After Acai berries, Goji berries, Noni berries, Blueberries and Blackberries, the next berry stealing the spotlight is the White Mulberry. These tiny berries, also known as Morus alba, help reduce the risk of diabetes, lower cholesterol, battle against heart disease and also help you shed weight.
Dr. Oz featured white mulberries on his show and recommends them because they are composed of antioxidants, minerals and health promoting vitamins. If you are lucky, you can eat them fresh just like a raw foodist would prefer or try sun-dried mulberries, which are slightly sweet, refreshingly tart and chewy in texture.
Unlike the nursery rhyme, mulberries are grown on trees and not bushes. The trees grow rapidly and produce large amounts of berries. If you can’t finish eating all the raw berries you harvest, they can either be sun-dried or frozen, as they can only be stored in a fresh state for about 2-3 days before spoiling. There is a wide variety of species available, ranging from deep red to luscious white. The white variety is being touted as the Superfood and available in stores in dried form. Besides the fruit, the mulberry leaves are also packed with nutrition and used in Chinese medicine and as food for silk worms.
An ancient fruit of Far East, the mulberry was touted in Chinese medicinal folklore as a herb to flush toxins from the body. The benefits of the mulberry are now being supported by the recent studies that justify it as a Superfood.
1. Helps Control Blood Sugar: The dried mulberries contain half the sugar found in raisins and most other dried fruits. Clinical studies demonstrate that the mulberry leaf contains certain chemicals that can help stabilize blood sugar and work like traditional medicines used for type 2 diabetes.
They slow the breakdown of sugars in the intestine so that the sugar and carbohydrates are absorbed slowly into the bloodstream. This helps the body to lower the blood sugar spikes after meals, and helps stabilize those levels.
2. Packed With Antioxidants: Our bodies need antioxidants to fight the free radicals and defend itself from disease. White mulberries are a great source of antioxidants and Resveratrol. A study conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center, suggests that resveratrol possesses properties to fight against several cancers and heart diseases. Resveratrol also reduces inflammation and has a positive effect on aging as well as lipid levels.
3. Reduce Cholesterol: A study conducted in Japan suggests that the mulberry leaf can help suppress the plaque in our arteries by its antioxidant effect on the LDL –cholesterol of the plaque. So next time try the mulberry leaf extract tea for your heart health.
4. Good Health: White mulberries are high in fiber, containing 20% of your daily fiber needs in just 1/3 cup. It is also a great source of protein, containing just four grams in 1/3 cup. The impressive amount of fiber found in mulberries can help lower your cholesterol and regulate your digestion.
5. Weight Reduction: A study conducted in Italy suggests that white mulberry has positive weight loss effects on a group administered with daily doses of mulberry extract while also improving blood sugar levels in the process. Mulberries have no saturated fat, making them a tasty option for individuals who are watching their weight.
6. Improves Immunity: Mulberry is high in Vitamin C and flavonoids which naturally boost your immunity and prevent flu, cough and cold and other ailments.
7. Skin Problems: The mulberry leaves can be your answer to various skin problems like clearing blemishes and acne marks, rejuvenating skin to make it bright and new, and treating dry and sensitive skin. It can detoxify your skin and make it soft and glowing.
Safety and Precaution
While mulberry is considered safe, pregnant and lactating women are advised to avoid it, due to a lack of known effects. People with low blood sugar also need to be careful while consuming mulberries because they might further lower the blood sugar, causing harmful effects.