Although easy to confuse with black raspberries, blackberries are distinctly different. Blackberries are summer fruits that are rich in a lot of antioxidants. Blackberries are easily sidelined by blueberries and peaches, even though they are extremely delicious and nutritious. They can easily be incorporated into various dishes, including salads and smoothies, or are also enjoyable on their own.
What are blackberries?
Belonging to the ‘bramble’ or ‘cranberry’ fruit groups, blackberries are tiny fruits that grow on shrubs. Blackberries are found on all continents except Antarctica. Botanically, they are not true berries and are considered ‘aggregate fruits’. The blackberry fruit is made up of 20 to 50 tiny, round seeds known as drupelets that are juice-filled and deep, purplish black. In the common language, they are referred to as berries because they possess the same nutritional properties as other berries.
Nutritional Facts And Information
The blackberry fruit is brimming with nutritional and health benefits. They contain vitamins like Vitamin C, E, K and minerals such as calcium and manganese. They are low in calories but high in fibre, and thus help in keeping the stomach full for a longer time. Blackberries are an excellent source of antioxidants. They contain high levels of the antioxidant plant pigment anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are responsible for the deep and rich red, purple, and blue colours in fruits such as apples, grapes, and plums.
As per USDA, one cup (144 grams) of raw blackberry fruits contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 62
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fats: less than a gram
- Carbohydrates: 14 grams
- Fibre: 8 grams
- Sugar: 7 grams
Health Benefits Of Blackberry Fruit
The blackberry fruit is characterized by the highest content of anthocyanin, a powerful phytonutrient, among the different berry fruits. The presence of anthocyanin makes this fruit a powerhouse of healthy benefits.
1. Improves digestion
The high fibre content of the blackberry fruit helps support the digestive system. Many digestive problems like stomach ache, bloating, and constipation result due to a low-fibre diet. One cup of blackberry fruit contains 7.6 grams of dietary fibre. They contain soluble and insoluble fibres, which are essential to a healthy and nutritious diet.
2. Strengthens bones
Blackberries are rich in Vitamin K, which helps blood clotting by gathering the proteins needed to close up a wound and stop the bleeding. Vitamin K also helps in producing the proteins needed for creating strong bone tissue. A deficiency of Vitamin K leads to bone thinning and bone fractures.
3. Regenerates skin
The presence of Vitamin C in blackberries makes them a great source of health for the skin. Vitamin C helps produce collagen, which keeps the elasticity of the skin intact. Daily consumption of blackberries makes the skin look younger and radiant.
4. Improves oral health
Studies show that blackberries contain antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties, which help fight tooth infections and sore throats. They also prevent the accumulation of the types of bacteria that cause gum diseases and cavities. This, however, does not replace other practices you might need to consider to maintain your oral hygiene.
5. Reduce the risk of chronic disease
The high level of antioxidants present in blackberry fruit lowers the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Vitamin C present in the fruit helps promote a healthy cardiovascular system.
6. Regulates blood sugar levels
The high-fibre and manganese content of blackberries can help reduce blood sugar levels. The blackberry fruit can, thus, be beneficial for people living with diabetes or sugar-related illnesses.
7. Can improve brain health
Certain studies have shown that berries and fruits rich in antioxidants can help reduce memory loss that is caused by ageing. The antioxidants can work against free radicals and improve communication between brain neurons. This can reduce the inflammation in the brain, which can cause cognitive and motor disabilities with ageing.
Blackberry Fruit Recipes
The health benefits of blackberries are many. Including blackberries in a daily diet can promote a healthy life. There are many easy recipes to include blackberry fruit. Here we cover recipes for blackberry muffins and a blackberry rosemary focaccia. As a bonus, we have made sure that both recipes are vegan.
1. Blackberry muffins
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 cups blackberries
- 1 cup applesauce
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and make sure the mixture is of regular consistency.
- Make a well in the centre of the mixing bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients into the middle of the mixing bowl.
- Use a spatula to mix all the ingredients together. It is okay if the batter is a little lumpy and there is some dry flour in the middle.
- Add the blackberries and gently fold in the mixture. You can use this process to get rid of any lumps that might be present.
- Use an ice cream scoop to transfer the mixture into a muffin pan. You may want to use some oil or foil liners to help prevent the muffins from sticking
- Top each muffin with a single blackberry.
