Blackberries are one of those gorgeous berries that pop up in grocery stores and farmers markets just about everywhere in the spring and summertime. While you're likely aware that these sweet-tart, purple berries are good for you, you may be wondering which exact health benefits this superfood provides, and if they're worth regularly incorporating into your diet. Here, two dietitians explain why blackberries are such a healthy option.
Blackberry Nutritional Benefits
Blackberries are bursting with vitamin C.
"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."
Blackberries are high in antioxidants.
Berries, including blackberries, are high in free-radical-fighting antioxidants. Blackberries, in particular, contain anthocyanins, which have antioxidative, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties. They've also been linked to improved vision and brain health, as well as protection against diseases such as diabetes and cancer due to their ability to protect against free radical damage.
Blackberries have lots of fiber.
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 Eats in Stamford, Conn. Blackberries' fiber content is also crucial because research has shown that not getting enough fiber can increase your chances of having heart disease.
Blackberries have been linked to managing unhealthy cholesterol.
"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 contain vitamin K.
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.
Blackberries are also good for your teeth and brain.
While you don't need to be super concerned about overdoing it on blackberries, you may find that you end up with 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; though being aware of it may help you to not feel alarmed if it happens.
The Best Ways Enjoy Blackberries
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 plain yogurt or oatmeal, Gorin says. Zeitlin recommends adding 1 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.
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.
Blackberry Wine Pops
These irresistible grownup summer treats marry just four simple ingredients, red wine, sugar, water, and blackberries.
Mixed Berry Biscuit Cobbler
Use fresh or frozen berries for this easy-as-can-be, 15-minute summer cobbler (and don't forget to serve with vanilla ice cream).