular Health
Consumption of berries is the best way to stay protected and recover from heart disease. (6)
Berries like acai berries, black currants, bilberries, boysenberries, blueberries, chokeberries, cranberries, lingonberries, raspberries, strawberries, and wolfberries were tested to find its cardiovascular protective effect.
The benefits from those berries were due to:
- Increased antioxidant capacity
- Decreased LDL oxidation
- Decreased total cholesterol
- Increase in HDL cholesterol
Blueberries are also very potential fruit to improve cardiovascular health with abundant nutrient like:
- Vitamin K
- Antioxidants and other bioactive compounds
With a variety of heart-protecting nutrient, you can get a lot more.
Fiber – cholesterol-lowering effect
100 gram of blackberry provides 5.3g of fiber which is 21 percent of RDA. With a high amount of fiber and combination of both soluble and insoluble fiber, it improves digestive health.
While the soluble fiber is responsible for better heart health. Soluble fiber is responsible to lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood by limiting the absorption of bile acids in the intestine. (7)
With lower bile acids, the level of LDL cholesterol starts to drop.
High level of LDL cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Increasing the intake fiber can lower the LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease in both men and women. (8)
Total cholesterol & triglycerides level can be lowered by increasing the intake of fiber, especially soluble fiber. (9)
Antioxidant & Bioactive compounds: artery protecting effect
Free radicals are responsible for the damage to arteries and cholesterol which increase the risk of heart diseases like heart attack and stroke.
Vitamin C and other bioactive compounds in blueberries protect arteries and cholesterol from damage thus lowering the risk of atherosclerosis and plaque buildup.
Quercetin has a blood pressure lowering effect because they regulate the production of nitric acid. (12)
Cyanidin-3-O-glucoside in blackberries can reduce the risk of dysfunction of blood vessels thus protects from heart disease. (13)
Vitamin K – anti-calcification effect
100 gram of blackberries provides 19.8 mcg of Vitamin K which is about 25 percent of Recommended Daily Value (RDA).
Vitamin K is responsible to keep calcium in the bone and away from the blood vessels.
Wrap up: With cholesterol-lowering effect, artery protecting effect and with anti-calcification effect – blackberries proves beneficial to protect from heart disease.
5. Improves Brain Health
Consumption of berries and other fruits has been released to a healthy intake of nutrients like antioxidants and phytonutrients. These nutrients are required to prevent damage to brain cells and decline of cognitive ability. (20)
The neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer and other types of cognitive decline can be avoided with a healthy intake of berries.
Blackberries are found to protect the brain cells from degeneration. The credit to its neuroprotective effect can go to its high antioxidant and phytonutrient compounds. (21)
Antioxidants and polyphenol in blackberries are responsible to increase antioxidants capacity in the blood.
Polyphenolics in blackberries were found to improve cognitive function in aged rats, as found in one of study. They found that eating blackberries can improve motor and cognitive performance. (22)
While the manganese content proves beneficial for the brain.
100g of blackberries provide 0.6 mg which is 32 percent of RDA.
Manganese can bind to neurotransmitters and stimulate the faster movement of electrical impulse, thus improving brain function. (23)
An adequate amount of manganese is required for optimum functioning of the brain.
Wrap up: With a high level of antioxidant and manganese blackberries proves to be the best food for brain health.
6. Protects From Cancer
Berries are gaining limelight for their potential to lower the risk of cancer in healthy people. (24)
The benefits associated with blackberries are not only due to typical antioxidants, but the phytonutrients in the berries are also linked to provide protection against cancer and other chronic diseases.
The nutrients mentioned earlier like Flavonols, Flavons, Anthocyanins Phenolic acids, and Hydrolyzable tannins are the phytonutrients providing its free radical scavenging property.
The phytonutrients present is blueberries provide them antioxidant, anticancer, anti-neurodegenerative, and anti-inflammatory activities.
A study found that blackberry extract can hinder the growth and stimulate death of human cancer cells in vitro. (25)
With an abundant amount of phytonutrients, vitamin C and K, there is no doubt in its potential to fight against common factors responsible for cancer.
Wrap up: Blueberries provide a high level of phytonutrients and other antioxidants like Vitamin C and K which provide it antioxidant, anticancer, anti-neurodegenerative, and anti-inflammatory activities.
7. Improves Skin Health
Blueberries antioxidants and phytonutrients can also be beneficial for skin health.
Exposure to solar radiation (UVB rays) can induce oxidative stress and inflammation a reason for increased risk of skin cancer.
A study on mice found that blackberries extract when applied tropically can provide protection from damage due to oxidative stress and inflammation. (31)
Anthocyanin is found to protect keratinocytes (an epidermal cell which produces keratin) from UV-induced free radicals and oxidative damage. (32)
While the high level of Vitamin C; (33)
- Promotes collagen formation
- Neutralize and remove oxidants found in environment pollutant and after exposure to ultraviolet radiation
- Protect skin keratinocytes from UV damage
- Regenerate healthy skin cells
- Can slow the skin aging
Wrap up: The phytonutrients and Vitamin C again proves beneficial. They protect skin from damage and promotes healthy skin cell regeneration.
8. Supports Oral Health
Blackberries possess anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-viral property, even few studies have found to have anti-bacterial property.
It is found to arrest the growth of certain bacteria which are responsible for the oral cavity. (34)
Wrap up: With anti-bacterial property blackberries may be potential to fight oral cavities.
Like other berries, you can add blackberries in your snack, or garnish your oatmeal. The way you prefer to eat is on your choice. But if you get those nutrient loaded berries then don’t miss them.
They are great option to satisfy your sweet tooth as they are sweet but low in calorie.
100 gram of blackberries only contains 43 calories, yet they have satiety nutrient fiber(5.3 g) which is 21% of RDA. The glycemic index of blackberries in 25.5 which is low thus it has a low impact on blood glucose response.
With a high level of nutrients and a healthier snacking option, they can be a sweet treat.