|Blackberry Quick Facts|
|Scientific Name:||Rubus fruticosus|
|Origin||Native to temperate Europe in the Northern Hemisphere|
|Colors||Color green changing to glossy black as they ripen|
|Shapes||Globe-shaped, about 2–3.2 mm long, 1.5–2.8 mm wide, 1–1.8 mm thick, made up of approximately twenty to fifty single-seeded drupelets|
|Taste||Wonderful and sweet|
|Major nutrients||Manganese (40.43%),
Vitamin C (33.56%),
Vitamin K (23.75%),
Dietary Fiber (20%)
|Health benefits||Helps Maintain Health of Gums & Teeth, Treatment of Cancer, Supports Bone Health & Prevent Osteoporosis, Control the buildup of LDL|
|More facts about Blackberry|
Blackberry is a perennial, semi-deciduous, prickly or thorn less scrambling, semi-prostrate to almost erect shrub sized 2 m high and with canes to about 7 m long. It can be fund growing in sunny (full sun) to part-shaded position; fruit development is much better in warm, humid positions protected from wind. It prefers well prepared, well-drained soil enriched with well-rotted manure or compost. Blackberry has perennial root system and are stout, branched, creeping underground, growing vertically to a maximum depth of 1.5 m depending on soil type. Stems are arching, green, reddish or purple, ribbed, angled or concave, with or without hairs and grow up to seven meters long. Leaves comprise 3 or 5 ovate leaflets, are dark green on the upper surface and with many to no hairs and bears pickles underneath, leaves have toothed edges. Flowers are 2–3 cm in diameter with five white or pale pink petals with numerous stamens. Flowering season may differ according to the varieties if the blackberry, but normally flowering starts in northern hemisphere, from May to August and in southern hemisphere from November to April.
Blackberry is smooth and fragile fruit which looks like a raspberry, but torus differentiates the blackberry from its raspberry, while harvesting a blackberry fruit, the torus stay with the fruit, but in raspberry, the torus remains on the plant, leaving a hollow core in the raspberry fruit. Blackberry is globe-shaped, about 2–3.2 mm long, 1.5–2.8 mm wide, 1–1.8 mm thick, made up of approximately twenty to fifty single-seeded drupelets. The fruit is green while young that changes to straw yellow, amber, orange-red, red, reddish black, to glossy black as they ripen. Seeds are deeply and irregularly pitted, oval, colored light to dark brown, and 2.6-3.7 mm long and 1.6-2.5 mm wide. It has wonderful and sweet taste which makes it ideal for jams, desserts, snacks, pies.
Blackberries are native to Asia, Europe, North America, Australia, Africa and South America and have the most widespread geographic origin of any fruit crop. Later it is cultivated throughout the world with climates that support it. It has been used in Europe since 2000 years and is consumed as food, used in different medicinal purposes and also is grown in hedges to keep out invaders.
Apart from their wonderful and sweet taste, Blackberry is a good source of nutrients, minerals, vitamins. Consuming 144 gram of this fruit supplies, 0.93 mg of Manganese, 30.2 mg of Vitamin C, 0.238 mg of Copper, 28.5 µg of Vitamin K, 7.6 g of Total dietary fiber, 1.68 mg of Vitamin E, 0.89mg of Iron, 13.84 g of Carbohydrate, 36 µg of Vitamin B9,0.397mg of Vitamin B5, 0.76mg of Zinc and 29mg of Magnesium.
Health benefits of Blackberry
1. Beneficial for brain health
Consuming berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries) and other berry fruits is beneficial for brain and may help avoid age-related memory loss as well as other changes. Research concluded that berry fruits help the brain stay healthy in different ways. Blackberry fruits contain high levels of antioxidants, compounds which help to protect cells from damage by harmful free radicals. Berry fruits change the way neurons in the brain communicate. These changes in signaling may prevent inflammation within the brain which result in contribute to neuronal damage and enhance both motor control and cognition.(1)
2. Reduce erectile dysfunction
Some documentation has suggested that blackberry is good specifically to reduce risk of erectile dysfunction. Among different flavonoids Anthocyanins found in blackberry, raspberry, flavanones and flavones (found in citrus fruits) were found to provide the greatest benefits in inhibiting the problem. Research shows that consuming a flavonoid-rich diet is good to decrease erectile function.(2)
3. Antioxidant benefits
Research recommend consuming a diet abundant in antioxidant-containing foods. Antioxidants like vitamins C and E, carotene, lycopene, lutein and many other substances that are present in blackberry play an important role in preventing diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease. Blackberry is rich in effective antioxidants; these elements competently reinforce your immune system and assist your body to fight illness. Antioxidants are helpful to neutralize free radicals, which are thought to be harmful results of natural cell metabolism. As our body can naturally produces antioxidants which is not 100% effective and that effectiveness drops with age.
