Mulberries: A Berry with Many Benefits

Published January 25th, 2022 by Chris Riley
Fact Checked by
Erik Rivera
Medically Reviewed:
Dr. Angel Rivera

Mulberries 101 | Uses | Nutritional Value | Health Benefits

Mulberries are a type of berry from the genus Morus that is found all over the world.

They have been used for centuries for their nutritional and medicinal properties and are a good source of antioxidants, vitamin C, dietary fiber, and potassium.

They also have anti aging and anticancer properties. Mulberries can be eaten fresh or dried. They are also used to make jams, jellies, wines, and liqueurs.

Mulberries are a healthy snack choice and can help to improve your health while being low in calories and fat. Please continue reading to find out about its health benefits.

What are mulberries?

Mulberries are a type of berry that grows on mulberry trees.

The fruit is round, and the most well-known varieties are white, red, dark purple, or black mulberry, with many different cultivars, or varieties, and have a sweet-tart taste.

Mulberries are used for food, flavorings, and cosmetics among other uses.

Species of mulberry trees are found in temperate regions all over the world. From seed, they can take up to ten years to mature and bear fruit.

mulberries

What are mulberries used for?

Fresh mulberries have many uses including for food, flavorings, while the leaves are used in helping to produce silk.

The mulberry fruit is consumed fresh or dried and used in jams, pies, wines, liqueurs, and cordials. Mulberry leaves are eaten as a vegetable in some parts of Asia.

Although the leaves contain the white sap which is called latex, people have been known to eat them with no ill effect. Besides food and drink, mulberry branches can also be used to weave baskets.

The bark of the mulberry tree can be made into a tea and even paper in ancient times.

Due to the anthocyanin, or dark coloring of mulberries, the mulberry fruit is also used as a natural food dye, and mulberry leaf extract is added to some skincare products for its antioxidant properties.

The other most important use of mulberry trees is for silkworms.

The mulberry leaf is the exclusive food of silkworms, particularly the white mulberry tree, and a mulberry plantation can provide a steady income from the sale of cocoons.

The worms, also called Bombyx mori, eat the leaves, and then when they reproduce and make cocoons these are harvested for use in making silk.

From around the web: Can you eat mulberries, mulberry benefits

Reddit - Mulberries

Reddit - Mulberry benefits

What is the nutritional value of mulberries?

Mulberries are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. They also have some iron and B vitamins.

Mulberry fruit is low in calories but has a high sugar content. Read the nutritional value of a single serving of mulberries below according to the USDA.

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)

Energy 180 kJ (43 kcal)

Carbohydrates 9.8

   Sugars 8.1

   Dietary fiber 1.7

Fat 0.39

Protein 1.44

Vitamins           Quantity             %DV

Vitamin A          1 μg                        0%

Thiamine (B1)  0.029 mg               3%

Riboflavin (B2) 0.101 mg               8%

Niacin (B3)       0.62 mg                  4%

Vitamin B6       0.05 mg                  4%

Folate (B9)        6 μg                        2%

Vitamin C          36.4 mg                 44%

Vitamin E          0.87 mg                  6%

Vitamin K          7.8 μg                     7%

Minerals           Quantity               %DV

Calcium             39 mg                     4%

Iron                     1.85 mg                14%

Magnesium       18 mg                     5%

Phosphorus       38 mg                     5%

Potassium         194 mg                   4%

Sodium               10 mg                     1%

Zinc                     0.12 mg                  1%

Other constituents Quantity

Water 87.68 g

As you can see above, one serving of mulberries contains a high amount of vitamin C and iron. It is also low in calories and fat and provides very little protein.

There are some amounts of fiber, potassium, vitamin E, and vitamin K while the rest of the nutrients are of an insignificant amount.

There are lots of sugars in mulberries but they are all-natural.

Mulberry benefits

Mulberries have many different vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health.

Please read below as we examine its health benefits below.

Antioxidants

Mulberries are a source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals.

Free radicals can contribute to conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and aging. Vitamin C and vitamin E are both antioxidants that are in mulberries.

Fiber

Mulberries also contain fiber, which is important for digestive health. Fiber helps keep digestion regular and may reduce the risk of conditions like constipation.

Fiber may also help reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions like obesity and type II diabetes. It can also make you feel more full which can help promote weight loss.

Boosts immunity

Mulberries are a good source of vitamin C, which is important for immunity. Vitamin C can help protect against colds and other infections. Mulberries also contain B vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.

These vitamins are important for energy production and help the body function properly.

Brain health

Mulberries also contain high levels of anthocyanins, which are a type of flavonoid.

Flavonoids are plant-based chemicals that have been shown to have beneficial effects on human health, including brain health.

Anthocyanins may help protect the brain from age-related damage and improve cognitive function.

Eye health

Mulberries also contain high levels of zeaxanthin and lutein, two antioxidants that are important for eye health.

These antioxidants can help protect the eyes from damage caused by UV radiation and blue light from electronic devices.

They may also help reduce the risk of age-related eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration.

Skin health

Mulberries also contain high levels of antioxidants that can help protect the skin from damage caused by UV radiation and free radicals.

These antioxidants can help keep the skin looking young and healthy.

Cholesterol

Mulberries also contain high levels of fiber and polyphenols, which are plant-based chemicals that can help reduce cholesterol levels, especially LDL which is the "bad" cholesterol.

This may help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure.

Are there any adverse effects of mulberries?

Like with any food, it’s important to eat mulberries in moderation. Eating too many mulberries can cause problems like diarrhea and stomach cramps.

Mulberries also contain a high level of sugar, so people with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar levels carefully if they decide to eat mulberries.

Mulberries also are known to stain your teeth if you eat enough of them or have drinks containing them. They are also acidic, which can erode the enamel on your teeth which leads to sensitive, yellow, and weak teeth.

The pollen from male mulberry trees is also known to be abundant and can trigger asthma or difficulty breathing in people with respiratory problems or allergies.

Summary

As noted above, mulberries are a delicious fruit that has many health benefits. They are a good source of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Mulberries may help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, improve cognitive function, reduce cholesterol levels, and protect the eyes and skin from UV radiation among many other health benefits.

However, they should be eaten in moderation to avoid adverse effects like diarrhea, stomach cramps, and stained teeth.

They are also acidic and can erode the enamel on your teeth over time. Mulberry pollen can also trigger asthma or difficulty breathing in people with respiratory problems or allergies.

So overall, mulberries are a healthy fruit that provides many health benefits but should be eaten in moderation to avoid any adverse effects.

References and Sources:

sciencedirect.com

en.wikisource.org

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

usda.gov

cdn.britannica.com

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