More famously known perhaps as silkworm food, the mulberry tree is typically taken for granted. This is because of its association with silkworm culture. But many are not aware that we can also derive many medicinal and nutritional benefits from the mulberry leaves and fruits. For one, the berry itself is uniquely delicious and packs many nutrients that are beneficial for our health. Mulberry is now being grown in worldwide, but many believe it originated in Asia, specifically China. It’s a deciduous tree, meaning the tree sheds its leaves off annually. The broad leaves of the tree are frequently used in silkworm culture and are being studied for possible nutritional values. The berry grows fast and changes colors from white to pink to red and eventually dark purple.
Contains healthy carbohydrates
The caloric contents of mulberries are approximately about 90% carbohydrates. One serving contains about 13 grams of carbohydrates, including 11 grams of natural sugar. When ingested, these sugars through digestion are then converted to glucose which is the body’s primary energy source. Aside from this, one berry serving also contains around 3 grams of dietary fiber which is 6% of men’s daily requirement and 10% for women. Fiber has many important roles in body functions. It improves control over blood sugar levels, and it swells in the stomach to make you feel fuller. This suppresses food cravings, which also promote weight loss. Also, it loosens the stool and gives it bulk to prevent constipation.
Aids in the process of digestion
Mulberries are good sources of fiber where one serving can contain as much as 10% of the recommended daily requirement. These fibers, of course, are essential in the digestive process. First, it bulks the stool up to make its expulsion easier. Second, fiber speeds up the motion of waste in the digestive system. This reduces the occurrence of constipation, cramps, and bloating. Finally, it can assist in the regulation of cholesterol levels. This will be good for the circulatory system, especially the arteries and the heart.
Contains vitamins C and K
Mulberries also contain essential vitamins that are essential to the body. Vitamin C is important for strengthening body tissues. It does this by increasing collagen production which is vital for healthy skin and cartilage. Just a cup of this fruit would provide around 50 milligrams of Vitamin C. This is more than 70% of the recommended daily intake for women and 50% for men. Vitamin K helps in the development of bone tissue and has a role in controlling the heart’s thickness which is essential for blood clotting. One serving of the fruit provides about 10 micrograms of Vitamin K, which is 12% of the RDI for women and 9% for men.
Helps regulate blood pressure
Resveratrol is a compound that can act as an antioxidant. This compound naturally occurs in fruits that have dark skin like mulberries, grapes, and blackberries. It’s best and conveniently found in red wine. This compound directly helps in the functioning of certain blood vessel processes. It especially makes them more resistant to damages caused by angiotensin. This is the constriction of blood vessels. The role of resveratrol is to stimulate the production of nitric acid that acts as a vasodilator. This will widen the blood vessels, making them more relaxed to allow blood flow. This will lessen the occurrence of heart attacks or strokes too.
Boosts vision and immunity
Zeaxanthin is a carotenoid that’s found in mulberries, and it has been directly associated with eye health. The substance helps in reducing oxidative stress on the eye’s ocular cells, especially in the retinal macula lutea. This antioxidant component protects the retina from certain damages caused by free radicals, those which can bring about macular degeneration or cataracts. When we experience fatigues, fevers or colds, we always resort to medications containing vitamin C. That is because the vitamin is a potent weapon against many illnesses and foreign pathogens that enter the body. What antioxidants cannot handle, the vitamins will. Mulberries are rich in Vitamin C, and just a serving will provide the entire RDI for the whole day. Combine this with the other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are present in the fruit. It makes a powerful weapon against illnesses. Mulberries are rich in alkaloids that can activate macrophages. These are white blood cells that stimulate the body’s immune system. It puts them on high alert against the entry of antigens into the body.
Mulberries contain these compounds such as anthocyanins, vitamin C, vitamin A, and various other phytonutrient and polyphenolic compounds. All these are antioxidants found in the minuscule mulberry fruit which is highly packed with them. Antioxidants are the body’s front liners in defense against free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that form dangerous substances. These can cause damage to healthy cells, causing them to mutate into cancerous ones. The presence of the many antioxidants in mulberries can quickly neutralize these free radicals. This happens before they can do too much damage to healthy cells.
Promotes healthy circulation
Iron will significantly increase the production of red blood cells, and mulberries contain a lot of this mineral. The more red blood cells produced, the more oxygen can get to the body’s tissues and organs. This will help boost metabolism. With such an increase, the functionalities of the body’s different systems will become better.
May slow down the aging process
The high-level presence of vitamins A and E along with its aforementioned range of antioxidants is important. They make the mulberry an important source of anti-aging nutrients. Mulberries contain antioxidant components like beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and alpha carotenes. They help in the growth, maintenance, and repair of hair, skin tissues, and other areas susceptible to free-radical strikes. On aging, mulberry compounds help in skin health. They help reduce age spots and blemishes too. Also, they can help keep hair healthy and shiny by inhibiting the damages made by free radicals.
Maintains the health of the bones
Together with the elements iron and calcium plus traces of phosphorous and magnesium, Vitamin K is essential. All these are important in the formation and maintenance of bone tissue. The presence of these nutrients speeds up the healing process of damaged bones. Bones need to be properly maintained. This prevents the occurrence of osteoporosis or other bone-related disorders. So it’s especially important for older people.
An excellent source of antioxidants
Aside from the usual vitamins and minerals, mulberries also contain protein. The great thing is, that they are now available in dried form in many specialty food stores. You can snack on them the whole day or mix them in drinks and smoothies. If you live in warm climates, you can have your mulberries fresh from the tree. There are many studies about mulberry leaves as a good source of fiber, protein, and other nutrients.