Blackberry vs. Mulberry — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
In summary, blackberry grows on a blackberry bush and has a round shape, while mulberry grows on a mulberry tree and has an oval shape.
They are similar in nutritional values; however, blackberries contain more fiber, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, copper, and zinc, whereas mulberries are richer in sugars, vitamin C, vitamin B2, iron, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
Table of contents
Blackberries are the edible fruit of the Rubus genus, belonging to the Rosaceae family, whereas mulberries belong to the Morus genus, from the Moraceae family. In this article, we will go through the differences between raw blackberries and raw mulberries regarding their nutrient composition and health impact.
Blackberries and mulberries look quite similar; however, botanically, they don’t have much in common.
Blackberries grow on prickly bushes, and mulberries grow on trees that can grow to be over 24 meters (80ft.) (1). Botanically speaking, both blackberries and mulberries are not true berries at all. Blackberries are aggregate fruits that have numerous drupelets, and mulberries are multiple fruits.
Ripe mulberries can be black, white, or red, depending on the species. Blackberries, on the other hand, when ripe, appear to be only dark purple or black. Mulberries are also famous for their staining ability. These fruits often stain the clothes and the skin when they come into contact, whereas blackberries do not have such a tendency.
The shape of blackberries is often rounder, while some species of mulberry fruits can grow to be around 10cm (0.3ft.) in length. When picked, the mulberry fruit tends to have a white or green stem, and contrastingly, the blackberry does not.
The origin of white mulberry is traced back to Central and Eastern China. It spread to Europe and eventually to North America, where it was naturalized and hybridized with the red mulberry. The red mulberry is also called the American mulberry as it is native to the eastern United States, from Massachusetts to Kansas and down the Gulf Coast. Being native to Eastern Asia, the black mulberry spread to Europe centuries ago (1).
The historic route of blackberries isn’t so clear. They are native to Asia, Europe, and North America (2), mainly in northern temperate zones.
Taste and Use
Blackberries have a tart flavor and are luscious and delicious. Unripe berries can be sour or bitter, whereas the ripest ones are sweet and tangy. People often describe blackberry as a black raspberry meaning the similarities in flavor and appearance. You can read more about those berries in the Blackberry vs. Raspberry comparison article.
On the other hand, mulberries have a flavor profile that is well-balanced between sweet and acidic, occasionally with an element of baking spices.
Fresh blackberries are widely used as a topping for ice creams, waffles, cakes, and pancakes. Besides, blackberries are a famous ingredient for juices and confitures. In contrast, mulberries are used for jams, jellies, and juice wine preparation.
General nutritional characteristics may differ depending on the type of mulberries. Here we will be talking about 100g servings of raw black mulberries and raw blackberries.
Macronutrients and Calories
The macronutrient composition of blackberries and mulberries is not so different. They have the same amount of 43 calories per serving. Mulberries are slightly higher in protein and carbohydrates, sugars in particular. Blackberries, on the other hand, are richer in fats and fiber.
Exact glycemic index values have not yet been calculated for either of these fruits, but it is assumed to be low to moderate.
Both blackberries and mulberries are rich in vitamins. Blackberries contain higher vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin K concentrations, whereas mulberries are richer in vitamin C, vitamins B1, B2, and B6. Both fruits are equal in vitamin B3 and do not contain vitamin D, vitamins B12, and B9.
Blackberries are higher in copper and zinc. On the other hand, mulberries contain more iron, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. Blackberries are lower in sodium. Both fruits contain nearly the same amount of magnesium.
Berries have long been considered an important part of a healthy human diet. Both blackberries and mulberries are high in phytochemicals and antioxidants, giving them various beneficial qualities. Both fruits have strong scavenging and metal-chelating activities and can be used as functional foods.
Overall, phenolic and flavonoid compound levels in black mulberry fruits are higher than that of blackberries (4). Long mulberries contain these compounds in lesser amounts (5).
Organic acids and antioxidants
The predominant organic acid present in a wild-grown black mulberry is malic acid (3). Malic acid is one of the compounds involved in the cell’s Krebs cycle and has been used for medicinal purposes, most commonly to alleviate symptoms of dry mouth. It can also be helpful in conditions such as fibromyalgia, skin conditions, and fatigue. However, there is not yet enough scientific evidence to support this.
Black mulberry has a more potent antioxidant capacity when compared to white mulberry. Chlorogenic acid had the highest concentration among the phenolic acids in wild-grown blackberries and white and black mulberries. Chlorogenic acid has anthocyanin-stabilizing qualities (6). Another phenolic acid, oxalic acid, was only found in wild-grown blackberries (3). The predominant organic acids found in blackberries were citric and malic (7).
Both mulberries and blackberries are also rich in a polyphenol called resveratrol. Resveratrol has been found to modulate vascular cell function, inhibit low-density lipoprotein oxidation, suppress platelet aggregation, and reduce myocardial damage during ischemia-reperfusion, presenting biological benefits during cardiovascular conditions and inflammation. Resveratrol has also been shown to inhibit kinase activity, which has been related to cancer (8). Nowadays, resveratrol is considered an anti-aging compound because it prevents chronic inflammation and boosts sirtuins - molecules that have anti-aging properties (9).
The antioxidant that gives blackberries and mulberries their dark coloring is called anthocyanin, which also has an array of health benefits. Anthocyanins in mulberries have been proven to express hepatoprotective and hypolipidemic qualities during liver cirrhosis (10) and have the ability to potentially prevent atherosclerosis, inhibit melanoma metastasis, and gastric cancer cell growth (11). On the other hand, anthocyanins found in blackberries have been proven to lessen diet-induced obesity by alleviating oxidative stress and inflammation and accelerating energy expenditure (12). Also, anthocyanins in blackberries are beneficial in boosting the immune system (13).
Another compound found in mulberries with a complicated name of cyanidin-3-O-beta-d-glucopyranoside, or C3G for short, has been proven to have protective qualities against cerebral ischemia (14).
Due to its phenolic content, the aqueous herbal tea extract of blackberries can potentially prevent the development of vascular diseases seen in type 2 diabetes (16).
A study has shown that blackberry extracts have antimicrobial qualities against significant periodontal pathogens, such as Streptococcus mutans, that can be effectively used to help maintain oral health (15).
The antidiabetic effects of mulberry are due to polysaccharides found within white mulberries that express antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic activities (17), as well as due to its concentration of anthocyanin (18).
Fat Type Comparison
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Lower in Glycemic Index||Equal|
|Rich in minerals||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE||11µg||1µg|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet||Equal|
|Low Glycemic Index diet||Equal|
People also compare
Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.
- Blackberry - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173946/nutrients
- Mulberry - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169913/nutrients
All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.