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Blackberries, the Mystical Fruit
Along with the health benefits of blackberries, do they make you think of anything else? I’m not sure what it is about blackberries, but I’ve always found them somewhat mystical. They remind me of childhood. I remember hearing old wives-tales about the bad omens they would bring, the witches using them in their potions, and using the thorny branches to make their brooms. It seemed blackberries were mentioned in multiple stories growing up. So naturally, I was intrigued and wanted to grow some of my own some day.
We never had them back home on the farm, we grew raspberries, but not blackberries. So, when I finally had a garden of my own, I planted blackberry bushes! To my surprise, they were easy to grow, so don’t be intimidated if you’re thinking about giving it a try.
They simply need an area that provides them plenty of sun. If your soil is sandy or clay, it may be a little more difficult, however, I’ve grown blackberries in both without any trouble. Just add a little organic matter when you first plant them.
When my son was probably about two, I can remember him fearlessly spending a lot of time by the blackberry bushes picking and eating them right off the thorny branches. His little face and hands covered in purple juice, he loved blackberries as a toddler, still does, but not like back then, such a great memory!
Health Benefits of Blackberries
Blackberries Provide your Body with Superpowers
As you know, most fruits are packed full of healthy stuff, but blackberries are superior to most. You can find the following benefits packed into these juicy berries.
- Antioxidant and polyphenol rich, means they have the power to fight cancer cells.
- Aid in weight management – Rich in fiber, means you feel full faster; a handful of blackberries will curb hunger.
- Strengthened immune system – High in vitamin C, great for fighting off colds and flues.
- Heart Healthy – Contain vitamin K, which has been shown to help regulate blood pressure
- Protect nerve cells from damage – studies have suggested that polyphenols and manganese in blackberries may slow down age related cognitive decline and may improve memory.
- Strengthen bones – Blackberries are high in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, all vital for strong bones.
- Reduce Inflammation – Since blackberries are full of antioxidants, they’re great at fighting oxidative stress that causes inflammation.
- Blackberries have been used to treat bowel problems and fever.
- Not only does the berry have healing powers, but so does the root, bark, and leaves. They were once known to be boiled in water and given as medicine for whooping cough.
- Other illnesses thought to be cured by blackberry were, bites from venomous creatures, boils and sore throats.
- In 1771, it was documented that blackberry decoctions would cure ulcers. – https://www.gardenguides.com/123417-history-blackberry-fruit.html
Healthy ways to eat blackberries
Blackberries are a little on the tart side, so for some people eating them by the handful may not be their first choice. If this sounds like you, here are a few simple ways to add blackberries into your diet:
- Top them with a little whipped cream
- Make a yogurt parfait (Greek Yogurt, Blackberries, Granola)
- Blackberry smoothie
- On top of oatmeal or quinoa
- Infuse in water or tea with a few mint leaves
- Make a blackberry puree (over low heat add a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of water to a handful of berries and gently combine) instead of syrup, top your pancakes with it.
Blackberry Nutritional Benefits
According to: https://draxe.com/health-benefits-blackberries/ Just one cup of these delicious berries (15–16 blackberries) contains about:
- 62 calories
- 14.7 grams carbohydrates
- 2 grams protein
- 0.7 gram fat
- 7.6 grams fiber
- 30.2 milligrams vitamin C (50 percent DV)
- 0.9 milligram manganese (47 percent DV)
- 28.5 micrograms vitamin K (36 percent DV)
- 0.2 milligram copper (12 percent DV)
- 1.7 milligrams vitamin E (8 percent DV)
- 233 milligrams potassium (7 percent DV)
- 28.8 milligrams magnesium (7 percent DV)
- 308 IU vitamin A (6 percent DV)
- 0.9 milligram niacin (5 percent DV)
- 0.9 milligram iron (5 percent DV)
- 0.8 milligram zinc (5 percent DV)
- 0.4 milligram vitamin B5/pantothenic acid (4 percent DV)
- 41.8 milligrams calcium (4 percent DV)
- 31.7 milligrams phosphorus (3 percent DV)
Now that’s a lot of benefits in a little berry!!! Why not take the family for a little road trip to a local blackberry farm and enjoy a day of picking blackberries?