Blackberry is a peculiar fruit. Technically, it is not just one fruit, because each blackberry is composed of 80-100 tiny drupelets arranged to form a circle. Think “a grape bunch,” only smaller in size and bigger in number. The berry measures 3-4 centimeters and has juicy pulp and one seed inside. Recently, experts have said that this tiny fruit may have a big effect on cancer cells.
Typically, blackberries are used as topping for dessert and yogurt or blended into sauces. This is due to its sweet but tart flavor which is a perfect mix of other ingredients. But blackberries can also be eaten on their own.
What’s in it for our body?
The number of nutrients that blackberry contains is incredible. This fruit is packed with the following vitamins and antioxidants:
- Vitamin C (a 100g serving has 23 mg or 35% of the recommended daily allowance or RDA).
- Low in calories (only 43 calories per 100g serving) and sodium.
- Blackberries are an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. A 100g serving of whole blackberries contains 5.3g of fiber, which is 14% of the RDA.
- Vitamins A, E, K, and B vitamins.
- Antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which scavenge free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and chronic diseases.
- Minerals like copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid
- High levels of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals, such as ellagic acid, anthocyanins, tannin, gallic acid, pelargonidin, quercetin, cyanidins, kaempferol, catechins, and salicylic acid.
So, what is the blackberry’s impact on the development of cancer?
Experts are betting on blackberry to be one of the foods that will assist in fighting the growth of cancer cells, mainly because of the antioxidants found in this fruit, in particular one class of antioxidant called polyphenols. Polyphenols are known for their cancer-fighting properties. Experts are specifically interested in anthocyanin, a type of polyphenol which is abundant in the fruit, which is the main substance that may help them in advancing the innovations against cancer.
One of the studies highlighted the tumor-preventive effect of fresh blackberry fruit extracts on a lung cancer cell. Anthocyanins were observed to block the growth of oxidative stress that causes the development of cancer cells.
Although research surrounding this possible breakout is still ongoing, what is certain is that blackberries are known to help prevent cell mutation which can cause cancer. Eating antioxidant-rich foods, blackberry being one of them, may prevent this harmful cell mutation.
The same way people say, “prevention is still better than cure,” eating blackberry for its nutritional use is definitely beneficial in keeping a healthy body. This fruit is ranked one of the healthiest foods because of its antioxidant content. And it is a bonus that the fruit tastes great and is fun to eat. We might find out soon the marvels it can do against cancer, but for now having a healthy body will surely keep those cancer cells away.