Sweet, succulent blackberries are summer delicacies in the northern temperate regions. As in raspberries, they too grow on shrubs known as "brambles". The plant is native to sub-arctic Europe, and now-a-days grown at commercial scale in North America, particularly in the USA, to as far as Siberia.
- As in other kinds of bush berries, blackberries too packed with numerous plant nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and dietary fibers that are essential for optimum health.
- The berries are very low in calories. 100 g provide just 43 calories. Nonetheless, they are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber (100 g whole berries consist of 5.3 g or 14% RDA of fiber). Xylitol is a low-calorie sugar substitute existing in the fiber content. It absorbed into the blood at a rate slower than glucose inside the gut. It, thus, helps in steadying blood sugar levels.
- Blackberries compose 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 suggest that these antioxidant compounds may have potential health benefits against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases.
- Fresh berries are an excellent sources of vitamin-C (100 g of berries contain 23 mg or 35% of RDA), 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 human body.
- They carry adequate levels of vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin K (16% of RDA/100 g). Further, they are rich in several other health promoting flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin, 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 processes.
- Blackberries have an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity, a measure of anti-oxidant strength) of about 5347 µmol TE per 100 grams.
- Further, blackberries contain a 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 work as co-factors for enzymes that help metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats inside the human body.