Blackberries are a delicious little “aggregate fruit” that grow wild on thorny bushes and are cultivated on every temperate continent, including Africa and Asia. Blackberries are a soft and delicate fruit which grows on thorny bushes or trailing vines. Composed of many individual drupelets, each like a small berry with one seed, each drupelet contributes extra skin, seeds and pectin with dietary fiber value to the nutritional content of blackberries, making them among the highest fiber content plants in the world.
Blackberries can be eaten fresh, frozen and canned and are popularly made into jams, juices, desserts and even wine. Rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber, blackberries are highly nutritious and rich in antioxidants. They are also low in calories, carbohydrates, and fat, making them one of the best fruits out there for a balanced diet.
Studies show blackberries have one of the highest antioxidant contents per serving of any food tested. In a 2006 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists indicated that blackberries’ antioxidant content of 5.75 millimoles per serving was far above that of other foods. This means that regular consumption of blackberries may have a positive impact on health, athletic performance and disease risk.
Blackberries have some of the highest antioxidant levels of any fruit, even higher than blueberries and raspberries. They are particularly high in anthocyanins, a dark-colored antioxidant phytochemical that gives blackberries their characteristic purple-black tone. The antioxidants in blackberries may help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer, and they could also help fight the signs of aging.
A 1-cup serving of blackberries contains 62 calories, 1 gram of fat, 2 grams of protein and 14 grams of carbohydrates, including 8 grams of dietary fiber. This is 32 percent of the daily requirement for fiber, which helps keep you feeling full for longer and limits your risk for diverticulitis, constipation and heart disease.
Adding more blackberries and other berries to your diet may lower your risk for cancer, according to a study published in December 2006 in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.” Blackberry extract and other berry extracts inhibited the growth of cancer cells in laboratory tests, with increasing amounts of berry extracts further increasing the degree of inhibition.
When it comes to keeping your brain healthy, eating blackberries is a smart move. A 2012 review published in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” looked at data from human, animal, and cell culture studies and found that berries, including blackberries, benefit the brain in a few different ways. In addition to being high in antioxidants that fight free radical damage in the brain, blackberries also affect cell signaling between neurons and reduce cellular inflammation. This improves the functioning of neurons involved in both thinking and motor control
As are all berries, blackberries are a great source of ellagic acid, an antioxidant shown to protect the skin from damage from ultraviolet light. Studies have also shown that ellagic acid may also repair skin damaged by the sun. Vitamin C helps heal wounds, and studies also show vitamin C may even lessen the appearance of wrinkles. Studies of cyanidin-3-glucoside, a compound found in blackberries showed it prevents skin cancer by inhibiting tumors from growing and spreading.
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