Blackberries are a hallmark of summer.
Throughout the warmer months, you can find bushels at the farmers market. But these all-star berries can (and should) be enjoyed year-round — just look for them in your grocer’s freezer aisle. Your body will thank you, because the nutritional value of blackberries is pretty impressive.
Here are five health benefits you can expect, plus some simple ways to incorporate blackberries — fresh and frozen — into your diet.
Blackberries are high in fiber
One cup of fresh or frozen blackberries provides about 60 calories, along with nearly 8 grams of fiber. That’s about a third of the amount of fiber you should aim to eat in a day. All that fiber can help increase satiety, curb cholesterol, support weight loss and regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. It may also boost your digestive health: blackberries are prebiotics, which means they feed the friendly bacteria in your gut that have been tied to immunity, mood and anti-inflammatory benefits.
They’re also rich in vitamin C
You’ll get about 30% of the recommended daily target for vitamin C in a cup of raw blackberries. In addition to supporting immunity and healthy skin, this potent antioxidant is needed for DNA repair and the production of collagen and serotonin (the neurotransmitter that helps promote happiness and sleep).
Blackberries support bone health
A 1-cup portion of raw blackberries packs about 25% of the Daily Value for vitamin K, which helps the blood to clot and is essential for your bones. Vitamin K is required for bone formation, and several studies have shown that a shortfall is linked to increased risk of fracture and osteoporosis. The manganese in blackberries (you’ll get 150% of the DV in 1 cup) also supports bone health, as well as collagen production for healthy skin and joints.
They can help control blood sugar
Blackberries rank low on the glycemic index at 25. (A high ranking is 55 or greater.) They’re also one of the lowest-sugar fruits, with just 7 grams per cup fresh (compared, for example, to 16 grams in a cup of fresh pineapple chunks). Their low sugar content combined with their high fiber content makes them an excellent option for regulating blood sugar and insulin levels.
They may protect your brain, too
The antioxidants in berries, including blackberries, have been shown to help reduce brain inflammation and change the way neurons communicate. These effects can help to fend off age-related memory loss, protect motor coordination and ward off cognitive decline.
Health delivers relevant information in clear, jargon-free language that puts health into context in people’s lives. Online at www.health.com.
Satisfy your cravings
With our weekly newsletter packed with the latest in everything food.