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Blackberries: High in a Unique Antioxidant

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blackberriesHappy National Blackberry Day!

The blackberry is not a true berry but is actually more closely related to the plum. It’s fruit is made of a small bunch of drupelets. Over 300 species exist. Historically blackberries have been used in jelly, jam, desserts and wine. The flowers make lots of nectar, so they are good honey flowers.

You will find blackberries to be a snack that is low in calories but high in many nutrients such as fiber, folic acid and manganese and vitamins C and K.

The blackberry is rich in polyphenol antioxidants such as quercetin, tannins, ellagitannins, gallic acid, anthocyanins, and cyanidins. It is also a fruit with a unique antioxidant-ellagic acid- which is only found in a few plants and is the subject of several studies that have linked it to tumor reduction.

Blackberries are a top ranked fruit on the ORAC value chart at 5347 per 100 grams and the seeds are rich in omega-3 and -6. Blackberries are high in both kinds of fiber. The soluble fiber, pectin in blackberries has been used to lower bad cholesterol. And salicylic acid which helps fight heart disease. Blackberry root is used as an herbal medicine to treat dysentery or other bowel conditions.

Look for berries that are dry, firm, and one purple-black coloration. If the carton is wet or leaking, the berries may be old or damaged. Store then just before using because exposing them to moisture can make them decay. Blackberries keep best in the refrigerator.

Looking for blackberry recipe ideas?

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