The little known mulberry has some powerful benefits!
The health benefits of mulberries include their ability to improve digestion, lower cholesterol, aid in weight loss, increase circulation, build bone tissues, boost the immune system, prevent certain cancers, slow down the aging process, lower blood pressure, protect eyes, and improve the overall metabolism of the body.
For human consumption, the berries are delicious, but they are also composed of unique nutritional elements that can have various health benefits. Let’s explore what is packed inside these berries that make them so important.
Aid in Digestion
Like the majority of fruits and vegetables, mulberries contain dietary fiber, which makes approximately 10% of your daily requirements in a single serving. Dietary fiber can help to improve digestion by bulking up the stool, thereby speeding up the movement of food through the digestive tract, while also reducing occurrences of constipation, bloating, and cramping. Furthermore, fiber helps to regulate cholesterol levels and can improve heart health when regularly added to the diet.
The high levels of iron content in mulberries can significantly boost the production of red blood cells. This means that the body will increase its distribution of oxygen to important tissues and organs, thereby helping to boost metabolism and optimize the functionality of those systems.
Regulate Blood Pressure
Resveratrol is a very important flavonoid that directly affects the functioning of certain mechanisms in blood vessels, primarily making them less prone to damage by angiotensin, which can cause blood vessel constriction. In fact, resveratrol increases the production of nitric oxide, which is a vasodilator, meaning that it relaxes blood vessels and reduces chances of blood clot formation and subsequent heart issues like strokes or heart attacks. Resveratrol is found in many dark-skinned berries like mulberries, including most grapes, which is why this beneficial antioxidant is also found in wines.
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One of the carotenoids found in mulberries is zeaxanthin, which has been connected directly to a reduction in oxidative stress on certain ocular cells, including the retinal macula lutea. Furthermore, zeaxanthin functions as an antioxidant and prevents certain damage to the retina, including the free radicals that can cause macular degeneration and cataracts.
Vitamin C is a powerful defensive weapon against any illness or foreign pathogens in the body that antioxidants don’t take care of. A single serving of mulberries is almost the entire requirement of vitamin C for the day, but combine that with the minerals and vitamins present in this fruit, and you have a true weapon against illness. Add a few mulberries to your morning meal and watch your immune system soar.
Build Healthy Bones
Vitamin K, calcium, and iron, as well as the trace amounts of phosphorous and magnesium found in mulberries, can all be beneficial for the creation and maintenance of bone tissue. As we get older, maintaining strong bones, speeding up the healing process or even reversing the damage of bone degradation is important to prevent conditions like osteoporosis or other age-related bone disorders.
Prevent Premature Aging
Mulberries also boast a high level of vitamin A and vitamin E, along with a range of carotenoid components like lutein, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and alpha-carotene. All of these elements act as antioxidants that specifically affect the skin, tissue, hair, and other areas of the body where free radicals strike. Mulberries can aid in skin care, reduce the appearance of blemishes and age spots, and keep hair shiny and healthy by preventing the oxidative actions of free radicals.
**Word of Caution: Some mulberries are very good at lowering blood sugar levels, which is beneficial for particular people, but also very dangerous for others. Also, there are rare cases of allergies to mulberry, so use them in moderation and monitor your body’s reaction if you are eating them for the first time.
Mulberries are low in calories but can provide plenty of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and iron.
One cup of mulberries contains approximately: (15)
13.7 grams carbohydrates
2 grams protein
0.5 gram fat
2.4 grams dietary fiber
51 milligrams vitamin C (85 percent DV)
10.9 micrograms vitamin K (14 percent DV)
2.6 milligrams iron (14 percent DV)
272 milligrams potassium (8 percent DV)
0.1 milligram riboflavin (8 percent DV)
1.2 milligrams vitamin E (6 percent DV)
25.2 milligrams magnesium (6 percent DV)
53.2 milligrams phosphorus (5 percent DV)
54.6 milligrams calcium (5 percent DV)
In addition to the nutrients listed above, mulberries also contain some copper, niacin, vitamin B6 and thiamine.
Where to Find Mulberry
If you’ve spotted a mulberry fruit tree in your neighborhood, you can pick the fruit straight from the tree or lay down a blanket and give the branches a good shake to make the ripe berries fall right off. Of course, make sure to wash them before eating.
Unfortunately, mulberries don’t travel well, so you’re unlikely to find them fresh at the grocery store. However, you may still be able to pick up a batch at your local farmer’s market, and dried forms of mulberries are widely available both online or at many stores.
Keep in mind that mulberries don’t last long after they’re picked, so be sure to eat up quickly once they’re picked or freeze them to help extend their shelf life by several months.