Benefits of Blackberries for Skin and Health, Precautions, and Recipes

Amy20MD 1

Medical reviewed by Amy Rogers, MD MPH FACPM

Preventive Medicine, Public Health, Lifestyle Medicine, Pandemic Response, Global Health

Although blackberries, with their prickly thorns, can pose challenges and often grow around streams or water sources, it is essential to explore the potential benefits of blackberries for skin and health.

Are there any advantages to consuming blackberries supported by scientific research? We’ll delve into a detailed examination of the benefits of Blackberries to help users make informed decisions.

Skin benefits of blackberries

Blackberries contain large amounts of nutrients that can make your skin healthy. Some of the benefits include:

Increases moisture levels in the skin

Blackberries contain 85 percent water, making them an excellent natural hydrator for skin. They maintain skin moisture levels, reducing the likelihood of breakouts (2). They are packed with essential vitamins A, C, and K that firm the skin around the eyes and remove dark circles (3, 4, 5). 

Reduces inflammation in the skin

This fruit contains ellagic acid, which lowers skin inflammation and even shields against sun damage (6). Additionally, blackberries have high levels of Vitamin E and Vitamin K, which fight against free radicals in the body and slow down skin aging (7). 

Other health benefits of blackberries 

Blackberries are a superfood because they are packed with essential minerals, fibers, vitamins, and antioxidants. They are also low in calories, carbohydrates, and fats. According to USDA, one cup (150g) of fresh blackberries has the following nutritional content (1):

What Are the Benefits of Blackberries for Skin and Health 01 1

Prevents cardiovascular diseases 

Blackberries have lots of anthocyanins, which are antioxidants and indicated to be protective against heart disease (8). These anthocyanins relax the blood vessels and also scavenge free radicals that could oxidize lipids, such as LDL, and thus, help in keeping your heart healthy.

Reduce chances of cancer

Although no food can magically prevent cancer, eating healthy can lower your risk. Blackberries contain natural compounds that help fight cancer by affecting the functioning of genes and blocking enzymes that stimulate tumor cell growth (9). So, munching on blackberries could be a tasty way to boost your body’s defenses against cancer. 

Maintains cognitive health

Blackberries contain high amounts of manganese, which plays a crucial role in brain health. Low levels in children have been linked to poor cognition (10, 11). Additionally, daily consumption of blackberries is a good idea because they are rich in polyphenols that have protective effects on the brain (12). 

Contains anti-inflammatory effects 

Blackberry’s Ellagitannins have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in conditions such as gastric ulcers (13). Blackberry polyphenols may even have a protective action in inflammatory diseases like arthritis (14). 

Anti-diabetic effects

Eating large amounts of blackberries can help control blood sugar levels because they are packed with polyphenols and fiber. Although there aren’t many clinical studies, research on large groups of people has shown that berries help prevent type 2 diabetes (15). 

Treat cold sores

Berries have good amounts of antiviral properties that help to cure cold sores (16). Research published in Foods found that blackberry extract has antiviral effects against the herpes simplex virus when applied topically (17). In addition, berry polyphenols from other berries have been identified to inhibit the adsorption of influenza A virus to humans (18). 

Maintains oral health

Blackberry extract can keep your mouth healthy by fighting the bacteria that cause gum diseases. A study published in the Journal of Periodontal Research determined the activity of blackberries on 10 different oral bacteria and found that they can kill bacteria and reduce inflammation, which protects your gums and teeth. Hence, eating this fruit could be a natural way of keeping your mouth clean, along with regular brushing and flossing (19). 

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Can everyone safely eat blackberries?

Allergies caused by blackberries are uncommon. These berries belong to the Rosaceae family, which can trigger reactions in individuals with birch pollen allergies, and there have been reported cases associated with blackberries (20). So, most individuals can consume berries without any problem. However, if you are sensitive to salicylates, be aware that such berries have these compounds. 

Healthy drinks and recipes

Berry smoothie

This blackberry smoothie is a quick and delicious breakfast option for busy days.

What you need

  • 1 cup of blackberries 
  • ½ banana (medium-size preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped ginger 
  • ½ cup plain yogurt 
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice

How to prepare

Add all ingredients like banana, honey, yogurt, blackberries, chopped ginger, and lemon juice to the blender. Blend the mixture for 2 mins until completely smooth and serve. 

Caloric count

One serving of this drink contains 256 calories, combining 57 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fat, and 2 grams of protein. 

Blackberry sauce 

What you need

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water 
  • 3 ½ cups of blackberries 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract

How to prepare

Transfer the sugar, blackberries, and water to a saucepan and give a continuous stir. Cook mixture at low heat for 5 minutes. Strain through a sieve in a bowl. Lastly, add the lemon juice and refrigerate the sauce. 

