The Health Benefits of Blackberries

It is easy to confuse these berries for raspberries, because they look similar and are related to each other. The one way to tell which berry you are holding in your hand is by looking at the bottom of the fruit. Blackberries are solid where raspberries have a hollow entryway. That is because when the berries are picked, the stem stays with blackberries, where with raspberries, the stem remains on the plant.

Blackberries grow throughout the world in places such as England, Europe, Australia, Mexico, Canada and the United States. Blackberries appear to be in season year-round because different countries have growing seasons. Whenever you go to the grocery stores, the chances of finding these berries are very good.

A large part of the human diet, blackberries have been consumed for years. Since the fruit is high in pectin, these berries are excellent in making jams and jellies. Whether you like eating these berries by the handful or when they are baked in a pie or cake, do not think of them as only a delicious treat. There are many health benefits of blackberries.

Blackberries are an excellent source of potassium and magnesium which are needed to keep our blood pressure numbers at a safe level. When we do not have enough of these in our daily diets, we run the risk of getting high blood pressure. When you keep your blood pressure lower you run a less risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. The American Heart Association states that food that contains high fiber content plays a key role in reducing blood pressure and lowering cholesterol. That is one more reason to keep blackberries in your refrigerator, since it is a major source of fiber.

Like other dark berries, blackberries contain folate.  This plays a key role in making the cells in the body function properly.  When you do not have enough folate in your daily diet, the levels on homocysteine in your blood can increase.  Higher levels of homocysteine are one of the main causes of damage to the blood vessels and blood clots.  Including these berries in your daily diet, you may decrease the chance of getting a heart attack by at least thirty present.

Like a majority of pigmented berries, blackberries contain anthocyanins which helps your body fight off infections. These also help your body absorb the essential vitamins and minerals that are necessary to reduce the risk getting cardiovascular disease.

Four ounces of blackberries gives you 6% of your Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin A. Ever since childhood we always needed this vitamin for healthy hair and strong bones and teeth. One of the reasons some children who have a delay in growth and development is because they do not get enough Vitamin A during their growing years. We also need vitamin A for healthy skin and good eyesight. This vitamin is also needed to fight infections-digestive system and urinary tract system.

Blackberries are rich in Vitamin C. Giving you half of your RDA, these berries play a role in boosting your immune system. Not only with you recover from colds and the flu faster, you may prevent yourself from getting sick in the first place by including these berries I your daily diet.
Blackberries are a major source of Vitamin E. You need this vitamin for healthy skin. It helps clear up skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema and also protect your skin from ultraviolet ray damage from the sun.

We need Vitamin K in our diets if we want to have strong and healthy bones. While lack of calcium in our daily diets is one of the main causes of osteoporosis-where our bones become weak and brittle as we age, a lack of Vitamin K can cause this condition as well. An excellent way to prevent this from happening is to include blackberries in our daily diets. Not only do you need this vitamin for your bones, you need it for your blood as well. It helps your blood to clot properly so that cuts and scrapes do not continue to bleed. This vitamin also allows calcium to process better.

Blackberries contain copper. While this mineral works wonders in preventing premature graying of the hair, it also helps produce collagen which gives your skin its elasticity. When you have enough copper in your diet, you are giving your skin that youthful look.

Blackberries contain selenium which is a trace mineral that is needed for overall health for your body. It acts as a powerful antioxidant that fights against the free radicals and help prevent many diseases.
Blackberries contain natural pain relievers called salicylates.  http://www.allergyclinic.co.nz/salicylate_sensitivity.aspx By eating these berries you can find quick relief from pain of:

Headaches
Migraines
Menstrual Cramps
Muscle Spasms,
Toothaches
Arthritic Pain
Gout Attacks
Sprains
Joint and Muscle Pain

 

Note:  If you are sensitive to aspirin, these berries may not be right for you.  The above site lists many fruits that contain salicylates.

It is best to eat fresh berries rather than cooking them in jellies, pies and cakes. When these are cooked, some of the essential vitamins and minerals may be loss in the process. Therefore you might not get all the health benefits compared to when you eat them fresh. You can easily find blackberries at your local grocery store. When they are in season, you can also find then at your farmer’s market. Since these are known as wild berries, don’t be surprised if you find them growing in wooded areas around your town. You can collect fresh berries while they are in season. Make sure to collect some leaves as well, since they can be used to make some healing teas with these. However, if you plan on collecting black berries fro the wild, seek the advice of a knowledgeable herbalist since poisonous berries can be confused for blackberries.




  • Comments

    1. Profile photo of Rex Trulove
      Rex Trulove

      I’m still trying to find some blackberries to plant here. I did plant two raspberry bushes from a wild bush we got the last time we went camping, but I’d like some blackberries, too. Maybe next year I’ll be able to find some. I’d hate to have to buy them if I don’t have to. The funny thing is that I know of quite a number of people who have raspberries, but I’ve only seen blackberries growing in one place in the entire valley. Granted, this is mountain country and more suited to blackberries, but I used to live in Oregon at a higher elevation and there were plenty of blackberries.

      By the way, I use blackberry leaves medicinally.

      1. Profile photo of Rex Trulove
        Rex Trulove

        I’d love it! I simply never go anywhere that I could get them and on the rare occasion that I do, I never think to bring the shovel (naturally). I was just out looking at the raspberry bushes and just now realized that when I dug them up, I also got some small thimbleberry plants. Of course neither will produce this year, but that is perfectly okay.

      2. Profile photo of Rex Trulove
        Rex Trulove

        Seriously, Andria, how much would you charge me to send me so blackberry plants with reasonably healthy roots? If I can get up the money, I’d be extremely interested.

    2. Profile photo of Andria Perry
      Andria Perry

      I have cases and cases of blackberries I have canned over the years. They grow wild on the side of the road around here so they are free for the picking.

      I love the flavor of the seedless jelly I make but it goes fast around here.

      I pinned and stumbled this article.

    3. Profile photo of Lois Ryan
      Lois Ryan Post author

      Thank you. I was going to go berry picking this summer because I can once in a while. But I got busy with other projects and well maybe next year. I usually buy berries in the store or farmer’s market. Maybe talk my husband to add some berry plants in the vegetable garden.

    4. Profile photo of Deb Jones
      Deb Jones

      Blackberries are my favorite fruit. I did realize some of the nutritional properties they have, but you’ve nicely filled in the rest.

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