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The Nutrition of Blackberries

Aug 19, 2010

Blackberries are not actually berries, but are instead an aggregate fruit. Blackberries are formed from several individual seeded fruits that are attached to a single core. This design allows blackberries to have a high skin and seed composition which contributes to their high nutritional content. Below are a few of the benefits that you can receive from consuming blackberries.

Dietary Fiber

Blackberries are high in dietary fiber. Fiber aids in digestion by helping to move food more easily through the digestive tract. Fiber also improves cardiovascular health. It helps to regulate blood sugar levels because it takes the body longer to convert fiber into glucose. It may lower cholesterol by reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. A diet high in dietary fiber, including that provided by blackberries, can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. As an added bonus, fiber helps you to feel satisfied longer. This makes blackberries a great diet food. Add them to your yogurt or cereal, or have a cup of them for a snack.

Polyunsaturated Fats

Not all fats are created equal, and the polyunsaturated fats found in blackberry seeds actually work to help you have a healthier heart. They lower your risk of heart disease, and they can help lower cholesterol levels. However, the seeds in blackberries are small, so you will only consume a trace amount of polyunsaturated fats.

As with most fruits, blackberries have a low fat content. This is good news if you are dieting. With less than 1% of your daily recommended value of fat, you can fill up on blackberries without feeling guilty. Their sweet taste, juicy flavor and crunchy seeds may satisfy several cravings.

Antioxidants

Blackberries are rich in antioxidants. They have anthocyanins, which will work to prevent the effects of aging, cancer and neurological diseases. They also help to fight diabetes and bacterial infections. The ellagic acid in blackberries can help to reduce blood pressure. Blackberries contain rutin, which is a flavonoid that works to improve blood circulation. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory and can lower the risk of heart disease. The gallic acid in blackberries is an anti-fungal and anti-viral antioxidant that is used to help treat psoriasis and hemorrhoids. Blackberries also contain p-coumaric acid which can lower the risk of stomach cancer. Vitamins A and C work together as antioxidants to help strengthen the immune system and fight free radicals.

Health Benefits

Blackberries provide a great deal of health benefits. They help to lower risk your heart disease and stroke, and they may lower your risk of certain cancers. Blackberries may also help to prevent diabetes and age-related cognitive decline. Their low fat and high dietary fiber content makes them ideal for weight loss as they are satisfying without adding on the pounds.

When choosing blackberries, look for ones that have a rich, deep color and that are plump. If they have hulls, they were picked too early and will be tart. Blackberries will not ripen after they are picked. Store them unwashed in an air-tight refrigerated container.

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