Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine Focused on Energetics of Food
The blackberry fruit is particularly abundant in eastern North America and on the Pacific coast; in the British Isles and Western Europe. The bush is characterized by its usually prickly, erect, or trailing stems. The leaves usually have three or five oval coarsely toothed, stalked leaflets, many of which persist through the winter.
The blackberry fruit is an aggregate fruit that is composed of many smaller fruits called drupes. A drupe is a type of fruit in which the outer fleshy part surrounds a seed. Another example of a drupe is the peach.
There are two types of blackberries, erect and trailing. The primary difference is the growth habit of their canes. Erect blackberry fruit types have stiff, arching canes that are somewhat self-supporting. Trailing blackberries, also called dewberries in the East, have canes that are not self-supporting.
Erect blackberries are more cold-hardy than trailing types. However, you can grow trailing types in colder areas if you leave the canes on the ground in the winter. All blackberries plants are perennial, with roots living for many years.
Blackberry blooms from mid to late June. Blackberry fruit start ripening toward the middle of July. They are small, green, hard, and sour at first, becoming larger, and when fully ripe, juicy and sweet. Ripe and unripe berries frequently appear on the plants at the same time. Everyone loves the delicious blackberry fruit, and blackberries of one kind or another can be found throughout the United States.
Blackberry fruit contain vast amounts of anthocyanocides, which are found in the pigment that gives the berries their color. Anthocyanocides are powerful antioxidants that help to reverse cell damage caused by free radicals, and are reported to be instrumental in preventing heart disease, cancer and strokes.
Blackberry leaves are used in making blackberry tea and are used for treating non-specific acute diarrhea, as well as inflammation of the mouth and throat. It is also reported to be helpful in reducing blood sugar levels and is a good source of the vitamins C and E and the mineral, selenium.
To prepare blackberry tea allow 1 heaping tablespoon of dried blackberry tea leaves per cup of boiling water, cover, and steep 10 minutes. Strain and add honey or sugar to taste. You can combine equal amounts of dried mint and dried blackberry tea leaves as a combination.
Some studies have shown a correlation between the high incidence of stomach cancer in Asian people and the quantity of tea they consume, but this is discounted by reports that show that British people also drink large quantities of tea and the incidence of stomach cancer amongst the British is considered normal. It is suggested that this is because the British add milk to their tea (milk is said to neutralize the tannins found in blackberry tea leaves), while the majority of Asians do not.
Health Benefits of Blackberries
New research is under way on the health benefits of blackberry fruit. The blackberry fruit is known to contain polyphenol antioxidants. A polyphenol antioxidant is a type of antioxidant characterized by the presence of several phenoll functional groups. In human health these compounds, numbering over 4000 distinct species, are thought to be instrumental in combating oxidative stress, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
New research shows that blackberry fruit (also known as black raspberries) reduce the risk of esophageal cancer. Ohio State University researchers found blackberry fruit may protect against esophageal cancer by reducing the oxidative stress that results from Barrett's esophagus, a precancerous condition usually caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease.
The team gave 32 grams to 45 grams of black raspberries daily for six months to 20 patients with Barrett's esophagus. They analyzed changes in blood, urine and tissue before, during and after the treatment, and found lower levels of some of the chemical markers of oxidative stress in both urine and tissue samples.
Blackberry fruit previously have been shown to reduce the risk of oral, esophageal and colon cancer in animal models, according to the researchers, who called for further study in humans.
The U.S. Department of Agricultures chief scientific research facility and the National Institute for Occupational Study collaborated on a study of cyanidin-3-glucoside, a compound found in blackberries. The compound inhibited tumors from growing and spreading when used in animal test models. Cyanidin-3-glucoside may one day become a key natural ingredient in new products formulated for their anti-cancer properties.
For the study, the researchers tested mice that had skin tumors. In one group, they found a significant reduction in the number and size of skin tumors among the mice that had been supplemented with the compound, when compared to those that had not been supplemented.
In another experimental model with immune-system-suppressed mice, the researchers studied lung cancer cells because of their relatively high tendency to spread to other organs. They found that the health benefits of blackberries compound not only significantly reduced the amount of cancer cell growth in the mice, but also inhibited the spread of the cancer cells to other organs.
The findings indicate a promising direction for understanding the molecular mechanisms responsible for the beneficial effects of plant chemicals on human health.
Polyphenol antioxidants are found in a wide array of fruits such as apples, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, grapes, and raspberries. They are also found in vegetables such as, broccoli, cabbage, and parsley.
The principal benefit of ingestion of antioxidants seems to stem from the consumption of a wide array of phytonutrients. This is why whole food supplements that contain a combination of plant compounds acting together may provide more benefits than individual components alone.
Whole food supplements are created by dehydrating and concentrating a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and then encapsulating them.
They may be an option for people who would like to take advantage of the health benefits of blackberries. Different fruits, vegetables and whole grains provide different health benefits and it is not always possible to include each one in the daily diet.
Whole food supplements, like the one we personally take daily, contains blackberries and could fill in the dietary gaps for those who find it difficult to eat the recommended daily amount of fruit.
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The U.S. government has spent billions trying to find a cure for heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.
Disease is easier to PREVENT than it is to cure.
Eat 7-13 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day.
Almost no one does.
Whole FOOD SUPPLEMENTS help fill the nutritional gaps.
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