Berries are extremely good for your health and it provides you the right nutrients suitable for living in wellbeing. Mulberries are the berries of the silkworm tree that belongs to the Moraceae family. These are very refreshing and sweet berries that have a lot of health benefits. It has got phytonutrients that are good for the body. We can find more than hundred species of Morus tree. The species is mainly identified by the color of the flowers and the leaves, and not at all by the color found in the berries. Mulberry plants may vary in their color of the berries. The berries may be red, black, purple or white in color.
Black mulberry or Morus Nigra is found in Western Asia. White Mulberry or Morus Alba is an Eastern and Central Chinese native. On the other hand, the Red or the American mulberry is a native of the Eastern part of the United States.
Mulberry trees are large and deciduous. It is usually found in temperate, warm as well as subtropical areas of the Americas, Asia and Africa. Mulberry fruit is actually an extension of the small fruits that are found in the central part, just like the Logan berries and the blackberries. It can be four to five cm in length.
Health benefits of Mulberries
One should consume mulberries regularly in order to stay healthy and fit. Some of the health benefits of mulberries are:
- Mulberries are low in calories and they consist of phytonutrient compounds such as polyphenol pigment antioxidants, vitamins as well as minerals that are needed for staying healthy.
- They contain Resveratrol, which is a polyphenol flavonoid antioxidant. It helps in protecting the body from the risk of stroke as it helps in changing the molecular mechanism inside the blood vessels. Thus, it reduces the damages that are caused due to low level activity of angiotensins, which is a systemic hormone that makes the constriction of blood vessel that actually elevates the blood pressure.
- Phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals such as anthocyanins are found in large amounts in the mulberries. Researches show that consuming the berries help in protecting against aging, inflammation, cancer, diseases related to the nerves, diabetes as well as bacterial infections.
- Mulberries are rich in iron, which is usually not found in most of the berries. Since iron is a component of hemoglobin of the red blood cells that helps in carrying oxygen to the blood, consuming mulberries can prove to be beneficial.
- The berry is rich in B-complex vitamins and Vitamin K. It has a large number of vitamin B-6, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid. These vitamins are the main factors that help in the metabolism process in the body. Metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates is done with these vitamins.
- A very important dietary carotenoid known as Zeaxanthin is found in mulberries. It helps in acting as an antioxidant and help in protecting the retina of the eye from all kinds of harmful ultraviolet rays, as it acts as a filter.
Storage and selection of the Berry
Choose black mulberries, as they are tastier than the red or white varieties. The season for mulberries begins from May and ends in August. White and red varieties will be available till the spring. Fleshy berries that are heavy should be picked for consumption. Make sure to avoid bruised and dried berries as they might not be fresh and tasty.
It should be made sure that the berries are washed and kept in a zip lock pouch, and refrigerated if you need them to stay fresh for a maximum of three days. Washing in cold running water will avoid damaging the berry.
Dry the mulberries after washing them. You can consume them without seasoning or can mix with other berries for a wonderful berry salad. It is a good snack and helps you stay healthy whole day long.