Promote weight loss with this delicious, heart-healthy berry
Black, plump and glossy, a ripe blackberry seems to perfectly represent the sweet essence of summertime. (While fresh berries are the ideal, frozen blackberries do a respectable job conveying flavor and nutrients.)
But there’s more to blackberries than their juicy sweetness. These little fruits deliver various health benefits, including the ability to support a weight loss journey. Recent research shows that eating blackberries may speed up your body’s ability to burn fats! So let’s see how these little nuggets of goodness help “fine-tune” your metabolism and promote healthy weight.
Blackberries deliver oversized helpings of vitamins, minerals, and fiber
A single cup of blackberries contains a whopping 40 percent of the adult recommended daily intake for manganese, an essential trace mineral needed for bone health and the metabolism of carbohydrates and cholesterol. The serving also provides respectable amounts of the minerals magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron - as well as over a third of the RDI for antioxidant vitamin C, which is vital for immune system defense. With a quarter of the day’s recommended amount per cup, blackberries are also an excellent source of vitamin K, important for bone health and normal blood clotting.
And - despite their sweet, rich flavor - blackberries have a low glycemic index of 25, meaning they won’t cause harmful blood sugar “spikes.” Finally, a whole cup of blackberries contains a modest 62 calories - less than the amount in a single apple! Low-carb, low-calorie, and low-fat, yet with a succulent, satisfying consistency and flavor - what’s not to love about blackberries?
Researchers report that blackberries have “anti-obesity” effects
At 7.6 grams of dietary fiber per cup - roughly twice as much as blueberries - blackberries qualify as a high-fiber food. Multiple studies have shown that diets higher in fiber are associated with lower rates of obesity. There’s exciting research that is specific to blackberries, as well. In a 2018 study published in Nutrients, researchers found that overweight or obese participants - when given blackberries along with a high-fat diet - displayed increased fat oxidation and better insulin sensitivity (when compared to a control group).
The scientists also reported that blackberries caused the participants to expend more calories and burn more fat during physical activity - leading the team to conclude that blackberries have anti-obesity effects. With two out of three American adults currently either overweight or obese - and at heightened risk for harmful conditions such as type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and heart disease - these promising studies highlight the potential of blackberries to help maintain a healthy weight.
Blackberries benefit heart health
Blackberries contain anthocyanins, the group of natural plant pigments responsible for the berries’ intense purple-black coloration. These remarkable compounds, which include delphinidin and cyanidin, have antioxidant properties that help to quench the chronic inflammation and oxidative damage that play a role in the development of heart disease.
In addition, the soluble fiber in blackberries is believed to lower harmful LDL cholesterol. At the same time, vitamin K helps to keep arteries clear and prevent plaque that can lead to atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke. In one study involving adults with high cholesterol, supplementing with anthocyanins for 24 weeks lowered LDL cholesterol, increased beneficial HDL cholesterol, and reduced levels of inflammatory chemicals, such as C-reactive protein, in the body. The takeaway: snacking on blackberries can help maintain a “happy heart.”
“Berry” delicious - blackberries are easy to add to recipes
In addition to preparing blackberries in classic blackberry cobblers and blackberry jam, you can use them to enhance yogurt, mixed salads, or oatmeal. You can also use them to highlight a platter of mascarpone cheese, almonds, and hazelnuts. Of course, you can also enjoy blackberries as the “main attraction,” enlivened by a splash of lemon or lime, drizzled with a bit of honey, or accented with your preferred seasoning. (Pro tip: leafy green herbs with refreshing, tangy flavors - like bay leaf, basil, thyme, and mint - pair exceptionally well with blackberries). Of course, you can always add blackberries to your favorite smoothie or juice them for a refreshing beverage.
Fun fact: blackberries, like strawberries and raspberries, are not technically berries but are botanically classified as aggregate fruits. However you classify them, though, blackberries are delicious!
Incidentally, blackberries are also believed to boost blood flow to the brain, improving cognitive function. Research has suggested that blackberry compounds can even help to improve speech and memory in people with dementia. (The good news on blackberries continues to roll in!)
Diet-friendly, delicious, and packed with health benefits, blackberries are a great addition to your healthy diet.
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