Blackberries are gorgeous berries that pop up in grocery stores and farmers’ markets just about everywhere in the spring and summertime. While you’re likely aware of the health benefits of blueberries and strawberries, you may be less informed about the benefits of blackberries. Here, get the low-down on blackberry nutrition from two dietitians and several recipes to help you usher this superfood into your diet.
Blackberry Nutritional Benefits
“Blackberries are loaded with vitamin C, which helps to strengthen your immune system and keep your skin looking plump and fresh,” says Brigitte Zeitlin, a New York City-based registered dietitian and founder of BZ Nutrition. “They are also high in manganese, which works to keep your bones strong and healthy.”
Berries, including blackberries, are high in free-radical-fighting antioxidants. Blackberries, in particular, contain anthocyanins, which have antioxidative, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. They’ve been linked to improved vision and brain health. In addition, they offer protection against diseases such as diabetes and cancer due to their ability to protect against free radical damage.
Blackberries are also high in fiber, which helps you feel fuller for longer, says Amy Gorin, RDN, a plant-based registered dietitian and owner of Plant Based with Amy in Stamford, Connecticut. Blackberries’ fiber content is also crucial because research has shown that not getting enough fiber can increase your chances of having heart disease.
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“Eating blackberries may help your LDL, or 'bad,' cholesterol levels,” Gorin says. “According to a review study in Scientific Reports, people who regularly ate berries had lower LDL cholesterol levels, versus the people who were not regularly eating berries.”
Blackberries are also rich in vitamin K, which can help with blood clotting and bone metabolism. Being deficient in vitamin K can lead to heavy menstrual bleeding or make you prone to bruising. If you’re on blood thinners, getting enough of this nutrient from blackberries is a great option.
Teeth and Brain Benefits
Additionally, one study showed that regular blackberry consumption could promote good dental health, and another showed it could help with brain health and prevent memory loss related to aging.
While you don’t need to be super concerned about overdoing it on blackberries, you may have stomach discomfort if you eat too many due to their higher fiber content. If you have a sensitive stomach, you’re likely better off keeping it to a small handful of blackberries per serving. And because they’re so dark in color, blackberries may also cause you to see changes in color in your urine if consumed in large amounts, similar to beets. This also isn’t cause for concern, so don’t feel alarmed if it happens.
Blackberry Recipes to Try
There are so many ways to enjoy fresh or frozen blackberries, whether it's plain as a snack or dessert, or as a topping for yogurt or oatmeal, Gorin says. Zeitlin recommends adding one cup to a morning smoothie for some sweetness or combining some with a cheese stick for an afternoon snack. You may also enjoy adding it as a naturally sweet element to a summer salad, like this scrumptious steak, arugula, and blackberry salad, below.
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Speedy Steak and Blackberry Salad
Juicy steak, peppery arugula, tangy-creamy goat cheese, and sweet-tart blackberries come together for a healthy medley any day of the week.
Mixed Berry Biscuit Cobbler
Use fresh or frozen berries for this easy 15-minute cobbler (and don't forget to serve it with vanilla ice cream).
Red Sangria With Blackberries
This red wine sangria calls for brandy, sugar, plenty of fresh blackberries, and club soda. Stash this drink in the fridge for an hour before serving, and the flavors or the fruit and wine will blend beautifully.
Lemon Curd and Berry Parfaits
You'll stack layers of yogurt, lemon curd, blackberries, and a crumble to make this exquisite parfait. Talk about looking too good to eat!
Honeydew and Blackberry Ice Cream Sundaes
This unique recipe combines melon, sesame-almond brittle, and sea salt for a sophisticated version of your typical ice cream sundae.