Not only are blackberries delicious, these small superfruits contain nutrients that provide a host of health-giving properties. Wild blackberries can be found growing almost anywhere and they are free.
Here are a few of their wonderful health benefits:
Blackberries are a rich source of Vitamin C, containing twice as much as blueberries. Vitamin C is vital for our immune systems and for cardiovascular health. It is useful in the prevention and treatment of heart and circulatory problems, and protective against cancers, degenerative diseases and infection. It also helps to improve the absorption of iron from other foods eaten at the same time, so is associated with reducing the risk of anemia.
Blackberries are very high in fiber compared with most other fruits. Fiber is important for the gut to function well, makes the digestion of certain foods easier, and helps to maintain a healthy weight. A high fiber diet also reduces the risk of developing fatal diseases like heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
Blackberries, and blackberry leaves in particular, are rich in tannins, the same substances that give tea its astringent or tart aftertaste.
They have antiseptic properties, so when the leaves are made into a tea they are an excellent mouthwash for gum problems and infections such as gingivitis, as well as an effective gargle for sore throats. When applied to the skin, they tighten tissue, help to constrict blood vessels, and lessen minor bleeding in wounds.
Blackberries are a rich source of anthocyanins, a group of plant pigments thought to have antioxidant properties. Some anthocyanins inhibit the growth of tumor cells. They also contain the chemical C3G, which belongs to a group of compounds known as flavonoids, shown to be effective against skin cancer and lung cancer.
Blackberries contain lutein, which protects the eye by forming pigments in the macula, the light sensitive area at the back of the retina. Lutein helps to prevent eye damage caused by ultraviolet radiation.
Just a handful of blackberries provides nearly half of an average recommended daily intake of manganese ? making them an excellent source of the mineral. Manganese helps the body form connective tissue, vital for building strong bone structure.