Blackberries are a highly perishable food that has to be used soon after purchase. The good thing about blackberries is that freezing gives them a longer life without any significant loss in nutrients. Frozen berries can be used in smoothies, juices and cooked preparations. While consumers tend to prefer the newer varieties without the seeds, blackberry seeds contain potent nutrients like omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, protein, and carotenoids to name a few. Making smoothies or juicing blackberries means you don’t have to deal with the seeds as they get crushed and still provide all the benefits.
- 1 cup blackberries
- ½ cup low-fat yoghurt
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
- ½ cup ice cubes
Add all ingredients into a high power blender. Blend on high speed for about 15 seconds, or until a creamy texture is attained! Serve immediately.
A one cup serving of blackberries delivers only 62 calories, while supplying two grams of protein, fourteen grams of carbohydrates, one gram of fat, and eight grams of dietary fibre. This satisfies 32% of the day’s fibre needs. The same serving size also provides 50% vitamin C, 36% vitamin K, 9% of folate, 7% magnesium and potassium, 6% of vitamins A and E, and 5% of the daily needs of iron, niacin and zinc.
Blackberries contain elevated amounts of gallic acid, ellagic acid and rutin which are recognized to be chemo-preventive, with anti-viral and anti-bacterial characteristics. They also have the greatest antioxidant values.
Health Benefits of Blackberries
A December 2006 study published in the “Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry” found that blackberry extracts avert the growth of cancer cells in tests carried out in laboratories. The greater the quantities of berries consumed, the higher the degree of protection.
The fibre along with minerals and phytochemicals found in blackberries might aid in lowering the risk of heart disease according to 2010 article published in “Nutrition Reviews”. The pathways employed in lowering these risks include reduction in inflammation and oxidative stress by increasing antioxidants in the blood, and lowering of cholesterol due to the presence of anthocyanins, the phytochemicals responsible for giving blackberries their deep colour.
Consumption of blackberries may also aid in forestalling age related cognitive function decline. A 2009 study published in “Nutritional Neuroscience” found that rats supplemented with a two percent blackberry diet performed better on short-term memory tests as compared to those not given the supplement.