There’s simply no beating around the bush about mulberries, also known by its species name Morus. This not-so-sweet tasting fruit, which actually grows on trees, is remarkably healthy for you.
Like all berries, mulberries come with a ton of healthy nutrients packed into a very small space. Mulberries are especially known for combating inflammation and for their strong antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants in Mulberries
In particular, the black variety has extraordinarily high levels of mulberry antioxidants. Mulberry’s all-star antioxidant lineup includes gallic acid (anti-fungal), rutin, quercetin, and cyanidin (anti-cancer).
Black mulberries, though, also contain high amounts of anthocyanins, which also are found in large amounts in blueberries and blackberries. Anthocyanins are considered nutritional heroines because of the diversity of their health-boosting prowess.
Health Benefits of Mulberries
Mulberries are considered by some to be a cancer-fighting food. Research published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine showed mulberry root bark stopped the growth of colon cancer cells. Scientists believe mulberries somehow hijack cancer’s ability to spread from cell to cell. In a test tube, scientists observed that mulberry extract stopped lung cell growth. The 2006 study appeared in the journal Cancer Letters.
The mulberry’s anti-inflammatory effects are believed to help people with arthritis. In a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, researchers demonstrated that mulberry fruit extracts provided benefits to arthritic rats. The benefits came in the form of reduced swelling and other arthritic biomarkers.
Mulberries might protect against memory loss, even after stroke. People around the world are living longer but not necessarily better; their brains aren’t keeping up with modern medicine.
One of the suspected culprits of the global problem of dementia is oxidative stress on the aging brain. In one study, mulberry extract significantly protected against that oxidative stress in a test tube Parkinson’s disease model. That paper appeared in the British Journal of Nutrition.
In another, mulberry extract helped rats’ recovery from induced stroke. That study was published in the American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences.
Mulberry extract may give men with diabetes a lift. In a study on diabetic rodents, mulberry extract helped relieve erectile dysfunction. The 2012 study was published in the journal International Urology and Nephrology.
Mulberry Liver Benefits
The mulberry is believed to assist in repairing the liver. Recovering alcoholics, therefore, often praise mulberry liver benefits.
A multitude of research in test tubes and on animals has shown various ways of explaining how mulberry liver benefits might work biologically. Essentially, mulberries help keep fat from settling in the liver and causing problems such as fatty liver disease and cirrhosis.
“In summary … mulberry can be used to treat hepatic disease results from alcohol consumption, a high-fat diet, lipopolysaccharides and CCI4 exposure through improving detoxicated and antioxidant enzymes and regulating the lipid metabolism,” the authors of a study published in the journal Traditional and Complementary Medicine concluded.
More Mulberry Research Needed
The authors of the Traditional and Complementary Medicine paper say humans urgently need to be studied in clinical trials to better understand the healing powers of the mulberry. “We suggest that naturally occurring agents such as mulberry extract could be developed as potent chemo-preventive (anti-cancer) agents and as natural healthy foods for managing chronic disease, metabolic syndromes, or cancer.”
Until then, adding mulberries to your diet never hurts!