Blackberries Nutrition Facts

Health Benefits You May Not Know About

blackberries nutrition facts and health benefits
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Blackberries are a low-carbohydrate fruit that packs a major nutritional punch. Considered a superfood, blackberries contain properties that have been thought to protect against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Blackberries belong to a group of phytochemicals called anthocyanins, which have been revered for their ability to protect cells from free radicals. Their deep purple hue increases their antioxidant power. Blackberries are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C, and contain a full day's allowance of manganese.

While blackberries can be found year-round in many grocery stores, their peak season is from early-June to late-August.

Blackberries Nutrition Facts

Blackberries contain a small number of calories for such a large volume of fruit. On top of this, they have no cholesterol and only a scant trace of sodium.

This nutrition information for 1 cup of blackberries is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 62
  • Fat: 0.7g
  • Sodium: 1mg
  • Carbohydrates: 13.8g
  • Fiber: 7.6g
  • Sugars: 7g
  • Protein: 2g​

Carbs in Blackberries

One cup of blackberries contains 62 calories, 13.8 grams of carbohydrate, and 7.6 grams of fiber. While many of the carbs in blackberries are from simple carbohydrates, namely sugars like fructose, glucose, and sucrose, they also contain complex carbohydrates that are slowly metabolized and have less impact on your blood sugar.

Despite having 7 grams of sugar per one-cup serving, blackberries have a glycemic index (GI) of only 25, making it acceptable for diabetic-friendly diets if eaten in moderation.

Even more impressively, one serving of blackberries delivers 31 percent of your daily dietary fiber needs. Some are in the form of insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to your stool and helps keep you regular, and others are soluble fiber, which aids in digestion and slows the absorption of sugar and fat into the bloodstream. 

Fats in Blackberries

Blackberries are virtually fat-free. What few fats blackberries contain are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, "healthy" types of fat that reduce vascular inflammation and improve heart health.

Protein in Blackberries

Blackberries don't offer all that much in the way of protein. To help boost your protein intake, eat blueberries with Greek yogurt (17 grams per 170-gram serving) or oatmeal (6 grams per cup, cooked).

According to the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, adults should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (or 0.36 grams per pound) per day. This translate to 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man and 46 grams for the average sedentary woman.

Micronutrients in Blackberries

A single serving of blueberries delivers 50 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C. You would also benefit for exceptionally high doses of manganese. Both are highly potent antioxidants that reduce the oxidative stress to cells by ridding the body of free radicals. They do so breaking the bond between free radicals and other molecules that can otherwise destabilize and damage cells.

Blackberries also delivers 32 percent of your daily vitamin K needs, which your body uses to make proteins for healthy bones and platelets for normal blood clotting. Blackberries also offer a modest amount of potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, iron, and calcium.

Health Benefits 

Much scientific interest has been places on the role of anthocyanins and other flavonoids in the prevention of disease. Anthocyanin is the pigment that gives blackberries and other blue, violet, or red fruits and vegetables their color. Its antioxidative properties are believed to help slow or prevent of number of metabolic and aging-related diseases.

A 2010 study from the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition suggested that the anthocyanins in the berries of the Rubus genus (which include blackberries and raspberries) reduced the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by 50 percent, corresponding to a significant reduction in atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and heart disease.

Moreover, in their research, the investigation reported that anthocyanins inhibited the growth of breast, stomach, colon, and lung cancer cells by 24, 37, 50, and 54 and 37 percent, respective. While this in no way suggest that blackberries can alter the course of any cancer once it develops, it does hint at the protective benefit of an anthocyanin-rich diet.

There is also some evidence that anthocyanins that may help slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Though the evidence is far from conclusive, anthocyanin appears to suppress the toxicity of beta-amyloid deposits in the brain. These are the compounds that that interrupt neural pathways and damage brain cells, triggering the development of AD. 

According to a 2010 study published in Nutritional Neuroscience, mice fed a diet consisting of a 1% anthocyanin extract experienced a change in the composition of beta-amyloids in the brain. Rather soluble beta-amyloid (the type associated with AD), mice fed anthocyanins had a more insoluble beta-amyloid plaques (considered less toxic and damaging to the brain).

Common Questions

How do you know if a blackberry is ripe?

When choosing blackberries, let color be your guide. Only choose those that are deeply colored. Those that are red or purple are not yet ripe. While you can ripen the fruit at room temperature, once the fruit is picked, it will not get any sweeter. 

Ripe blackberries should have a pleasant aroma, but it may hard to tell if they have been refrigerated. Avoid blackberries that are soft, dull in color, have a mildew-y smell, or have evidence of mold.

Can blackberries stain your teeth?

One of the more common gripes about blackberries is that they can turn your teeth an off-putting purple. This is true not only with whole fruit but with blackberry preserves, juice, or pies as well.

To avoid staining, don't let the fruit residue linger in your mouth for too long. If you are drinking a shake made with blackberries, use a straw. After eating, rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth as soon as possible.

Blackberry stains in clothes can be removed by blotting the stain with 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid mixed with 3 cups of warm water.

How long do fresh blackberries keep?

If purchasing blackberries from the grocery store, try to eat them within a day or so. You can extend their life by refrigerating them, but the flavor will be far more intense if they are served at room temperature. If you cannot eat them immediately, you can freeze the berries for up to a year. Freezing them does not alter their nutritional value.

To prevent blackberries from getting moldy, refrain from washing until right before serving. Do not eat any that taste off or mildew-y.

Recipes and Preparation

Blackberries can be eaten on their own or paired with yogurt, cereals, and ice cream. They can add a sprightly note to salads and pair beautifully with lemon desserts, such as cheesecake or custard. They are also delicious in baked good and smoothies.Their high pectin content makes them the ideal choice for jams, jellies, and conserves.

Most any recipe containing berries can be substituted with blackberries. Here are just a few to try:

Allergies and Interactions

According to the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology, blackberries contain several known allergens. Among them are chemicals known as salicylates as well as various molds that can readily propagate on overripe fruit.

Salicylates are naturally occurring chemicals found in blackberries that are related to aspirin. If you are allergic or intolerant of aspirin, you may develop allergy symptoms after eating the fruit. Symptoms tend to develop within minutes and may include:

  • Itchy skin
  • Hives or rash
  • Tingling sensations on your face
  • Sinus congestion
  • Runny notes
  • Watery eyes

Most cases are relatively mild and tend to resolve on their own. If needed, over-the-counter antihistamines may help alleviate symptoms.

Anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening, all-body allergic reaction, is rarely associated with blackberries; few cases have been noted in medical literature. If it does occurs, it is generally seen in people with a known blueberry allergy. Call 911 if you experience shortness of breath, lightheadedness, facial swelling, rapid heart rate, and vomiting after eating blackberries or any fruit of the Rubus family.

Many different kinds of molds can trigger a mold allergy. According to research from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the fungal contamination of berries most commonly occurs in the field. A random survey revealed that mold growth in blackberries and raspberries were the highest among all of the tested berries and grapes. A thorough washing of blackberries prior to eating may greatly reduce the risk of an allergic response.

There are no known drug allergies to blackberries, though people who are sensitive to aspirin may want to avoid them.

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