Their rich black-purple color and jewel-like appearance makes blackberries one of the most beautiful fruits available. However this berry is much more than a beautiful exterior, as its also one of the more healthful fruits around.
- ...strengthen your bones and teeth. Blackberries are packed with a potent mix of phosphorus and calcium, which helps bones and teeth stay strong.
- ...help protect your cells. Blackberries contain very high amounts of natural plant dyes called anthocyanins which can intercept free radicals that cause damage in the body's cells. These flavonoids also give blackberries their trademark dark color.
- ...help keep you young. Blackberries are one of the most effective natural anti-aging agents: Their high content of antioxidants, vitamin E and vitamin A counteracts premature signs of aging.
- ...are good for your circulation and heart. The flavonoids in blackberries also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by helping regulate high blood pressure and making the blood thinner.
- ...may help lower your cholesterol. Another heart-healthy characteristic of blackberries is their abundant amount of the soluble fibre pectin, which stimulates digestion and binds fat in the intestines. This can also help lower cholesterol.
- ...are high in iron. 100 grams of blackberries contain almost 1 milligram of iron. Iron promotes blood formation and helps transport oxygen in the blood.
What You Should Know About Blackberries
Originally blackberries grew on extremely thorny bushes up to 7 feet high. While this is still true of the wild varieties, the majority of bushes are now harvested on lower bushes that don’t have thorns. Wild blackberries are much smaller than cultivated blackberries, but they taste more aromatic.
In botany, blackberries are aggregate fruits, meaning they consist of many small, closely connected pistils. Other examples of aggregate fruit include strawberries and raspberries.
Blackberries originate from the forests of North America and Eurasia. Today, both wild and harvested blackberries grow through Europe as well as in Asia and in South America.
Blackberries are generally available in the grocery store yearround, however hit their peak in the summer months through the fall, generally from July to mid-October.
Ripe blackberries are super juicy, and have a tart yet sweet flavor.
How Healthy Are Blackberries?
The dark red plant dyes (anthocyanins) which give blackberries their color also make them extremely healthy. The anthocyanins inhibit bacteria, viruses and fungi, relieve inflammation and can even slow the growth of cancer cells. They also improve blood flow, which makes blackberries particularly attractive to those who want to keep the heart and blood vessels healthy. Blackberries also contain the soluble fibre pectin, which helps to keep cholesterol levels at normal levels, among other health benefits.
Blackberries are rightly regarded as beneficial for both the figure and the immune system. They contain few calories, hardly any fat and, with 17 milligrams per 100 gram serving, contain even more vitamin C than apples. Blackberry’s high dose of cell-protecting vitamin E also make them a particularly effective fruit when it comes to anti-aging. Vitamin E also acts as an active cell protector in the body by rendering aggressive oxygen compounds, called free radicals, harmless. Blackberries are also packed with beta-carotene, which supports eye and skin health among other things.
The sensitive, thin-skinned blackberries mold very quickly if they are bruised and their sugary juice leaks out.
|Blackberry Nutritional Info (100 g)|
Shopping and Cooking Tips
When it comes to buying blackberries, ensure the berries are fresh and none are moldy. Take a little bit of time to look through the whole container of berries before purchasing, as mold can lurk on the lower surface and still render the whole carton inedible.
Because they mould so easily, it’s important to keep blackberries cool. Always keep them in the refrigerator, where they can last up to 3 days. However remember that blackberries always taste best when eaten as quickly as possible.
Blackberries should be washed carefully in a colander under warm water, and then patted dry.
What To Make With Blackberries
For many blackberry fans, nothing tastes better than enjoying the berries fresh on their own. A scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream also makes a delicious pairing.
In general, blackberries are a great fit for any sweeter dish. They make delicious fruit compotes, are great in fruit salads, and are a perfect dessert berry, cooked into pies or cakes during the summer seasons.