May: Blackberries

by Stephanie Kramer

Blackberry smoothies, blackberry pies, blackberry muffins, there are so many delicious recipes you can make with blackberries! Luckily, blackberries are in season from now until October. These tart berries pack a punch not only in flavor, but also with their array of important nutrients. They are a great addition to many healthy recipes, and their deep purple color make them pleasing to the eye as well!

Health Benefits of Blackberries
While it is known that blackberries are packed with vitamins and minerals (notably vitamin A, C and potassium), they are also high in fiber. In one cup of blackberries, there is 7.6g of fiber1! Blackberries, like other berries, also have phytochemicals that act as antioxidants in the body. The most potent phytochemicals present in blackberries are anthocyanins, flavonoids and tannins.

blackberriesSince anthocyanins and flavonoids act as antioxidants, they may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and diabetes2. Although a lot of blackberry-specific research has been in vitro and in vivo (aka in petri dishes or animals), results are promising.

The tannins in blackberries act as anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help with intestinal upset and arthritis2. Cell culture research also suggests that blackberries may have an inhibitory effect on the growth of cancer cells3.

Adding Blackberries in your Diet
In order to obtain the maximum benefits of blackberries, it is best to consume them raw. Try to eat a cup of blackberries as a snack, mix them in a smoothie, or include them in yogurt or cereal for breakfast! If the tartness of the berry is too strong for you, they can be cooked with a bit of sugar. These berries can also be served with whipped cream for a light dessert.

Fun Facts4

  • Blackberries were once used to treat sore throats and inflamed gums
  • If your blackberries have turned orange, it means they have a fungal disease and need to be thrown away!
  • Blackberries are known by a variety of names, some include brambleberry, dewberry, and thimbleberry.

Blackberry Smoothie (from PopSugar)

blackberry smoothieingredients                                                                   

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder of your choice (I used a chocolate whey)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup blackberries


  1. Combine all ingredients in blender, and mix until smooth.
  2. Enjoy!


  1. “Blackberries, Raw.” National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. USDA, n.d.
  2. Yildiz H, et al. Some phytochemical and antioxidant characteristics of wild and cultivated blackberry (Rubus caucasicus) fruits. Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment 2010; 8(3-4):156-159.
  3. Johnson MH, et al. Anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins from blueberry-blackberry fermented beverages inhibit markers of inflammation in macrophages and carbohydrate-utilizing enzymes in vitro. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research 2013; 57(7):1182-97.
  4. Seeram NP, et al. Blackberry, black raspberry, blueberry, cranberry, red raspberry, and strawberry extracts inhibit growth and stimulate apoptosis of human cancer cells in vitro. Journal of       Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2006; 25: 9329-9339.
  5. Simms D. Blackberry facts: 10 things you may not know about the fruit. Huffington Post Canada 2013.
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