Research suggest that consuming antioxidant-rich foods is rather beneficial than supplements. Foods consist of unmatchable collection of antioxidant substances but supplement contain a single type of antioxidant. Therefore consuming fresh Blackberry is far better to gain unmatchable collection of antioxidant.(3)
4. Control the buildup of LDL
Research concluded that fresh berries can considerably reduce the buildup of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, a culprit which results in stroke, heart disease and atherosclerosis, a form of arteriosclerosis. Blackberries have the highest LDL inhibitory effect, followed by strawberries, red raspberries, blueberries and sweet cherries.(4)
5. Supports Bone Health & Prevent Osteoporosis
Manganese, along with other minerals, like copper, Zinc and Calcium, can help decrease bone loss, particularly in older people who are more inclined to have weak bones and bone fractures. Blackberry consists of huge amount of Manganese 0.93mg which is 40.43% of daily recommended value. The minerals content of blackberry makes them a great fruit choice for having a negligible effect on bone health. Regular use of Blackberry is very beneficial for Osteoporosis patients, as it is a good source of Manganese and other essential nutrients.
Research suggest consuming manganese rich food like blackberry along with other bone supporting nutrients like magnesium, copper, zinc, calcium can improve bone mass in women along with weak bones, which is beneficial to naturally treat osteoporosis.
6. Treatment of Cancer
Regular consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables are related to decreased chances for various types of cancer. Different research has proved that regular increased consumption of Vitamin C rich fruits is associated with decreased chances of mouth, throat, colon, stomach, rectum, lungs, and esophagus cancer. Current research shows that some enzymes that can be found in Blackberry can help prevent and treat cancer. Blackberry contain 30.2 mg (33.56% of DV) Vitamin C which protect the entire body from cancerous cell to improve overall health.
7. Helps Maintain Health of Gums & Teeth
Fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, C, D, and vitamin K are essential to fight cavities and symptoms related to gum disease. Fat Soluble vitamins are required for beating tooth decay and gum problems, which play a main role in teeth and bone mineralization.
Diet rich in vitamins and minerals helps in killing harmful bacteria that are found in mouth and creates teeth damaging acids. Vitamin K found in Blackberry is one of the essential nutrients that works with other vitamins and minerals to destroy bacteria that damage tooth enamel leading to tooth decay and provide teeth with essential minerals to make them strong.
8. Digestive Health
Black berry is loaded with Dietary fiber. A single cup serving of blackberry (144 g) has 20% of the daily required intake. Dietary fiber is essential for better digestive health. It normalizes bowel movements by bulking up stools and making them stress-free to pass. Dietary fiber prevents and relieves both diarrhea and constipations. Consuming sufficient amount of blackberry help to reduce your risk of kidney stones, diverticulitis (inflammation of the intestine), gallstones, hemorrhoids and gives relief from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Different Research have concluded that diet rich in dietary fiber help to lower gastric acid and decrease the chance of gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) and ulcers.
How to Eat
Honey: Blackberry flowers are actually good nectar producers, and afford a medium to dark, fruity honey.
Other Traditional uses and benefits of Blackberry
- Flowers and fruit have been used as a cure for venomous bites since ancient times.
- Blackberries are used as a remedy for gout by ancient Greeks.
- Fruits were used to stop looseness of the bowel and were believed good for stone.
- Tannin found in leaves and root bark are respected as a capital astringent and tonic and valued as a remedy for dysentery and diarrhea.
- Leaves are beneficial for piles and are still being used outwardly for scalds and burns.
- In traditional Italian medicine Blackberry has been used for burns.
- The juice is used to ease the discomfort of hemorrhoids.
- Romans made a tea from the leaves of the Blackberry plant to deal with numerous illnesses.
- Blackberry stems are used by American Indians to construct a strong rope.
- A berry, leaves, roots of blackberry plant is used to dye hair and fabrics.
- A purple to dull blue dye is achieved from the fruit.
- A fiber is obtained from the stem and utilized to make twine.
- Blackberry plant can be used to make an effective fence against humans as well as stock animals.
- People suffering from cancer or having a history of cancer particularly colon and stomach cancer should not drink excessive quantities of blackberry tea.
- Tannins found in blackberry leaves might result in nausea, distress and vomiting if taken in big amounts.
- Breastfeeding and Pregnant women may eat blackberry fruit moderately but avoid the use of blackberry leaf tea.
- Small children below 24 months should not be given blackberry leaf tea.
- Blackberry leaf may result in allergic reactions ranging to mild to severe.