Mulberry vs Blackberry - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet||Equal|
|Low glycemic index diet||Equal|