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Mulberry vs Blackberry - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan by Victoria Mazmanyan | Last updated on November 29, 2020
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Mulberry
vs
Blackberry

Summary

In summary, blackberries grow on bushes and have a round shape, while mulberries grow on trees and are more oval.

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.

Both fruits are very rich in antioxidants, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanins, therefore having potentially beneficial effects on cardiovascular, diabetic, and oncological conditions.

There is no clear answer in the debate of blackberry vs. mulberry, and the choice is up to the individual preference.

Introduction

Blackberries and mulberries look quite similar; however, botanically, they don’t have much in common. 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.

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 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, North America (2), mainly in north temperate zones.

Nutrition

General nutritional characteristics may differ depending on the type of mulberries. Here we will be talking about 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.

An exact glycemic index value has not yet been calculated for either of these fruits, but it is assumed to be low to moderate.

Vitamins

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.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
Contains more Vitamin C +73.3%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +45%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +288.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +66.7%
Contains more Vitamin A +756%
Contains more Vitamin E +34.5%
Contains more Folate +316.7%
Contains more Vitamin K +153.8%
Equal in Vitamin B3 - 0.646
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 2% 18% 0% 122% 8% 24% 12% 0% 12% 5% 0% 20%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 13% 24% 0% 70% 5% 6% 13% 17% 7% 19% 0% 50%
Contains more Vitamin C +73.3%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +45%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +288.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +66.7%
Contains more Vitamin A +756%
Contains more Vitamin E +34.5%
Contains more Folate +316.7%
Contains more Vitamin K +153.8%
Equal in Vitamin B3 - 0.646

Minerals

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.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Calcium +34.5%
Contains more Iron +198.4%
Contains more Phosphorus +72.7%
Contains more Potassium +19.8%
Contains more Magnesium +11.1%
Contains less Sodium -90%
Contains more Zinc +341.7%
Contains more Copper +175%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 12% 70% 13% 17% 18% 2% 4% 20%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 9% 24% 15% 10% 15% 1% 15% 56%
Contains more Calcium +34.5%
Contains more Iron +198.4%
Contains more Phosphorus +72.7%
Contains more Potassium +19.8%
Contains more Magnesium +11.1%
Contains less Sodium -90%
Contains more Zinc +341.7%
Contains more Copper +175%

Health Impact

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).

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 yet not 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 the 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).

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 (9) and have the ability to potentially prevent atherosclerosis, inhibit melanoma metastasis, and gastric cancer cell growth (10). 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 (11).

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 (12).

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 (13).

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 (14).

The antidiabetic effects of mulberry are due to polysaccharides found within white mulberries that express antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic activities (15), as well as due to its concentration of anthocyanin (16).

Sources

  1. https://crfg.org/wiki/fruit/mulberry/
  2. https://cals.arizona.edu/fps/sites/cals.arizona.edu.fps/files/cotw/blackberry.pdf
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301583793
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814606008387
  5. https://www.potravinarstvo.com/journal1/index.php/potravinarstvo/article/view/1132/933
  6. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263225863
  7. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13102818.2016.1204943
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4288802/
  9. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1756464616301153
  10. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814611009186
  11. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2018/4051232/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16181734/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3540108/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5981255/
  15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28163112/
  16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27580020
Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: November 29, 2020

Infographic

Mulberry vs Blackberry infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Mulberry Blackberry
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Lower in glycemic index Equal
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Mulberry Blackberry Opinion
Net carbs 8.1g 4.31g Mulberry
Protein 1.44g 1.39g Mulberry
Fats 0.39g 0.49g Blackberry
Carbs 9.8g 9.61g Mulberry
Calories 43kcal 43kcal
Starch g 0g Blackberry
Fructose g 2.4g Blackberry
Sugar 8.1g 4.88g Blackberry
Fiber 1.7g 5.3g Blackberry
Calcium 39mg 29mg Mulberry
Iron 1.85mg 0.62mg Mulberry
Magnesium 18mg 20mg Blackberry
Phosphorus 38mg 22mg Mulberry
Potassium 194mg 162mg Mulberry
Sodium 10mg 1mg Blackberry
Zinc 0.12mg 0.53mg Blackberry
Copper 0.06mg 0.165mg Blackberry
Vitamin A 25IU 214IU Blackberry
Vitamin E 0.87mg 1.17mg Blackberry
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 36.4mg 21mg Mulberry
Vitamin B1 0.029mg 0.02mg Mulberry
Vitamin B2 0.101mg 0.026mg Mulberry
Vitamin B3 0.62mg 0.646mg Blackberry
Vitamin B5 mg 0.276mg Blackberry
Vitamin B6 0.05mg 0.03mg Mulberry
Folate 6µg 25µg Blackberry
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 7.8µg 19.8µg Blackberry
Tryptophan mg mg
Threonine mg mg
Isoleucine mg mg
Leucine mg mg
Lysine mg mg
Methionine mg mg
Phenylalanine mg mg
Valine mg mg
Histidine mg mg
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.027g 0.014g Blackberry
Monounsaturated Fat 0.041g 0.047g Blackberry
Polyunsaturated fat 0.207g 0.28g Blackberry

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Mulberry Blackberry
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet Equal
Low glycemic index diet Equal

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
18
Mulberry
18
Blackberry
Mineral Summary Score
19
Mulberry
17
Blackberry

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
9%
Mulberry
8%
Blackberry
Carbohydrates
10%
Mulberry
10%
Blackberry
Fats
2%
Mulberry
2%
Blackberry

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Blackberry
Blackberry is lower in Sugar (difference - 3.22g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Blackberry
Blackberry contains less Sodium (difference - 9mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Blackberry
Blackberry is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.013g)
Which food is cheaper?
Blackberry
Blackberry is cheaper (difference - $0.1)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes (25)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Mulberry - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169913/nutrients
  2. Blackberry - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173946/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.