Mulberries are sweet, hanging fruit having their unique flavor and also a really impressive and unusual nutrient composition. In terms of appearance, the berries grow too fast when they are young, but gradually slow as their color changes from white to pink or red and eventually settling on dark purple or black. Read below to know about the most common health benefits of mulberry and its side effects.
Health Benefits of Mulberry:
Mulberries are rich in nutrients like riboflavin, iron, potassium, phosphorous, calcium, vitamin C and Vitamin K. Apart from all these, there are a significant amount of dietary fiber and a wide range of organic compounds, such as phytonutrients, anthocyanins, lutein, zea-xanthin, resveratrol and several other polyphenolic compounds.
There are a lot of health benefits of mulberries which include its ability to improve digestive health, aid in weight loss, enhance the immune system, lower cholesterol, slow down the process of aging, increase blood circulation, build bone tissue, lower blood pressure, prevent certain cancers, protect eye health, improve body’s overall metabolism etc.
Below we will study some of the most common health benefits of mulberries.
Health Benefits of Mulberries in Cancer Prevention:
Mulberries are richly loaded with antioxidants which are actually the main line of defence against free radicals, which form as a dangerous byproduct of cellular metabolism and can damage healthy cells, thus causing them to mutate in to cancerous cells. As there is diverse range of antioxidants in mulberries, they can neutralize the free radicals very quickly, before too much damage is done.
Mulberries are also known for their wonderful benefits to vision or eyes. Zea-xanthin is one of the carotenoids found in mulberries which have been known to be directly connected to a reduction in oxidative stress on certain ocular cells, including the retina macula lutea. Apart from this, zea-xanthin also functions as antioxidants and prevents certain damage to the retina, including the damage from free radicals that can cause macular degeneration and cataracts.
Improves Immune System:
Mulberries are also known to be beneficial for immune system. Vitamin C is a powerful defensive weapon against any illness or against any foreign pathogen in the body that antioxidants don’t take care of. So, you just need to add few mulberries to your morning snack and just watch the improvement in immune system response.
Bone Health Benefits of Mulberries:
Vitamin K, calcium, Iron etc along with traces of phosphorous and magnesium present in mulberries are known to be beneficial for building bone tissues. With ageing; maintaining strong bones, speeding up the healing process or even reversing the damage of bone degradation is highly essential so as to prevent conditions like osteoporosis or other age-related bone problems or bone disorders. So, eating mulberries on a regular basis can be of a great benefit.
Aids Digestive System:
Mulberries, like most other fruits and vegetables, contain dietary fiber (approximately 10% of your daily requirement in a single serving). These dietary fiber can aid in improving digestive health by bulking up stool, and thus speeding up the movement of food via the digestive tract while also reducing the occurrence of constipation, cramping and bloating. Moreover, fiber also aids in regulating cholesterol levels and can boost heart health.
Blood and Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Mulberries:
Mulberries are known to be very important for blood pressure and heart health. Resveratrol (present in mulberries) is a crucial flavonoid antioxidant that directly affects the functioning of certain mechanisms in blood vessels, primarily making them less prone to any damage caused by angiotensin which may cause blood vessel constriction. In fact, resveratrol increases the nitric oxide production which is a vasodilator, meaning that it reduces the blood clot formation by relaxing the blood vessels and subsequently prevent heart problems like heart attacks, strokes etc.
Mulberries are Beneficial in Improving Circulation:
Rich amount of iron present in mulberries can significantly enhance the body’s production of RBCs or red blood cells. This means that the body will increase the distribution of oxygen to important tissues and organ systems and thus help in enhancing body’s metabolism and thus optimize functionality of those body systems.
Skin & Hair Health Benefits of Mulberries:
Mulberries are known to be loaded with high levels of Vitamin A and vitamin E, along with carotenoid components such as lutein, zea-xanthin, beta-carotene and alpha carotene. All these components act as antioxidants that specifically affect the skin, hair, tissue and other areas of the body where free radicals strike. Mulberries can help keep your skin looking smooth, and reduce the appearance of age spots, keep hair shiny and healthy.
Below are some of the health benefits towards skin.
- Being rich in anti-oxidants, they are known to be effective anti-aging agents.
- It has properties of clearing out dark spots and other blemishes on face
- Drinking mulberry tea and mulberry juice can rejuvenate skin.
- Mulberry leaves can be helpful for treating various skin problems.
