Although easy to confuse with black raspberries, blackberries are distinctly different. Blackberries are summer fruits that are rich in a lot of antioxidants. Blackberries are easily sidelined by blueberries and peaches, even though they are extremely delicious and nutritious. They can easily be incorporated into various dishes, including salads and smoothies, or are also enjoyable on their own.
What are blackberries?
Belonging to the ‘bramble’ or ‘cranberry’ fruit groups, blackberries are tiny fruits that grow on shrubs. Blackberries are found on all continents except Antarctica. Botanically, they are not true berries and are considered ‘aggregate fruits’. The blackberry fruit is made up of 20 to 50 tiny, round seeds known as drupelets that are juice-filled and deep, purplish black. In the common language, they are referred to as berries because they possess the same nutritional properties as other berries.
Nutritional Facts And Information
The blackberry fruit is brimming with nutritional and health benefits. They contain vitamins like Vitamin C, E, K and minerals such as calcium and manganese. They are low in calories but high in fibre, and thus help in keeping the stomach full for a longer time. Blackberries are an excellent source of antioxidants. They contain high levels of the antioxidant plant pigment anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are responsible for the deep and rich red, purple, and blue colours in fruits such as apples, grapes, and plums.
As per USDA, one cup (144 grams) of raw blackberry fruits contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 62
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fats: less than a gram
- Carbohydrates: 14 grams
- Fibre: 8 grams
- Sugar: 7 grams
Health Benefits Of Blackberry Fruit
The blackberry fruit is characterized by the highest content of anthocyanin, a powerful phytonutrient, among the different berry fruits. The presence of anthocyanin makes this fruit a powerhouse of healthy benefits.
1. Improves digestion
The high fibre content of the blackberry fruit helps support the digestive system. Many digestive problems like stomach ache, bloating, and constipation result due to a low-fibre diet. One cup of blackberry fruit contains 7.6 grams of dietary fibre. They contain soluble and insoluble fibres, which are essential to a healthy and nutritious diet.
2. Strengthens bones
Blackberries are rich in Vitamin K, which helps blood clotting by gathering the proteins needed to close up a wound and stop the bleeding. Vitamin K also helps in producing the proteins needed for creating strong bone tissue. A deficiency of Vitamin K leads to bone thinning and bone fractures.
3. Regenerates skin
The presence of Vitamin C in blackberries makes them a great source of health for the skin. Vitamin C helps produce collagen, which keeps the elasticity of the skin intact. Daily consumption of blackberries makes the skin look younger and radiant.
4. Improves oral health
Studies show that blackberries contain antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties, which help fight tooth infections and sore throats. They also prevent the accumulation of the types of bacteria that cause gum diseases and cavities. This, however, does not replace other practices you might need to consider to maintain your oral hygiene.
5. Reduce the risk of chronic disease
The high level of antioxidants present in blackberry fruit lowers the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Vitamin C present in the fruit helps promote a healthy cardiovascular system.
6. Regulates blood sugar levels
The high-fibre and manganese content of blackberries can help reduce blood sugar levels. The blackberry fruit can, thus, be beneficial for people living with diabetes or sugar-related illnesses.
7. Can improve brain health
Certain studies have shown that berries and fruits rich in antioxidants can help reduce memory loss that is caused by ageing. The antioxidants can work against free radicals and improve communication between brain neurons. This can reduce the inflammation in the brain, which can cause cognitive and motor disabilities with ageing.
Blackberry Fruit Recipes
The health benefits of blackberries are many. Including blackberries in a daily diet can promote a healthy life. There are many easy recipes to include blackberry fruit. Here we cover recipes for blackberry muffins and a blackberry rosemary focaccia. As a bonus, we have made sure that both recipes are vegan.
1. Blackberry muffins
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 cups blackberries
- 1 cup applesauce
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and make sure the mixture is of regular consistency.
- Make a well in the centre of the mixing bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients into the middle of the mixing bowl.
- Use a spatula to mix all the ingredients together. It is okay if the batter is a little lumpy and there is some dry flour in the middle.
- Add the blackberries and gently fold in the mixture. You can use this process to get rid of any lumps that might be present.
- Use an ice cream scoop to transfer the mixture into a muffin pan. You may want to use some oil or foil liners to help prevent the muffins from sticking
- Top each muffin with a single blackberry.
- Place in the middle level of your oven and let the mixture warm until it is golden. A toothpick inserted into the mixture should come out dry (some blueberry residue is okay).
- Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before removing them.
- Serve the muffins warm or cold.