By Dr. Michelle Schoffro
Blackberries are more than delicious, they are packed with nutrition and offer a wide variety of health benefits, from boosting digestion to improving collagen formation in the skin, as well as anti-cancer capacity. Here are 15 different health benefits and therefore reasons to eat more blackberries:
Antioxidant: Blackberries rank high on the ORAC scale for high levels of antioxidants which fend off free radicals. One hundred grams of blackberries (3-1/2 ounces) equals 2036 ORAC units. In research by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) eating foods high on the ORAC scale raised the antioxidant power of human blood by 10 to 25 percent.
Memory Loss Protection: In the same study by the USDA, researchers found that eating foods high on the ORAC scale, like blackberries, prevented long-term memory loss.
Blood Vessel Protection: The study also found that high ORAC foods prevented damage to the smallest blood vessels, known as the capillaries.
Anti-aging: Blackberries potent antioxidant ability also helps to fight the free radicals that are linked to aging. Otherwise, these free radicals would cause wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Cancer Prevention: Blackberries are particularly high in natural compounds called anthocyanins that are powerful anti-cancer compounds. A diet rich in blackberries may help to prevent cancer.
Slowing the Growth of Cancer: In a study published in Nutrition and Cancer, researchers found that an extract of blackberries inhibited the growth of human lung cancer cells. While blackberries may have the same effect on other types of cancer, little testing has been done.
Anti-Inflammatory Action: Inflammation is at the root of many serious chronic conditions ranging from arthritis to heart disease. According to research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, blackberries demonstrate potent anti-inflammatory properties, which may give them wide-reaching health benefits.
Boosting Adrenal Glands: Blackberries are an excellent source of vitamin C. The adrenal glands, or stress glands as they are often called, have high vitamin C needs so they can quickly become depleted when we’re under stress. Blackberries help them to replenish their needs.
Stomach Ulcers: Blackberries contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds known as elligatannins that have been shown in a study published in the online journal PLoS One to significantly reduce inflammation of the stomach’s mucosal lining. Those who ate blackberries on a regular basis had an 88 percent reduction in ulcers.
Oral Health Helper: According to a study published in the Journal of Periodontal Research, blackberries exhibit an antibacterial effect that is beneficial to oral health.
Collagen Booster: Collagen is a critical protein needed in the body to form healthy tendons, ligaments and skin. It tends to decline as we age. But that’s where blackberries can help. They are among the best foods to help maintain healthy collagen in the skin.
Manganese Aid: The mineral manganese is needed whether you’re suffering from osteoporosis or epilepsy. Fortunately, blackberries are a good source of this nutrient. Research in the journal Brain Research found that a manganese deficiency is linked to the disruptions in transmission of electrical signals in the brain, resulting in epilepsy. Blackberries provide this critical mineral without overdoing it, which can be dangerous.
Bowel Regularity: Blackberries are a good source of fiber needed to keep bowels regular and eliminate toxins via the colon. Because blackberries contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, they offer the health benefits of both types, including: reducing cholesterol and balancing blood sugar levels.
Healthy Blood Clotting: Because blackberries contain vitamin K, enjoying them on a regular basis may help to regulate blood clotting, one of vitamin K’s healing benefits.
Immune Boosting: Vitamin A is necessary for a healthy immune system. Fortunately, blackberries contain carotenoids, the precursors to vitamin A, which means they may help to keep your immune system healthy and strong.
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author