- Mulberry leaves are known to treat dry skin and skin that is prone to irritation.
- You can find bath salts and bath soaps made of mulberry as it aids in making your skin soft and radiant. Mulberry leaves can be used in saunas and hot baths so as to help open up your pores and also detoxify your body.
Helps Fight Cold and Flu:
Being rich in Vitamin C and flavonoids which makes it a natural immune booster; mulberries help in preventing cough, cold and flu. Mulberry also aids in eradicating gastritis issues.
Mulberries are considered as a blood tonic in Chinese medicine. They aid in cleansing the blood and also help in improving blood circulation and thus aids in strengthening the entire system. Mulberries enrich the blood in the process while soothing and calming the nerves. Apart from this, it also aids in enhancing metabolism of alcohol.
Health Benefits of Mulberry in Speeding Up Recovery:
Mulberry juice is highly beneficial for post operative patients. It speeds up healing, improves circulation of blood and prevents the onset of infection. It is often used to accelerate recovery after birth and is used as an inflammatory solution post surgery.
Mulberries Promote Healthy Brain:
One more health benefit of mulberries are that it is best known for brain and in fact is considered as a wonderful brain tonic for increasing memory and also for promoting healthy brain.
Hair Health Benefits of Mulberries:
There are several hair health benefits of mulberries. Below are some of them:
- Mulberries have properties that make your hair healthier. It promotes hair growth and also prevents hair loss. It is most beneficial for cancer patients who have undergone chemotherapy as the hair follicles are rejuvenated by the substance extracted from mulberries.
- Mulberry helps in retaining the natural color of hair. The melanin production in your hair is enhanced by mulberries. This actually allows you to retain your natural hair color. Drinking mulberry juice on a daily basis can help you if you are looking for healthy hair.
Side Effects of Mulberries:
It is true that mulberry has a lot of health benefits. However there are also some side effects which cannot be ignored. Below are some of the side effects of mulberries:
Mulberry Can Cause Skin Cancer:
One of the most dangerous side effects of mulberries are the that it can cause skin cancer. Mulberry contains a compound called arbutin, that aids to lighten the skin and helps in making skin fairer. Arbutin is a hydroquinone that prevents release of melanin by containing the tyrosinase enzyme. Research have found that there are carcinogenic side effects of hydroquinone (studied in animals). So, this can cause skin cancer.
Side Effects of Mulberry on Kidney:
Mulberries are highly loaded with potassium which can cause complication in patients suffering from kidney disorders and gall bladder pains. Though potassium has many health benefits, it is important to note that patients with kidney disorders must avoid taking more of potassium and thus avoid mulberries. Avoid taking even mulberry tea if you have kidney stones or any other disorder.
Mulberry Can Cause Low Blood Sugar:
Mulberries are known to lower blood sugar and can cause hypoglycemia. This condition can lead to headache, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, excessive sweating, confusion, tremors etc. Thus, it must be noted to eat mulberries in limited amount and that too with caution.
Mulberries Can Hinder Carbohydrate Absorption:
Mulberries are also known to hinder carbohydrate absorption. They can hamper triacylglycerol and carbohydrate absorption.
Mulberries Can Interferes with Chemotherapy:
Researchers from the Nihon University, Tokyo observed that a substance extracted from the bark of mulberry roots (called albanol), can trigger cell apoptosis in leukemia cells. Though this is a good thing, it must be noted that patients undergoing chemotherapy must avoid taking mulberry extract, unless doctor specifically permits it.
Side effects of Allergic Reactions:
Some people may experience allergic reactions after taking mulberry. However it is very rare. Allergic reactions caused due to mulberries in some people may include skin rashes, swelling of skin, inflammation, appearance of red spots, itching etc.
Mulberry Can Cause Liver Problems:
In patients with liver problems, taking more of mulberries can cause a load on the liver and further damage the organ. So it is essential to avoid excessive use of mulberry.
Some people may experience side effects like stomach problems after consuming mulberries. These stomach problems include pain, irritation, cramps etc.
Some people may experience hallucination after taking mulberry.
Side Effects of Mulberries in Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women:
Mulberries must be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding woman as it may cause harmful side effects in them. It is preferable for pregnant women to check with dietitian on whether it is safe to consume mulberries, and if yes, then what is the safe quantity.
It is time to reconsider the health benefits and side effects of mulberries, if you are more in to the mulberry fruit diet. Take the fruit in limited amount and keep away from the side effects.