Amazing Health Benefits of Mulberries

Mulberries are sweet Indian berries that are available during a short period twice a year – from March to May and then again from October to November. They hang from a genus of deciduous trees that grow in a variety of temperate areas around the world. Though they are known to have have originated in China, they have spread throughout the world and have been highly praised for their unique flavor. The variety that grows commonly in India is called Morus Indica and you will mostly find them in the warm, balmy climate of the southern region of the country. In fact, most varieties found in different parts of the world are considered to be “native” from those areas, as they are so widespread.The berries grow very fast, when it comes to their appearance while they are young, but their growth slows down as their color changes from white to pink or red, and eventually settling for a dark purple or even black. The sweet or tart flavor of most varieties makes these berries ideal for sherbets, jams, squashes, jellies, fruit tarts and pies. They also carry a truly impressive and unusual composition of nutrients for a berry. Mulberries rich in important nutrients like iron, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and calcium.

The mere mention of mulberries makes most people think of the classic nursery rhyme about the mulberry bush, the monkey, and the weasel.

While there’s a lot to love about this song, mulberries are more than the site of a monkey chase. They’re a wild berry with a wonderfully sweet flavor and are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Easy to prepare and eat, mulberries can be used in place of or alongside most other berries. They are also wonderful as a snack and sweet enough to replace treats that are typically loaded with added sugars.

Nutrition Facts

Fresh mulberries consist of 88% water and only have 60 calories per cup (140 grams).

By fresh weight, they provide 9.8% carbs, 1.7% fiber, 1.4% protein, and 0.4% fat.

Mulberries are often consumed dried, similar to raisins. In this form, they contain 70% carbs, 14% fiber, 12% protein, and 3% fat — making them fairly high in protein compared to most berries.

Here are the main nutrients in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of fresh mulberries:

  • Calories: 43
  • Water: 88%
  • Protein: 1.4 grams
  • Carbs: 9.8 grams
  • Sugar: 8.1. grams
  • Fiber: 1.7 grams
  • Fat: 0.4 grams

Fresh mulberries consist of 9.8% carbs, or 14 grams per cup (140 grams).

These carbs are mostly simple sugars, such as glucose and fructose, but also contain some starch and fiber.

Mulberries have a decent amount of fiber, corresponding to 1.7% of their fresh weight.

The fibers are both soluble (25%) in the form of pectin and insoluble (75%) in the form of lignin.

Health Benefits

The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in mulberries provide a variety of powerful health benefits. For example, the flavonoids in mulberries fight free radicals to limit oxidative stress. This is important, because oxidative stress can have a negative impact on several facets of physical, cognitive, and even emotional health.

Mulberries are also rich in phenolic acids, which can play a role in everything from cancer prevention to diabetes management.

Improves digestive health

Mulberries contain a good amount of dietary fibre that our body needs for facilitating proper digestion. It bulks up the stool in the stomach and facilitates the movement of food through the digestive tract. This process relieves us from issues of constipation, bloating, and stomach cramps.

A research was conducted by Italy’s F. De Ritis Institute and the Catholic University of Sacred Heart to determine the weight loss capacity of mulberries. As per the results those who included mulberries in their daily diet plan of consuming 1,300 calories, shed about 10% of their total body weight within a timespan of around three months.

They also observed that these were also the people who lost a lot of far from their waist and thighs. So add some mulberries to your diet for a toned body.

Reduces cancer risk

Mulberries are filled with anthocyanins that keep cancer cells at bay. They also contain resveratrol, which is known to have anti-cancer properties and thus helps to fight colon cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer, and thyroid.

Controls blood sugar levels

If you want to keep a check on your body sugar levels, white mulberries are your go-to solution. Studies indicate that some of the chemicals present in white mulberries resemble that of medicines used to treat type-2 diabetes.

Improves blood circulation

Mulberries are rich in antioxidants that improve the functioning of the blood vessels by dilating them. This leads to a free flow of blood from the heart to other parts of the body thus ensuring blood pressure control. Mulberries are rich in iron and the presence of iron encourages the production of red blood cells.

The polyphenols present in mulberries keep the blood vessels healthy and their potassium content keeps the blood pressure low.

Improves immunity

Mulberries use the alkaloids present in the macrophages to activate them, which is said to boost our immunity. They keep the immune system alert. Vitamin C present in mulberries is another immunity strengthening element.

Builds bone tissue

The combination of vitamin K, calcium, and iron is the best combination of nutrients for building strong bone tissues and bones. And guess what? Mulberry is rich in all of them. These nutrients help reverse the signs of bone degradation and prevent bone disorders such as osteoporosis and arthritis.

Promotes brain health

To ensure a healthy brain, mulberries provide the body with the calcium that it seeks. They age-proof our brain, keep it young and alert, and even keep Alzheimer’s at bay.

Promotes liver health

Mulberries have the ability to strengthen the liver and contain iron that is useful to maintain liver health. Upon consumption, they nourish and purify the blood in the liver.

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Prevents flu and cold

If you often come down with the flu, then eating mulberries can help. White mulberries are astringent in nature and are known to kill bacteria, which is how they prevent and treat flu and cold. They also contain flavonoids, which also helps the cause.

Rich in anti-inflammatory agents

Mulberries have resveratrol that has anti-inflammatory properties in it. Anthocyanins present in them help in preventing inflammation and hence can be used as an alternative to allopathic drug.

How to Prepare Mulberries

Mulberries tend to be more difficult to find in stores than other types of berries. They are sometimes sold at health food stores or co-ops. Many local growers sell them at farmer’s markets.

Although sometimes tricky to purchase, mulberries are easy to grow and harvest. Some people place sheets or other materials around mulberry trees to catch the berries as they drop. This makes them quick to collect.

While they’re often eaten raw, mulberries can also be used to make jams, preserves, pies, and a variety of other delicious treats. They can be stored for two or three days in the refrigerator if covered in plastic wrap. Otherwise, they should keep in the freezer for several months.

Try mulberries in these recipes:

  • Add a handful of mulberries to a bowl of cold cereal or oatmeal.
  • Blend mulberries in a smoothie with other types of berries, as well as bananas, yogurt, and milk or a milk alternative.
  • Create a parfait with mulberries, granola, and yogurt.
  • Sprinkle mulberries into a spinach salad.
  • Crush mulberries and mix into pancake batter.
  • Blend mulberries with water and yogurt to create a chilled fruit soup.
  • Use mulberries as a healthy topping for vanilla ice cream.
  • Replace blueberries with mulberries in muffins.

Bottom Line

Mulberries are colorful berries that are eaten both fresh and dried.

They’re a good source of iron, vitamin C, and several plant compounds and have been linked to lower cholesterol, blood sugar, and cancer risk.

These berries have also been used in Chinese herbal medicine for thousands of years to treat various illnesses, though evidence to support their effectiveness is weak.

Mulberries have a sweet and delicious taste, are packed with nutrients, and have a range of potential health benefits — which are all important for building a healthy diet.

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