Once you go blackberry…

by Best Smoothie Maker Admin on

There you are, looking at the blender. You have tried it all. Bananas, spinach, apple, and cinnamon have gone into smoothies, and you have loved them. But you want something different today. So, you open your fridge to see what else you haven’t tried. Hmm. There are some blackberries in the crisper. What about using them? Great idea. These little drupelets (the tiny fruits that constitute a blackberry) have a deliciously sweet and yet tart flavor. This contrast is perfect for smoothies that don’t contain an overbearing flavor such as cinnamon. And blackberries have some amazing health benefits also.

Let’s take it from the top. Blackberries are very high in ascorbic acid, or vitamin C. Vitamin C is responsible for collagen production. Collagen is a key ingredient of healthy hair and lustrous locks. If we turn our attention to the skin, we find that blackberries do just as well there. We already mentioned vitamin C but vitamin A as beta-carotene is also a key ingredient and helps as an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect cells from damage due to free radicals, or molecules with an unpaired valence electron which get snagged in our cells. Once snagged, they alter how the cell performs through a process called oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a condition when the balance of free radicals and antioxidants in the cells are not in balance. Oxidative stress causes proteins, nucleic acids and proteins to be corrupted, which causes free radicals to be created. This vicious cycle, unchecked, can lead to cardiovascular issues, have diabetic implications and lead to serious illnesses such as Parkinson’s Disease.

Antioxidants are instrumental in keeping our cells functioning nominally by scavenging these free radicals. Blackberries, which contain high levels of naturally occurring antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, function as one of the best Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, or ORAC, foods available. An exciting antioxidant contained in blackberries is ellagic acid. Ellagic acid is gaining more and more attention as a promising natural defense against cancer. In a recent study, doctors used blackberry extract to stop colon cancer cell growth. While more research needs to be done to determine if already existing cancer growth can be stopped, it is a very promising lead to scientists. Another powerful benefit of blackberries is their anti-inflammatory properties. Research is being done to examine their effectiveness in combatting some longstanding and devastating intestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s Disease.

They are also a great source fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber lowers total and LDL cholesterol levels as well as helping regulate blood sugar. Insoluble fiber regulates the pH level in intestines and keeps you regular. Increasingly more and more benefits are being found for these tiny bunches. Even the little seeds in blackberries are useful. These seeds contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are vital for healthy skin. An additional way that blackberries help fight diabetes besides antioxidants is the high potassium content of blackberries, which helps reduce insulin. So, go ahead and grab those blackberries. Your smoothie and you will be better for it. 

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