Mulberry: The Ancient Super Food of Silkworms and Now, People

mulberries
Food as Medicine

mulberriesIn ancient Chinese medicine, the Mulberry fruit was considered a golden elixir of super-human health. Sometimes called Morus fruit or Morus alba, the white mulberry plant was fed to silk worms by Chinese merchants. Ancient natural medicine doctors knew that the fruits were cooling, stimulating both the liver and kidneys to be vitally healthy. With new research being conducted today, we can better understand why mulberries are such an important super-food that should be added to a nutrient-dense diet.

Mulberries are a nutritional powerhouse, chock-full of protein much like goji berries. Just 3 ounces of mulberries contain 9 grams of protein. But that’s not all. Mulberries are also overflowing with important phyto-nutrients that help promote health and prevent numerous diseases, from cancer to stroke.

Mulberries can help boost a lagging libido, and help to reduce dizziness and anemia as well.

According to Subhuti Dharmananda, president of the Institute for Traditional Medicine (ITM), mulberries contain high levels of anthocyanins that, “may improve blood circulation and other body functions to alleviate many symptoms that arise under deficiency conditions.”

Mulberries also contain a high level of numerous other important nutrients, including:

  • Vitamins A, C, E, and K
  • Folate
  • Thiamine
  • Niacin
  • Calcium
  • Fiber
  • Pyridoxine
  • The antioxidant resveratol
  • Anthocyanins, flavanoids, lutein
  • Zea-xanthin
  • Beta carotene
  • A carotene

Read: Mulberry Found to Boost Heart Health

The Many Benefits of Mulberry

Mulberries are full of anthocyanins, an important phytonutrient. One study suggests that anthocyanins flavanoids are one of the most important and strongest antioxidizing agents of over 150 flavanoids. (Over 4000 different flavanoids have been identified). It is four times more potent than vitamin E at scavenging free radicals.  This particular plant contains curative properties for cancer as well as other diseases. In studies conducted on patients with prostate cancer, mulberries also provided resveratrol, a potent tumor-inhibitor.

The leaves of the mulberry plant are just as curative as the fruit. They reduce oxidation of cells and minimize C-reactive protein (CRP), the inflammatory marker that could represent the inflammation in blood vessels resulted from dyslipidemia. Just 280 mg of powdered mulberry leaf taken 3 times a for twelve weeks lowered LDL cholesterol, too, decreasing heart disease risks.

Yet another study involving mulberries found that their polyphenols helped to lessen incidence of thrombosis (blood clotting which can lead to heart attack and stroke.)

In Ayurdevic and Chinese medicine, mulberries (both white and purple varieties) are used as powerful blood cleansers. They also detoxify the liver, one of the hardest working organs in our bodies.

Because mulberries are high in vitamin C and flavanoids, they can also help prevent cold and flu-like symptoms, and even treat hepatitis. They are a wonderful dietary addition for post-operative patients, too, since they can speed up recovery via improved blood circulation.

Mulberries can even help diabetic patients since they support balance blood sugar levels and prevent glucose spikes. They also enhance immunity and people who are easily dehydrated can consume just 10 grams daily to improve overall fluid homeostasis in the body.

If that still isn’t enough to convince you to add mulberries to your diet, they also improve vision, slow the aging process, and can even improve weight loss by giving the body the nutrients it needs so that you are less likely to over-eat. You can drink a glass of freshly-made mulberry juice daily to detoxify the entire body.

Aside from finding them at your local health food store, you can also consider growing your own mulberry tree and harvesting its fruits. Black mulberries and white, are both beneficial for different reasons, but either variety could easily be classified as a ‘super-food.’

Mulberries Nutrient Chart: (USDA)

Nutrient

Unit

Value per 100.0g

1 cup 140g

10 fruit 15g

Proximates

Water

g

87.68

122.75

13.15

Energy

kcal

43

60

6

Protein

g

1.44

2.02

0.22

Total lipid (fat)

g

0.39

0.55

0.06

Carbohydrate, by difference

g

9.80

13.72

1.47

Fiber, total dietary

g

1.7

2.4

0.3

Sugars, total

g

8.10

11.34

1.22

Minerals

Calcium, Ca

mg

39

55

6

Iron, Fe

mg

1.85

2.59

0.28

Magnesium, Mg

mg

18

25

3

Phosphorus, P

mg

38

53

6

Potassium, K

mg

194

272

29

Sodium, Na

mg

10

14

2

Zinc, Zn

mg

0.12

0.17

0.02

Vitamins

Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid

mg

36.4

51.0

5.5

Thiamin

mg

0.029

0.041

0.004

Riboflavin

mg

0.101

0.141

0.015

Niacin

mg

0.620

0.868

0.093

Vitamin B-6

mg

0.050

0.070

0.008

Folate, DFE

µg

6

8

1

Vitamin B-12

µg

0.00

0.00

0.00

Vitamin A, RAE

µg

1

1

0

Vitamin A, IU

IU

25

35

4

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)

mg

0.87

1.22

0.13

Vitamin D (D2 + D3)

µg

0.0

0.0

0.0

Vitamin D

IU

0

0

0

Vitamin K (phylloquinone)

µg

7.8

10.9

1.2

Lipids

Fatty acids, total saturated

g

0.027

0.038

0.004

Fatty acids, total monounsaturated

g

0.041

0.057

0.006

Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated

g

0.207

0.290

0.031

Cholesterol

mg

0

0

0

Other

Caffeine

mg

0

0

0

Additional Sources:

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