The Health Benefits of Blackberries
It is easy to confuse blackberries 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.
Loaded With Minerals
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 having 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. This 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 precent.
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.
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. By eating these berries you can find quick relief from pain of:
- Menstrual Cramps
- Muscle Spasms,
- Arthritic Pain
- Gout Attacks
- Joint and Muscle Pain
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 will you recover from colds and the flu faster, you may prevent yourself from getting sick in the first place by including these berries in 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.
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 blackberries from the wild, seek the advice of a knowledgeable herbalist since poisonous berries can be confused for blackberries.
© 2019 Lois Ryan