8 Ways This One Fruit Boosts Brain and Heart Health (Slideshow)
March 12, 2014
This berry packs a seriously healthful punch
#1 Encourages Brain Development
Blackberries contain folate, a B vitamin used to synthesize DNA and genetic material, aid in cell division, and produce healthy red blood cells. Folate is critical for proper brain function.
Virgin Tropical Blackberry Cocktail Recipe
Healthy and delicious as a virgin cocktail, this would also be wonderful with a shot or two of rum.
#3 Serious Omega-3’s
Just one cup of blackberries contains 135 mg of omega-3-fatty acids, more than spirulina or edamame.
#4 Preventative Measures
Anthocyanins (the dark pigment that lends color to the fruit) found in blackberries prevent degenerative brain diseases.
Blackberry-Mint Lemonade Recipe
A perfect refresher for spring, and a healthy one to boot!
#5 Improves Learning
According to a 2009 Tufts University study, blackberries have polyphenols, which are powerful anti-oxidants that help to stop inflammation and encourage the brain to soak up new information.
#6 Memory Booster
Anthocyanin also helps trigger neuronal growth in the hippocampus of the brain, which improves memory and concentration and focus.
#7 Heart Healthy
Blackberries are amazing for the heart. According to a 2003 study in Life Sciences published by researchers from Policlinico University in Italy, researchers observed that there was prolific anti-oxidant activity of blackberry juice on vascular tissue damaged by free radicals induced by peroxynitrite, which is an oxidant that damages DNA and cells. The anthocyanin found in the blackberries is responsible for this regenerative effect.
Blackberry-Kale Smoothie Recipe
Great for your heart and brain, this smoothie is one of the healthiest ways you can start your day.
#8 Anti-Oxidant Powerhouses
Blackberries are unique, beyond their basic berry goodness: notable for their high levels of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, and manganese. They also rank high for anti-oxidant strength, with notable levels of polyphenols, such as ellagic acid, tannins, ellagitannins, quercetin, gallic acid, anthocyanins and cyanidins. By many accounts, blackberries are considered one of the strongest anti-oxidant foods.