Caloric count

This sauce contains 34 calories with 8 grams of carbohydrates and no protein or fat. 

Blackberry mini bars 

What you need

For base
  • 3 ½ cup of blackberries
  • 250 grams of whole wheat flour 
  • 125 g of unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs (yolk preferred)
  • Salt
Topping
  • 50g of plain flour 
  • ¼ cup butter 
  • ¼ cup iced sugar 
  • ½ cup grated marzipan 

How to prepare?

  • Firstly, preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line the pan with 9-by-9 inch parchment paper.
  • Mix pastry-based ingredients in a food processor or with a spoon. 
  • Pour the rough textured crumbs into the lined pan and firmly press with the spoon. You may use a fork to prick the base and bake it for 15 minutes in the oven.
  • Meanwhile, grate the chilled marzipan. Once the base is perfectly cooked, remove from the pan and add blackberries on top. Sprinkle the marzipan and topping and again bake for 20 minutes.
  • After the cake turns golden brown, let it cool and cut into bars. 

Caloric count

One serving of blackberry cake bars contains 343 calories with high amounts of sodium, potassium, and fats and is low in dietary fiber and protein. 

Blackberry pineapple juice 

What you need?

  • 2 cups of Blackberries 
  • 2 cups of Strawberries 
  • Pineapple

How to prepare?

  • Dip the blackberries and strawberries in water for 5 minutes. Then, wash the fruits, including the pineapple, under cold water twice and cut them into small pieces. 
  • Blend the fruits until they become smooth and use a filter to remove pulp. 
  • The juice is ready. It can be stored for 24 hours.

Caloric count

This recipe contains 120 calories, a high carbohydrate content, 3 percent calcium, and no fats. 

Chia blackberry cobbler pudding

What you need 

  • 1 cup blackberries 
  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 6 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons of yogurt 
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

How to prepare?

  • Add the milk, blackberries, yogurt, vanilla extract, and maple syrup to the blender and process until it becomes smooth.
  • Transfer the chia seeds to the bottom of the vessel and add the smoothie on top.
  • Let it refrigerate for 3 hours, and then enjoy!
  • It can be stored for up to 5 days. 

Caloric count

One serving of chia blackberry cobbler pudding has 311 calories, high sodium, and low fat and carbohydrates.

How are blackberries produced?

Blackberries are small berries that are 1-3 cm wide and belong to the genus Rubus in the Rosaceae family. In the early stages, the berries are green, transitioning to red and ultimately turning black when ripe.

Studies published in the Agricultural Marketing and Resource Centre found that from 2014-2017, a significant amount of fresh and frozen blackberries were imported into the USA, primarily from Mexico, which accounted for nearly all (96.8 percent) of the fresh blackberry imports. In 2021, 130 million pounds of fresh blackberries were valued at $318 million (1). 

During the initial stage, a new primocane stem becomes 3-6 meters long. It has big palm-shaped leaves but does not produce flowers. As it enters the second stage, white-petaled flowers are formed and develop into fruit. Sometimes, incomplete fruit development occurs due to unfertilized ovules created due to inadequate pollination. 

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How many blackberries should you eat in a day?

Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help prevent cavities and other oral diseases when eating 80 grams of blackberries in a day (21). 

Can blackberries detox your body?

Blackberries contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins, which impart their deep color and help them fight damage caused by free radicals. These antioxidants boost blood flow to the kidneys and filter toxins effectively.

Do blackberries burn belly fat?

These berries contain catechins, which activate the body’s fat-burning genes in belly fat cells. Polyphenols, another key compound in sweet berries, prevent fat formation (22).

Is it ok to eat berries every day?

Blackberries are safe for daily consumption as a part of breakfast, snacks, and smoothies. However, avoid eating excess berries to maintain healthy levels of glucose and fructose. 

Summary

Blackberries emerge as a powerhouse of nutrition and deliver multiple benefits for skin and overall health. They contain essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fibers, and antioxidants. These berries actively maintain skin hydration, combat inflammation, and diminish the appearance of dark circles. Beyond skincare, blackberries safeguard cardiovascular health, reduce cancer risk, and preserve cognitive functions and other benefits. Their versatility in culinary applications adds a delightful dimension to the nutritional profile, making this fruit a delectable addition to any diet aimed at boosting wellness.

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Amy20MD 1

Medical reviewed by Amy Rogers, MD MPH FACPM

Preventive Medicine, Public Health, Lifestyle Medicine, Pandemic Response, Global Health

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