Blackberries are a double threat—they’re absolutely delicious, for one, and for two, they are packed full of nutrients. These tasty morsels go good in almost everything, from smoothies, to savory dishes, to simply enjoying them right off the vine. Blackberry health benefits vary as well. For example, they’re high up on the list of antioxidant foods. And the type of antioxidant blackberries contain make it excellent for fighting cancer. Blackberries are also good for the heart, brain, and for regulating problematic menstruation. Discover what else this marvelous berry can do by reading below.
Here are 6 blackberry health benefits:
1. May Prevent and Slow Growth of Cancer
Blackberry health benefits, as stated above, include the ability to fight cancer. This is due to the rich antioxidants found within the blackberry, in particular, the antioxidant class called polyphenols. This class is known for having powerful cancer-fighting abilities. Furthermore, blackberries contain anthocyanins, which are also able to fight against the development of cancer. (1)
Additionally, an extract of fresh blackberry was found to exhibit tumor-preventative effects on human lung cancer cells. And in regard to lung cancer, there was at least one study that showed the effectiveness of cyaniding-3-glucoside, which is a specific anthocyanin found in blackberries, on the growth of cancerous lung tumors.
Furthermore, blackberry health benefits include the ability to prevent lung cancer in the first place. While cancer development is a complex issue and differs for every person, eating foods rich in antioxidants can help suppress the mutation of cells that leads to cancer.
Blackberries may also inhibit the growth of oral, breast, colon and prostate cancers.
2. Improves and Maintains Brain Function
Blackberry health benefits your brain, as well. Studies show blackberries have definite potential in increasing brain performance. In particular, short-term memory seems to be most drastically improved by a consistent diet of blackberries.
Manganese is one of the nutrients in blackberries that lends itself to improved brain function. In fact, a notable amount of manganese in your body is in the synapses of your brain. And a deficiency in manganese is linked to disorders such as epilepsy.
Furthermore, blackberry health benefits seem to include the ability to protect brain cells from degeneration. One study regarding this notion found that commercial varieties of blackberries do not show any protective abilities. Wild-grown berries, on the other hand, showed significant protective abilities.
To help improve your brain function and to keep your synapses firing correctly, be sure to include plenty of blackberries (preferably wild-grown!) in your diet.
3. Reduces Inflammation, Fights Infection and Boosts Immunity
Inflammation is partly to blame for many diseases. However, this is where blackberry health benefits come into play again. Blackberries contain antioxidants, which protects your body from oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. These two items often lead to many diseases.
While the westernized diet wreaks havoc on your body, blackberries help to keep things running smoothly. Blackberries naturally cause a reduction in inflammation. Plus, they help your body’s processes to happen as they should. This keeps your body from going into overdrive.
Blackberry health benefits those who suffer from ulcers, as well. One study found an 88 percent reduction in stomach ulcers of subjects who consumed an antioxidant extracted from blackberries.
Blackberries can also protect your body from disease due to their antibacterial properties.
4. Regulates Menstrual Health
If you suffer painful period symptoms, you’ll want to take a look at blackberry health benefits regarding its vitamin K content. The presence of vitamin K in blackberries helps regulate hormone function. This in turn reduces pain from cramping. Plus, vitamin K is a blood-clotting vitamin, so it can help with excessive bleeding during heavy cycles.
You can also treat mental and physical PMS symptoms by eating foods high in manganese and calcium. Blackberries have both!
5. Good for the Cardiovascular System
Here is another area in which the vitamin K in blackberries improves your health. Vitamin K is crucial for the health of your entire cardiovascular system. It stops the hardening of arteries by carrying calcium out of them, as well as prevents the buildup that can lead to serious diseases.
In fact, vitamin K is linked to healthy blood pressure, reduced inflammation in cells that line the blood vessels, as well as a lower chance of heart attack.
Additionally, the anthocyanin called cyanidin-3-O-glucoside found in blackberries does a fantastic job protecting blood vessels.
6. Promotes Healthy Skin
Blackberries are great for your skin! An extract from the berry helps protect your skin from UVB damage. Furthermore, it protects your skin from UV damage. And once again, the anthocyanins in blackberries are what we can thank for these skin-related benefits.
But that’s not all blackberries can do for your skin. They contain vitamin C, which helps keep your skin healthy and strong. It also promotes the production of collagen, decrease dry skin, and may also prevent premature aging of the skin.
Additionally, blackberries have an antiviral effect, making their nutrients effective against cold sores.