Health benefits of blackberries
As in other bush berries, blackberries too are packed with numerous plant nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and dietary fibers that are essential for optimum health.
They are very low in calories. 100 g berries provide just 43 calories. Nonetheless, rich in soluble and insoluble fiber (100 g whole berries consist of 5.3 g or 14% RDA of fiber). Xylitol, a low-calorie sugar substitute presents in the fruit fibers, absorbs more slowly than sugar, and does not contribute to high blood sugar levels.
Blackberries have significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid tannin), quercetin, gallic acid, cyanidins, pelargonidins, catechins, kaempferol and salicylic acid. Scientific studies show that these antioxidant compounds may have potential health benefits against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases.
Fresh berries are an excellent source of vitamin C (35% of RDA/100 g), which is a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps develop resistance against infectious agents, counter inflammation, and scavenge harmful free radicals from the body.
They contain adequate levels of vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin K (16% of RDA/100 g) and in addition, they are rich in many other health promoting flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and ß-carotene in small amounts. Altogether, these compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease process.
Blackberries have an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity, a measure of anti-oxidant strength) of about 5347µmol TE per 100 grams.
Further, blackberries contain good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Copper is required in the bone metabolism as well as in production of white and red blood cells.
They contain moderate levels of B-complex group of vitamins. It contains very good amounts of pyridoxine, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and folic acid. These vitamins are acting as cofactors help body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.49 g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber||5.3 g||14%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.276 mg||5.5%|
|Vitamin A||214 IU||7%|
|Vitamin C||21 mg||35%|
|Vitamin E||1.17 mg||8%|
|Vitamin K||19.8 µg||16.5%|
Selection and storage
Blackberry season generally lasts from June to September. Fresh berries are either handpicked or harvested using machines in large-scale farms. In general, the berries are ready to be harvested when they comes off the receptacle easily and have turned to deep color. At the stage when they are supposed to be the most ripen and sweetest.
In the stores, choose fresh berries featuring bright, shiny, completely black, and plump in constancy. In general, the berries are packed in firm box, spread in a single layer.
Avoid unripe (black-purple), overripe, bruised, damaged and mushy berries. In general, the berries are highly perishable and sensitive to handling. At home, use berries as soon as possible.
To store, place them in the refrigerator, they stay fresh for up to 4-5 days.
Allergy to blackberries is uncommon and rare. There are a very few reported cases of particularly in some sensitized individuals. The reaction may be thought due to presence of salicylic acid in the berries which, may cause symptoms like swelling and redness of mouth, lips and tongue, eczema, hives, skin rash, headache, runny nose, itchy eyes, wheezing, gastrointestinal disturbances, depression, hyperactivity and insomnia. Individuals who suspect allergy to these fruits may want to avoid them.
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