Mulberries are sweet or tart-flavored fruits that grow very fast when they are young. Gradually, their color changes from white or green to pink or red and eventually becoming dark purple or even black.
The flavor of these berries makes them ideal ingredients for wines, jellies, jams, pies, fruit tarts, and teas. In some parts of the world, the varieties of mulberry have differed flavors, but the American mulberry and the black mulberry are considered to have the most effective and most popular flavor.
The berries are packed with nutrients that are essential for the body, including vitamin (C, K) calcium, iron, potassium, riboflavin, and phosphorous. They also contain a high amount of dietary fiber and a host of organic compounds, including zeaxanthin, lutein, phytonutrients, resveratrol, anthocyanins, and different polyphenolic compounds.
Mulberries contain an impressive range of health benefits, including their ability to boost immunity, lower blood pressure, improve digestion, increase circulation, aid in weight loss, protect vision, build bone tissues, and lower cholesterol. It also helps prevent premature aging, treat cancer, and improve the overall metabolism of the body.
Health Benefits of Mulberries
Let’s talk about how good mulberries are for your health.
Boosts the Immune System
Vitamin C is a powerful defensive weapon against any illness or foreign pathogens in the body that antioxidants don’t take care of. A single serving of mulberries is almost the entire requirement of vitamin C for the day, but combine that with the minerals and vitamins present in this fruit, and you have a true weapon against illness. Add a few mulberries to your morning meal and notice your immune system soar.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Resveratrol is a very important flavonoid that directly affects the functioning of certain mechanisms in blood vessels, primarily making them less prone to damage by angiotensin, which can cause constriction in blood vessels. Resveratrol increases the production of nitric oxide, which is a vasodilator. This means that it relaxes blood vessels and reduces the risk of a formation of blood clots and subsequent cardiovascular issues like heart attacks or strokes. Resveratrol is found in many dark-skinned berries like mulberries, including most grapes, which is why this beneficial antioxidant is also present in wines.
Aids in Digestion
Similar to most fruits and vegetables, mulberries contain dietary fiber, which can aid digestion by easing bowel movements, thereby hastening the movement of food via the digestive tract. It also reduces the frequency of cramping, constipation, and bloating episodes. Furthermore, fiber helps to regulate cholesterol levels and can improve heart health when regularly added to the diet.
In addition to being rich in anthocyanins, vitamin A, vitamin C, and many other polyphenolics and phytonutrient compounds, mulberries are also loaded with antioxidants. These antioxidants protect against free radicals, which form a harmful by-product of cellular metabolism and can damage healthy cells, making them mutate into cancerous cells.
The rich content of iron content in mulberries can significantly boost the production of red blood cells. This means that the body will increase its distribution of oxygen to important tissues and organs, thereby helping to boost metabolism and optimize the functionality of those systems.
One of the carotenoids present in mulberries is zeaxanthin, which has been connected directly to a reduction in oxidative stress on certain ocular cells, including the retinal macula lutea. Furthermore, zeaxanthin functions as an antioxidant and prevents certain damage to the retina, including the free radicals that can cause macular degeneration and cataracts.
Supports Bone Health
Nutrients like vitamin K, calcium, and iron, magnesium, and phosphorous present in mulberries can help the creation and maintenance of bone tissue. As we grow older, it is important to maintain strong bones, speeding up the healing process to prevent bone degradation and conditions like osteoporosis.
Contains Anti-inflammatory Properties
Studies suggest that mulberry leaves possess anti-inflammatory properties, which can block the body’s inflammatory response to serious diseases. These studies also indicate that mulberry leaf tea can be used to reduce inflammatory pain.
Reduces Bad Cholesterol
Regular intake of mulberry leaf powder and mulberry leaf tea can significantly reduce triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. This results in the prevention of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Prevents Premature Aging
Mulberries also contain a high level of vitamin A, vitamin E, and a number of carotenoid components like lutein, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin. These components are all beneficial for the skin, tissue, hair, and other areas of the body where free radicals attack. Mulberries can boost skin care, decrease the appearance of blemishes and age spots, and keep hair glowy and healthy by preventing the oxidative effects of free radicals.
Side Effects of Mulberries
Mulberries are evidently beneficial for our health. However, they contain certain side effects.
- Some studies show that consuming mulberry extract and sucrose may be beneficial for people who are diabetic. Mulberries are believed to significantly reduce glucose levels and an immediate drop in blood sugar. However, it is important to keep in mind that mulberry is particularly harmful and can adversely affect the blood sugar balance in a person’s body.
- One of the most dangerous mulberry extract side effects is the increased risk of skin cancer. Many skin care products feature mulberry extract. Mulberry contains arbutin, a compound that lightens the skin. In fact, arbutin is a hydroquinone that prevents the release of melanin because it contains the tyrosinase enzyme. Sadly, studies suggest that hydroquinone may be the direct reason for cell carcinoma. The carcinogenic side effects prove that it can cause skin cancer. People who use a skin lightening product that contains mulberry extract may be putting themselves at risk of getting skin cancer.
- According to some reports, Albano A, a substance derived from the bark of mulberry roots, can stimulate cell apoptosis in leukemia cells. While this is may be a good thing, mulberry extracts should be avoided by people undergoing chemotherapy, except on the doctor’s specific permission. Mulberry extracts should not be consumed without first checking with your doctor.
- Mulberries have been known to inhibit the absorption of carbohydrate. Mulberries can prevent the absorption of triacylglycerol and carbohydrate because of their ability to prevent α-amylase, α-glucosidase, sodium-glucose, pancreatic lipase transporters.
- Mulberry extract is used as an ingredient in many recipes. Mulberries are believed to help lower blood sugar levels and it can result in hypoglycemia. This condition can lead to headaches, hunger, dizziness, blurred vision, tremors, excessive perspiration, and confusion. Mulberries must then be ingested with some caution.
- Mulberries contain high amounts of potassium which can lead to complications in people who suffer from gall bladder issues and kidney disorders. While potassium contains many health benefits and is good for growth, people who have kidney diseases and gall bladder problems should steer clear of the fruit and even mulberry tea.
Mulberries help to lower blood pressure, prevent cancer, reduce weight, protect the eyes, boost immunity, improve digestion, increase circulation, build bone tissues, prevent premature aging, and lower cholesterol.
However, if you considering including mulberry in your fruit diet, it is advisable to take a closer look at not just its mulberry health benefits but its side effects as well.
The fruit has many side effects that can be quite uncomfortable for users. This is why we advise that like other fruits, before using mulberries, consult with a medical doctor.