There are over 375 species of blackberry, and this tasty fruit grows in many parts of the world. For thousands of years, blackberries have been enjoyed as a food, used for medicinal purposes and even planted as part of defensive, thorny hedge structures.
Nutritionally, blackberries are prized for their dietary fibre and high vitamin C content. Blackberries are also rich in vitamin K, which is essential for healthy blood and bones, and vitamins A and E.
Blackberries are also rich in phenolic flavonoids, which have many antioxidant benefits. Antioxidants play a vital role in the body, helping to limit the cellular damage caused by free radicals.
Anthocyanins found in blackberries give the fruit its dark colour, and are known to have anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Anthocyanins also assist with the correct regulation of blood sugar, and may help to prevent diabetic retinopathy.
Blackberries also contain salicylic acid, a natural pain reliever, and quercetin, a natural antihistamine which can help to reduce allergic reactions. Carotenoids such as beta-carotene are also found in blackberries, and are important for eye health and strong vision.
Blackberries can be eaten raw, baked into pies, cakes and desserts, or juiced.