Native to China, mulberries have long been used in folk medicine to treat a variety of illnesses, according to an article published by Purdue University's Center for New Crops and Plant Products. While the medicinal benefits of mulberries require further investigation, their impressive nutritional profile certainly offers a range of health benefits. Each cup of raw mulberries contains just 60 calories, so they fit into weight-loss and calorie-controlled diets, and they come packed with beneficial nutrients that your body needs.
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Carbohydrates account for approximately 90 percent of the calorie content of mulberries, and each serving of berries contains 13.7 grams of total carbs, including 11.3 grams of natural sugar. Your body converts this sugar into glucose, a source of energy for your cells. Each serving of mulberries also offers 2.4 grams of dietary fiber, which is 10 percent of the recommended fiber intake for women and 6 percent for men. This fiber offers a range of health benefits: It improves your body's control over your blood sugar levels, swells in your stomach after meals to promote a sense of fullness, and loosens your stool to help fight constipation.
High in Iron
Mulberries also benefit your health by increasing your iron intake. A cup of mulberries offers 2.6 milligrams of iron, which is 32 percent of the daily iron intake recommended for men and 14 percent of the daily intake recommended for women. Iron helps ensure that your tissues can access the oxygen they need. It not only helps store and transport oxygen, but it also senses the oxygen present in your tissues to detect dangerously low oxygen levels. Iron also guides the growth of white blood cells, which boosts your immune system, and helps prevent complications during pregnancy.
Rich in Vitamins C and K
Some of the benefits of mulberries can be attributed to their vitamin content. The vitamin C found in mulberries plays an important role in tissue strength, because it boosts the synthesis of collagen required for healthy cartilage and skin. Each cup of mulberries offers 51 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 57 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 68 percent for women. The vitamin K content of the berries contributes to bone tissue development, and it also helps control the thickness of your blood, making the vitamin essential for blood clotting. A serving of mulberries contains 10.9 micrograms of vitamin K, which is 9 percent and 12 percent, respectively, of the daily vitamin K intakes set for men and women.
Source of Riboflavin
Add mulberries to your diet and you'll also benefit from their riboflavin content. Riboflavin, also called vitamin B-2, helps defend your tissues against free radicals, which damage your cells and contribute to aging. It also supports oxygen transport by helping you make red blood cells, and it aids in converting food into energy. Consuming a cup of mulberries increases your riboflavin intake by 141 micrograms, which is 13 percent of the recommended daily B-2 intake for women and 11 percent for men.
- Purdue University Center for New Crops and Plant Products: Morus Alba L.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Mulberries, Raw
- Colorado State University Extension: Dietary Fiber
- Linus Pauling Institute: Iron
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin K
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)