Feature #49 > March 13th, 2013 Journal Entry
Subgenus: Rubus (formerly Eubatus)
Rubus fruticosus – Common Blackberry
The blackberry is an edible fruit produced by many species in the Rubus genus in the Rosaceae family, hybrids among these species within the Rubus subgenus, as well as hybrids between the Rubus and Idaeobatus subgenera. What distinguishes blackberries from its raspberry relatives is whether the torus (receptacle) picks with the fruit, a blackberry, or remains on the plant when picked leaving a hole in the fruit, a raspberry. The term ‘bramble’, a word meaning any impenetrable scrub, has traditionally been applied specifically to the blackberry or its products,1 though in the United States it applies to all members of the Rubus genus. In the western US, the term caneberry is used to refer to blackberries and raspberries as a group rather than the term bramble.
The (usually) black fruit is not a true berry; botanically it is termed an aggregate fruit, composed of small drupelets. It is a widespread and well-known group of over 375 species, many of which are closely related apomictic microspecies native throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere and South America.
Blackberries have a high abundance of healthy antioxidants and nutrients such as anthocyanins, salicylic acid, ellagic acid, and fiber. Recent research on berries has shifted focus away from antioxidants as there is ample evidence that the antioxidants in berries do not get into the bloodstream and act as radical scavengers. However, there is evidence that they are important in cardiovascular health. Anthocyanins are antioxidants found in blackberries that are responsible for giving blackberries their rich and dark color. This concentrated pigment of blackberries is acknowledged with decreasing the rate at which the memory deteriorates. 7[full citation needed][unreliable source?]
Blackberries contain a compound called salicylic acid.7 This compound found in blackberries has been used for centuries for its medicinal qualities. Salicylic acid has been proven to numb bodily pains and treat unusually high body temperature, or fevers.8[full citation needed] Salicylic acid may have similar properties to aspirin that aid in protecting the body against heart disease.7
Arguably, the most beneficial property of the blackberry is its profusion of ellagic acid. Ellagic acid is a phytochemical, meaning it is only found in certain plants. In experimental studies, ellagic acid is used to treat tumors in mice; the result being ellagic acid is reliable for causing the death of particular cancer cells.910[full citation needed] Researchers believe that ellagic acid may also work to reduce the harmful effects of estrogen that create breast cancer cells.11[full citation needed]
Blackberries have both soluble and insoluble fiber. One cup of blackberries (144 g) has an average of 7.6 g of fibre and contain half the daily recommended dose of vitamin C, which protects the immune system and can lower the risk of developing certain cancers. Fiber is important in maintaining a healthy digestive system as it pushes toxins and other excess waste through the intestines and supports healthy and conventional bowel movements.12[full citation needed][unreliable source?] One of the soluble fibres found within blackberries is pectin. Pectin helps lower harmful cholesterol levels which lowers ones’ chances of heart disease.12
Blackberries have few calories. Blackberries are more nutritious compared to other berries making it one of the best berries one can consume.Read more