08 July, 2011
How Are Blackberries Good for You?
While they might not get as much press as other berries, blackberries are packed with nutrients and other compounds that support good health. Purchase the berries when they're in season and freeze them whole -- no sugar or syrup required -- to enjoy fresh berries throughout the year. Try adding some to a small fruit salad or oatmeal to reap their benefits, or pair blackberries with a protein-rich food like low-fat yogurt for a satisfying snack with staying power.
Low in Calories and Fat
Blackberries are low in calories and fat, making them easy to fit into your daily eating plan, whether you're trying to lose or maintain your weight. A cup of blackberries has only 62 calories and less than one gram of fat per serving. If you're watching your daily caloric intake, munching on some blackberries for a snack can quiet your cravings for something sweet, without blowing your caloric allowance on a high-calorie treat.
High in Dietary Fiber
Women between 19 and 50 need 25 grams per day of dietary fiber, and men should eat about 38 grams. Foods high in fiber help you feel full, because they absorb water, and diets high in fiber may help decrease your blood cholesterol levels, according to the Colorado State University Extension. Blackberries have a higher fiber content than many fresh fruits, with 7.6 grams of fiber per cup.
Rich in Vitamin C
Fresh blackberries contain 30.2 milligrams of vitamin C, per one-cup serving, which is just more than 40 percent of the recommended 75 milligrams per day for adult women and about 33 percent of the daily recommended intake of 90 milligrams for adult men. The body doesn't store vitamin C, so it's important to get enough through your diet or supplementation. Eating blackberries regularly gives you a good start on your daily needs of this vitamin that helps your body make collagen for healthy skin, cartilage and blood vessels.
Antioxidants and Antibacterial Properties
Blackberries are high in antioxidants, which are chemicals that fight damage to cells caused by free radicals in the body. The antioxidant content of blackberries and other berries is quite high -- slightly higher than blueberries, another berry known for its high antioxidant content. Blackberries also have antibacterial properties. A 2013 study published in the "Journal of Periodontal Research" found that blackberry extract was effective at reducing activity of several oral bacteria.
- MissouriFamilies.org: Berries Pack a Healthful Punch
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Blackberries, Raw
- Colorado State University Extension: Dietary Fiber
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- Berry Health Benefits Network: Blackberries
- Journal of Periodontal Research: Antibacterial Effects of Blackberry Extract Target Periodontopathogens
- Viktar/iStock/Getty Images