Blackberries are a nutrient-dense fruit that offer a variety of health benefits for your overall health.
Blackberries — the fruit, not the iconic millennial phone — are loaded with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They’re 10/10 tasty and boast beaucoup benefits for your overall health. Here are the berry-licious deets, plus tips on how to add more blackberries to your diet.
They might be small, but blackberries pack a nutritional punch. A 1-cup serving (about 144 grams) has about:
- Energy: 127 kilocalories (kcal)
- Carbs: 13.8 grams (g)
- Fiber: 7.63 g
- Sugar: 7.03 g
- Magnesium: 7% of DV
- Potassium: 5% of DV
- Vitamins C: 34% of DV
- Vitamin E: 11% of DV
- Vitamin K: 24% of DV
In addition to being delicious, blackberries are packed with potential health perks. Here’s not one, not two, but six science-backed reasons to eat them.
1. Vitamin C
Blackberries are a solid source of vitamin C. This vital nutrient benefits your bod in lots of important ways. Maintaining healthy levels of vitamin C is important for:
- immune function
- collagen production
- neurotransmitter synthesis
- protecting cells against free radical damage
- improve heart health
- lower blood pressure
- bolster immune health
- reduce your risk of diabetes
- pump up collagen production
- protect you from oxidative stress
Some folks also think supplemental vitamin C can help benefit those who have cancer. However, a 2019 research review of 19 studies found that there isn’t enough research to prove this.
2. Full of fiber
There’s about 7.63 g of fiber in a single cup of blackberries. So, a nice serving of berries in the morning will help you reach your daily dose.
Fiber is uber important for your overall health and can help:
- regulate blood sugar
- keep cholesterol levels low
- keep you feeling full for longer
- maintain healthy gut bacteria
- support a healthy body weight
- keep your poop schedule on fleek
FYI: The daily recommended intake (RDI) of fiber is 25 to 38 grams a day depending on your age and gender.
3. Loaded with antioxidants
Blackberries are full of antioxidants. These compounds can protect against damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) (aka free radicals).
BTW, An imbalance of the body’s antioxidant defenses and the accumulation and production of these free radicals can lead to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is associated with the development of inflammatory conditions like:
- biliary diseases
- macular degeneration
- cardiovascular diseases
- neurodegenerative diseases
- acute and chronic kidney disease (CKD)
4. Vitamin K
Blackberries are a sweet source of vitamin K, an essential nutrient that supports:
- bone health
- heart health
- cognitive health
The RDI is 90 to 120 mcg for adults, and a 1-cup serving of blackberries has about 28.5 mcg. So, adding more of this lovely little fruit to your diet can help you hit your daily vitamin K quota.
5. Blackberries may help improve heart disease risk factors
According to a 2018 study, there might be an association between eating berries and a reduced risk of heart disease. Berries contain bioactive compounds that may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. Studies also suggest that berries can benefit heart health thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties.
6. Improve insulin sensitivity
Eating more blackberries may improve insulin sensitivity. This is crucial for your body’s ability to use glucose (aka sugar) as energy. Low insulin sensitivity can also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
In a 2018 study, men who were overweight or had obesity were fed a high fat diet that contained either 600 g of blackberries a day or an alternative food. At the end of 1 week, those who ate blackberries had increased insulin sensitivity and fat oxidation compared to those who didn’t eat blackberries.
Just keep in mind, we need more research to show the full range of benefits.
Blackberries are great to eat raw on their own. For that maximum “OMG yum” factor, opt for the ripe ones. Ripe blackberries are:
- black with shiny skin
- plump and juicy looking
- easy to pick with no resistance from the stem (if you’re picking your own)
PSA: Avoid buying bad blackberries by checking for mold, slime, or a weird smell. Yuck.
You can sprinkle blackberries into ice cream, yogurt, fruit salads, or cocktails with supreme ease. If you feel like getting a bit fancier, you’ll have a berry good time by including them in:
Blackberry allergies are rare but not unheard of. The berries contain salicylates, which your body sees as similar to aspirin. If you’re hypersensitive to aspirin, you might experience allergy symptoms if you eat too many blackberries.
Otherwise, blackberries are pretty safe on their own. Just be sure to check the nutrition label on canned blackberries. Some brands add a ton of extra sugar or other ingredients you might not want to eat.
Blackberries are nutritious, delicious, and very easy to find in most grocery stores. They’re also versatile AF and taste great on their own or in a wide variety of drinks and dishes. Now you know the science, you can get out there and impress your friends with your new blackberry wisdom. Bon appétit!