Blackberries and mulberries are among the favorite berries for most. They are quite similar in nutritional endowment, and physical appearance. And although you can substitute one for the other without much difference in your recipes, these berries are quite different.
On one hand a blackberry is short round and shiny, while a mulberry is long and has a more oval shape. When it comes to their nutritional composition, both are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Mulberries also contain more phenolic compounds compared to blackberries.
While blackberries tend to have higher sugar levels, mulberries provide more nutrients. Therefore, they are much healthier and you should definitely try them at least once.
They both taste delicious. So, mulberries or blackberries? Which fruit should win the hearts of those who love berries? We’re soon to finding out.
What are blackberries?
Blackberries are berries from the Rubus family. They look similar to raspberries or strawberries, but they have an intense flavor. Blackberry fruits come in three sizes: standard, mid-size and large.
Blackberry fruits are native to North America and Asia. Native Americans ate them fresh and dried them for winter food supplies, whereas Europeans preferred their tartness for cooking. Nowadays, these fruits are cultivated worldwide.
All rich in vitamin C, iron, potassium and fiber, blackberries are now common around the globe. The most popular types of blackberries include the wild American species, and the European blackberry while hybrid varieties are also widespread.
What are blackberries good for?
Blackberries aren’t just tasty berries… they also contain a bunch of essential vitamins and minerals. Blackberry juice has even become quite trendy lately.
If you haven’t tried these delicious fruits yet, then you definitely should. The juicy berries are rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, an essential nutrient in the formation of collagen, and connective tissues, as well as skin regeneration, absorption of iron and reduction of free radicals in the body.
Blackberries are also rich in vitamin K, manganese, and fiber. They also provide a great source of antioxidants and disease fighting compounds. You might want to try them mixed with other berries or fruit juices.
A few years ago, blackberries became very popular due to their health benefits. This led to the creation of juice blends and other functional foods. Today, consumers enjoy various types of blackberry drinks such as smoothie recipes, juices, and concentrates. The latter are usually sold in powder form and add a kick to your favorite meals, but are not as healthy as consuming the whole fruit.
Heath benefits of blackberries
You already know blackberries are a source of different vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. What you may now want to know is how consuming these little fruits can impact on your skin, weight loss efforts, male fertility, pregnancy, and other areas.
a) Benefit of blackberries for skin
Blackberries contain vitamin c and anthocyanin. These two nutrients are essential to skin cell rejuvenation.
Vitamin C also gives the skin a radiant glow, while masking fine lines. In addition, vitamin C also boosts your skin’s immunity to elements.
b) Benefits of blackberries for weight loss
Nutritionally, blackberries do not contain any fat or sodium. The whole fruit is also low in calories and contains no added sugars. This makes these berries an ideal food if you are checking on your weight.
Similarly, blackberries are a high fiber food. You will feel fuller for long once you consume a handful of the berries. You are thus less likely to binge on other foods, thus simplifying your weight management.
c) Benefits of blackberries for male reproductive health
A recent study show that berries, including blackberries and cherries can help males maintain an erection.
This maybe a shocker for those who thought pills and supplements are all there is for male health. So give them berries a try, and you might have just the healthiest solution.
d) Benefits of blackberries in pregnancy
In addition to antioxidants and vitamins, blackberries also contain substantial amounts of folate, calcium, potassium and magnesium. These nutrients are essential for the proper bone health of the developing fetus.
e) Benefits of blackberries for brain health
According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the antioxidants present in blackberries can boost brain health and slow down aging. When these antioxidants help eliminate free radicals, brain neurons communicate more efficiently resulting in a boosted memory and brain function.
f) Benefits of blackberries for oral health
A recent study indicated that blackberries contains a substance that has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory abilities. These characteristics act against some kinds of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
Although more studies are needed to ascertain these finding, it’s indicative that blackberries can significantly bring down the risk of gum diseases and cavities, while promoting the overall gum health.
Uses of blackberry leaves
Although we are more accustomed to the fruity blackberry, we can still derive as much value from the leaves. Since the time of Hippocrates when the leaves and stems were soaked in wine to help in childbirth, to the modern uses such as in tea, this plant is a darling to many. Some of the popular uses of blackberry leaves include:
a) Strengthening the gums:
You can chew the raw leaves to help with thrust, and to strengthen your gums.
b) As an astringent:
Do you have skin ulcers or abscesses? Simply apply a poultice of the leaves on the affected area and your skin cells will begin contacting the body tissues thereby initiating healing.
c) home remedy for various conditions:
Are suffering from extreme menstrual flow? Or is it diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhoids, or cystitis? You have a chance with boiled blackberry leaves and roots. This concoction is also a remedy for anemia.
Blackberry benefits and side effects
Even with so many benefits, there are possible side effects of consuming blackberries, especially if in excess. Here are a few things to expect:
a) Allergic reactions:
If you are intolerant to blackberries, there’s a fair chance that you’ll throw up, or experience a bodily rash on consuming the berries.
b) Gastrointestinal issues:
If you have a gastrointestinal problem which often causes the stomach to be very sensitive, consuming blackberries will likely result in nausea and vomiting. However, you can reduce these reactions by taking the blackberry leaf preparation with food.
What is mulberry?
Mulberries are berries from the genus Morus. They belong to the rose family and grow on trees native to China, Korea, Japan, and eastern Europe. There are two main types: black mulberry, Morusnigra, and white mulberry, Morus alba.
Mulberry fruits are small round berries found in tropical climates such as Asia and Africa. They usually grow between three and four feet tall and produce several flowers each year. The mulberry fruit resembles blackberries in appearance.
Are mulberries good for you?
Just like blackberries, mulberries are good for you and come loaded with nutritional benefits.
