The blackberry it is a fruit that has been gradually gaining followers among consumers. With the latest research, many nutrition specialists qualify them as superfoods, and this is due to their high concentration in antioxidants.
In this article we want to review everything that the black blueberry can bring us as a health benefit, not only from the nutritional point of view, but at the level of brain health, cardiovascular and as a preventive for serious diseases.
As always, providing data obtained from scientific trials and entities of global reputation.
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Are blueberries a superfood?
The term “superfood” has been gaining importance within the nutritional and diet world. Superfoods are considered those ingredients that stand out above the rest of the products of their own family.
In this case, the black blueberry is named for its high concentration of antioxidants, superior to many other fruits of its family (berries).
However, there are also many detractors, mainly from the medical sector, regarding superfoods, who want to discard the prefix “super”, because they are not essential or replace other products on the market.
In any case, we take it as a tagline or a group where food enters as chia seeds, flax, seaweed and some exotic fruits.
Nutritional composition of blackberry
The first thing we want to review is the main composition of the blackberry at the level of energy intake, fiber, crude protein, minerals and vitamins, among others.
100 grams of blueberries provide us with the following nutrients, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
- Energy: 57 kcal
- Proteins: 0.74 g
- Fats: 0.33 g
- Carbohydrates: 14.49 g
- Fibre: 2.4 g
- Calcium: 6 mg
- Iron: 0.28 mg
- Magnesium: 6 mg
- Phosphorus: 12 mg
- Potassium: 77 mg
- Sodium: 1 mg
- Zinc: 0.16 mg
- Copper: 0.057 mg
- Manganese: 0.336 mg
- Selenium: 0.1 μg
- Vitamin A: 54 IU
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid): 9.7 mg
- Thiamine: 0.037 mg
- Riboflavin: 0.041 mg
- Niacin: 0.418 mg
- Pantothenic acid: 0.124 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.052 mg
- Folate: 6 μg
A very important aspect of the black blueberry is its high content of polyphenols and antioxidant substances, among which the following stand out:
- Anthocyanins: antioxidants that characterize the color of the blueberry and have a great influence on the prevention of heart disease.
- Myricetin: a type of flavonol with great health benefits and that is being studied for its positive implications against cancer or diabetes.
- Quercetin: a type of flavonol related to lower blood pressure and a lower risk of heart disease.
Among all of them, it is the anthocyanins that are most present in the black blueberry. These substances come from a large family of polyphenols called flavonoids, and they are responsible for several beneficial effects of blueberries. In this fruit, we also talk about procyanidin and chlorogenic acid, responsible for regulating the vascular and brain systems.
In the blackberry have been distinguished more than 15 different anthocyanins, being in greater concentration the malvidin and the delphinidine. As with other fruits, the concentration of this type of antioxidant is higher in the skin than inside the meat.
Properties of blackberry for health
1. High antioxidant power
One of the most characteristic and commented advantages of blueberriess is its antioxidant potential, reducing the presence of free radicals, unstable molecules that produce a great oxidation at the cellular level, and that can lead to more serious diseases such as premature aging or cancer.
As we have said before, it is in the black blueberry where we find the highest concentration of different antioxidant groups, so they must be included in any diet based on fruits and vegetables.
2. They control blood pressure
All these bioactive compounds Present in the blackberry have been studied to see their implication at the level of blood pressure and cardiovascular health.
The results, in different scientific trials, have shown a reduction of between 4% and 6% of blood pressure, by consuming 50 grams daily of this fruit for 2 months. [See clinical trial]
Positive effects at the body level in men and women:
- Increased number of natural killer (NK) cells known as lymphocytes.
- Increase in plasma redox capacity.
- Reduction of blood pressure.
- Reduction of the velocity of the central pulse wave.
- Reduction of aortic systolic pressure (ASP).
3. Protect the cardiovascular system
Not only at the level of reducing blood pressure in men and women acts blackberry. Its implication in regulating bad cholesterol (LDL) levels has also been studied.
Read more: Difference between good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol.
Cholesterol is involved in a significant increase in myocardial infarctions, one of the main diseases of the Western world.
One macro-study that included more than 93000 women (25 to 42 years) concluded that the increase in anthocyanins (present in cranberry), reduced by up to 32% the risk of suffering myocardial infarctions with respect to people who did not include them in their diet.
In any case, more trials are needed to in-depth assess the health impact of increasing anthocyanin-rich foods.
A daily serving 50 grams of blackberry decreased the LDL oxidation by 27% for 2 months in obese people. [See study]
4. Activate brain function
One of the main causes of brain aging is cause of oxidative stress, and diet and eating habits have many implications for this.
In animals, the consumption of blueberries and all their antioxidants present have direct implication on different areas of memories and brain activity. Therefore, its consumption is intimately related to neuronal deterioration and memory preservation.
These same studies, replicated in humans, offer equally promising results. In one of them, performed on people with mild cognitive impairment, who took cranberry juice daily, for 3 months, they experienced improvements in several markers of brain function. [Memory improvement in adults with blueberry supplementation]
5. Regulate blood sugar
Diabetes is one of the main diseases of the twenty-first century, and is increasingly suffered with younger age and in younger patients.
The diet high in fat and low in antioxidant substances and fiber causes deterioration in insulin production, leading to type 2 diabetes, among the most frequent.
As for sugar intake, the black blueberry is not one of the main fruits, since 150 grams provide an amount similar to what an orange or an apple would do.
The big difference is based on the bioactive compounds in blueberry, which can have a positive impact on regulation of insulin production.
Some scientific trials suggest that anthocyanins are responsible for increase insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.
Benefit through capsules
Although it is always recommended the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, they are not always available all year round or we want to avoid the extra supply of sugar they make. To do this, we can enjoy supplements that contain the pure extract of many of the antioxidants that we have talked about above.
These are the main producers cough that is most recommended in the market, based on blackberry extract. One of the usual forms of consumption is through Capsules or tablets.