- Place in the middle level of your oven and let the mixture warm until it is golden. A toothpick inserted into the mixture should come out dry (some blueberry residue is okay).
- Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before removing them.
- Serve the muffins warm or cold.
2. Blackberry Rosemary Foccacia
- 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons oil and 3 tablespoons more for drizzling
- 2 teaspoons flaked salt
- 6-7 big blackberries
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- Combine yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water in a mixing bowl. Let the mixture sit for ten minutes.
- Add flour and salt to a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture as well as two tablespoons of lukewarm water. Stir with your hands gently until the dough is formed. Knead on a surface that has flour on it.
- Place the mixture back in the bowl and cover it. Let the dough sit for 60-90 minutes.
- In the meantime, mix the rosemary (washed and chopped) and oil. Let the oil soak up the rosemary while the dough is sitting.
- Cover two baking sheets with baking paper.
- Divide the dough in the bowl into two parts
- Place the dough in rectangular shapes on the baking paper, until the dough is ½ inch thick.
- Cover the dough with a towel for another 30 minutes.
- Cut blueberries crosswise into 3 or 4 slices.
- Set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Take off the towels from the loaves and make dents in them using a toothpick or your finger. Place the blackberries in the dents.
- Layer the bread with the rosemary oil using your fingers or a brush. Sprinkle salt on the loaf.
- Place the sheets in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the heat to very high for the last 3 minutes. Make sure the bread does not burn. Serve warm after slicing.
As you might have already noticed, the above two recipes can be easily incorporated into any meal.
Blackberry Fruit Facts
Blackberries are special fruit. That means that there are very many less-known facts about blackberries, some of which have been mentioned below.
- Often confused with black raspberries, the blackberry fruit belongs to the species Rubus. There is one way to tell the fruits apart. When blackberries are plucked, the stem stays on the fruit while in raspberries, the stem remains on the plant.
- Blackberry fruit is an excellent option to curb the sweet tooth for men following a weight loss plan or low-carb plan.
- Blackberry fruit is known by a lot of alternate names. These include brambleberries, bramble, dewberry, thimbleberry and lawers.
- Traditionally, the leaves and bark of the plants were also consumed. The leaves have helped cure sore throat as well as mild inflammation of the gums.
- The leaves can also be used in making a cup of tea with therapeutic effects. However, since not everyone would enjoy the taste of the tea, a sweetener can be added.
- The Vitamin K in blackberry fruit can be muscle relaxing. Women can thus use blackberries to reduce labour pains. Blackberry fruit juice can also be useful in regulating menstruation as it helps in blood clotting.
- If a blackberry fruit has turned orange, it means that it has turned fungal and cannot be consumed anymore.
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The blackberry fruit is a highly underestimated berry. It is not only delicious and nutritious but also contains very specific health benefits. If you can access blackberries where you live, we highly suggest that you incorporate them into your diet. While we have covered some very specific recipes, berries are best consumed on their own. Make sure to wash your blackberries before enjoying the powerhouse of a fruit.
- FoodData Central. (n.d.). https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html
- Ponder, A., Hallmann, E., Kwolek, M., Średnicka-Tober, D., & Kazimierczak, R. (2021). Genetic Differentiation in Anthocyanin Content among Berry Fruits. Current issues in molecular biology, 43(1), 36–51. https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb43010004
- González, O. A., Escamilla, C., Danaher, R. J., Dai, J., Ebersole, J. L., Mumper, R. J., & Miller, C. S. (2013). Antibacterial effects of blackberry extract target periodontopathogens. Journal of periodontal research, 48(1), 80–86. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0765.2012.01506.x
- Basu, A., Rhone, M., & Lyons, T. J. (2010). Berries: emerging impact on cardiovascular health. Nutrition reviews, 68(3), 168–177. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00273.x
- Calvano, A., , Izuora, K., , Oh, E. C., , Ebersole, J. L., , Lyons, T. J., , & Basu, A., (2019). Dietary berries, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes: an overview of human feeding trials. Food & function, 10(10), 6227–6243. https://doi.org/10.1039/c9fo01426h
- Subash, S., Essa, M. M., Al-Adawi, S., Memon, M. A., Manivasagam, T., & Akbar, M. (2014). Neuroprotective effects of berry fruits on neurodegenerative diseases. Neural regeneration research, 9(16), 1557–1566. https://doi.org/10.4103/1673-5374.139483