The fruit of the mulberry tree is often used to add a distinctive, sweet flavour to fruit juice, tea, wine and jam. But are mulberries good for you?
It turns out that the mulberry has a whole lot of goodness packed into it. Powerful antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron and vitamin K and E – this is a berry definitely worthy of its superfood status.But before we delve further into the wellness benefits, let’s answer a popular question – are mulberries edible? Whilst caution is sensible when foraging wild berries, mulberries are a variety that are safe to eat. So, they’re not poisonous or toxic but can mulberries make you sick? Only if you eat them before they’re fully ripe. An under-ripe mulberry fruit could spur on an uncomfortable bout of sickness and diarrhoea,1 but as this is a fruit commonly consumed dried this is easy to avoid.
Mulberry nutritional profileMulberries are bursting with vitamins, minerals, and a whole range of nutrients. Here are some of the highlights:2
- Vitamin C. Great for your skin health and also supports your immune system and many other bodily functions.
- Iron. Plays an important role in making red blood cells (helping with the circulation of oxygen throughout your body).3
- Vitamin K1. Your body uses vitamin K for blood clotting. This helps wounds heal properly.4
- Potassium. Helps maintains the balance of fluids in your body. It also helps your heart work properly.5
- Vitamin E. Helps protect cells from oxidative stress. It can also strengthen your immune system.
As well as all the nutrients listed above, the deep colour of the mulberry is also a sign of some of the powerful plant compounds within. For example, anthocyanins. This plant power adds to the antioxidant capabilities of the fruit.
A nutritional breakdownHere's a quick breakdown of the vitamins and minerals mulberries are packed with:6
|Per 140g (raw)|
|Fat & fatty acids||0.5g|
Health benefits of mulberries
What affect could all of this goodness have on your wellness? Research is mainly test-tube based or on animals at the moment. Studies in people are needed before more conclusions can be made, but research to date shows some positive links between mulberries and several health benefits.
They help to regulate blood sugarIf you suffer with type 2 diabetes, mulberries can slow down the increase in blood sugar after meals. This is down to 1-deoxynojirimycin (DNJ), a compound which prevents an enzyme in your gut that breaks down carbohydrates.7
They’re good for heart healthHigh cholesterol can increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Mulberries and mulberry extracts can lower cholesterol levels. By reducing bad cholesterol mulberries can reduce the risk of excess cholesterol building up in your arteries, which can make it more difficult for blood to flow freely around your body.8
They’re helpful for increasing metabolism140 grams of mulberries offers 14% of your daily iron needs.9 The high iron content supports the production of red blood cells which helps deliver oxygen to important tissues and organs. This can be beneficial for your metabolism.
They’re helpful to gut health
The fibre content of mulberries supports digestion by aiding the smooth movement of food through your gut. This can help to prevent constipation, bloating, and cramping.
They provide extra support for your immune systemYou can get almost your full recommended amount of vitamin C for the day in one serving of mulberries. You’ll also benefit from a decent dose of vitamin E too. Together these two vitamins support your immune system, increasing your natural defence against illness and infection.10,11
Ways to eat mulberries
Mulberries are juicy, sweet berries that can be used in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples:
- Use mulberries as an alternative to blackberries and raspberries in recipes.
- They make excellent summer puddings, jellies and jams.
- You’ll find them in cordials and herbal teas
- Dried mulberries make a healthy on-the go snack
- You can also add dried mulberries to granola and baking. Here’s some inspiration.
Summary: Are mulberries good for you?
Mulberries offer a wide range of nutritional benefits. More studies on people are needed to support all of the claims, but the nutritional profile of this berry suggests it could offer wide-ranging benefits to your wellness.
Last updated: 7 September 2020