Mulberries are known to be beneficial for health in general, especially when consumed raw. They help prevent cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and other diseases. They may also reduce inflammation and keep our skin looking youthful.
Additionally, mulberry juice helps boost energy levels, improves memory, stimulates the immune system, reduces stress, and increases concentration and focus.
With so much to offer, it’s no surprise that these wonder berries are becoming popular at an exponential rate.
Can you eat mulberries?
Yes, they are delicious! They offer many benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant effects. However, the best part about them is their taste – they are full of sweet flavor with just a hint of tartness.
You may find them fresh or dried, depending on where you live. Many people enjoy eating them raw while others like them baked into pies, cakes, and muffins.
Whichever way you decide to have your mulberries, you’ll sure love the flavor, and still enjoy the nutritional richness they come with.
Health benefits of mulberry
You may already know the major nutrients found in mulberries, but do you know how they impact your health? Turns out, it’s all on the positive side. Here are some health benefits of consuming mulberries:
a) Health benefits of mulberry leaves:
Mulberry leaves are mainly known for their benefits against cardio-metabolic risks. This is thanks to the mulberry extract’s ability to lower blood pressure levels and reduce LDL cholesterol. The extract also contains flavonoid antioxidants, which is an anti-inflammatory compound. Mulberry is thus helpful in treatments such as anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-hypersensitivity, as well as other cardioprotective treatments.
b) Mulberry leaf tea benefits:
Mulberry leaves may be added to tea for flavor, and for the medicinal purposes. When enjoyed in tea, you not only consume the fullness of the leaf, but also enjoy a relaxing mulberry aroma in your morning cup.
c) Mulberry benefits for skin:
Mulberry is good for your skin, just as much as it’s great for your internal organs. Some of the skin issues it may be used to address include:
- Lightening dark spots and treating skin discolorations
- Treating and masking uneven tones thus improving on the appearance
- Protecting the skin from the elements
- Moisturizing and nourishing otherwise dry skin
- Reducing the appearance of fine line on aging skin, thus promoting a radiant and glowing skin color
d) Dried mulberries benefits
Dried mulberries contain all of the goodness of ordinary mulberries, only this time these fruits have been preserved and you can enjoy them throughout the season.
What can you do with dried mulberries- you as? A whole range of possibilities here; try sprinkling them over your breakfast yogurt or cereal. You can also use them blended in a smoothie, frozen in a sorbet, in porridge or granola.
Feeling adventurous? Try making a mulberry crumble, if a jam isn’t sufficiently thrilling.
e) Mulberries benefit in cancer risk reduction
The Chinese have used mulberries as a cancer remedy for centuries. Despite the scanty research, it turns out they have been on the right path.
Mulberry juice contains antioxidants which can alleviate the oxidative stress that increases the risk of cancer.
Mulberry benefits and side effects
We’ve seen the numerous benefits of consuming mulberries, but just like any other food, some instances produce undesired side effects. Although mulberries are generally safe, here are some side effects that may occur:
a) Effects on people taking supplements:
If you are taking supplements, studies show that you may experience adverse effects such as constipation, bloating, diarrhea, dizziness and vomiting.
b) Effects on people under diabetes medication:
Mulberry has a significant effect on blood sugar. If you are on diabetes meds, consult with your healthcare provider for direction.
Difference between mulberry and blackberry
The most prominent differences between mulberries and blackberries is the appearance.
While blackberries are round and small, mulberries are large and have an oval shape.
The color of mulberries ranges from red to dark purple. On the other hand, blackberries look like their name suggests- dark purple to black.
e) Where they grow:
While blackberries grow on a bush, mulberries grow on the mulberry tree.
Mulberries have a sweet and tart vegetal flavor, while blackberries have a tart flavor, with earthy, jammy and peppery tones.
Mulberry vs blackberry vs boysenberry
These three berries are all delicious fruits and they look different from each other. The mulberry looks like a cross between a tomato and a plum; the blackberry looks like a cross of a raspberry and a strawberry; and the boysenberry resembles a combination of two strawberries, and is shorter than the mulberry.
Blackberries nutrition facts
A single serving of one cup of blackberries contains:
Blackberries also contain significant amounts of calcium, manganese, and vitamins C, E and K.
Mulberries nutrition facts
Also rich in minerals, a half a cup serving of mulberries contains:
Some minerals also present in mulberries include Iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Can you eat white mulberries?
Yes, you can eat white mulberries. White Mulberry is an edible plant that grows throughout Asia. To prepare for consumption, wash them thoroughly under running water then rinse them again. Also remove any remaining stems and seeds. Chop up the fruit into pieces and add the juice from one lemon. Add sugar and salt to taste. Serve cold.
If you like, you can still enjoy the berries raw, or as a snack.
2. What to do with white mulberries?
After juicing them, you can make various medications with white mulberry juice. You could use it to treat diabetes, treat high blood pressure, common cold, and also to lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
You can add the mulberries in snacks or even cereals.
3. Is blackberry juice good for you?
Blackberry juice is a very healthy drink. It contains anthocyanin which protects against cardiovascular diseases. Other nutrients contained in the juice include vitamin C, and potassium- also essential for cardiovascular health.
4. Can you eat blackberry seeds?
You can eat blackberry seeds. However, their taste is usually bitter and not tolerable by everyone. To mask the bitter taste, put the entire berry in your mouth at a go.
5. What does the inside of a blackberry look like?
The center of a blackberry is usually white or greenish depending on how ripe the fruit is. The color deepens progressively toward the purple on the outside.
At this point you can quite easily tell apart the difference between blackberry vs mulberry, which is mainly the color, shape, where either fruit grows, and the taste. With these facts, feel free to experiment with either, as they have almost the same nutritional profile.