By Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)
Ever wondered what gives blackberries their gorgeous colour? It is down to the plant chemicals that they contain called Anthocyanins.
Blackberries are back in abundance and so a good time to getting picking and build a stock up in the freezer for use in smoothies and desserts in the coming months! Blackberries are also known as Bramble or Bramble Raspberry and belong to the rose family. They are known as an aggregate fruit, meaning that they are made from a number of tiny druplets, each of which contains a seed. This is where their high fibre content comes from.
Blackberries possess one of the highest contents of antioxidant phytonutrients in food, nearly as high as blueberries. Blackberries are also high in Vitamin C and E, folate and fibre, and are low in fat. They also contain a good amount of minerals including iron, magnesium, calcium and zinc.
Anthocyanins provide a lovely colour to blackberries and this phytonutrient may work to prevent the effects of neurological diseases and ageing.
Gut health: blackberries contain both insoluble and soluble fibre which helps to remove toxins from the digestive tract.
Heart protection: blackberries contain salicylic acid (a compound similar to asprin) which could help to lower blood pressure (something to check if taking certain medications).
Skin-health: blackberries contain a compound called Ellagic acid which helps to prevent oxidative stress and helps to prevent the breakdown of collagen.
Fertility wise: Blackberries contain a good amount of folate which is important in sperm formation and also in the prevention of neural tube defects in the developing foetus. Blackberries contain a good amount of the antioxidants Vitamins C and E. In studies vitamin E been shown to help increase fertility rates during ICSI and also to help women over 35 if her fertility problems are caused by her age. Vitamin C helps to protect the sperm and eggs cells from oxidative stress and also their DNA too. It is also important in sperm health and in studies has been linked to improving sperm quality. Blackberries also contain a flavonoid called Rutin which is also important in fertility as it helps to improve blood circulation around the body, including the reproductive organs.
Enjoy blackberries in:
Ingredients (makes 4 servings)
• 8 oz Blackberries
• 4 oz runny honey
• 50 ml of water
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
1. Over low heat in a saucepan, heat the blackberries, honey, and water until all mixed smoothly
2. Place the blackberry mixture and lemon juice into a food processor or blend until the mixture is smooth.
3. Freeze the blackberry puree in an ice-cream tub and enjoy!
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