White mulberry… The next superfood?

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Superfoods are usually plant based foods that are nutritiously dense and offer lots of health benefits. Almonds, kale and blueberries are classic examples. On the other hand we have white mulberry, a less known plant but that has been gaining in popularity on the past decade. People are learning that both the leaves and fruits of white mulberry are full of phytochemicals that enhance human health.

White mulberry (Morus alba) is a medium sized tree from Northern China. It’s known that mulberry extract is rich in flavonoid antioxidants, like quercetin, rutin and isoquercetin. These flavonoids seek and destroy free radicals in our body which otherwise would cause oxidative stress. In addition, only a little fraction of the dried mulberry fruit (1/3 of a cup) contains 4 grams of protein and 20% of your daily fiber. So, by eating a few mulberry fruits with your meals, you’ll contribute to your daily nutritional needs and fighting free radicals.

People say that the taste is somewhere between fig and raisin, and those who eat it describe it as “delicious”. However, its most intriguing aspect is its ability to help battle cholesterol and diabetes, since eating white mulberry has been shown to decrease LDL cholesterol levels.

In addition, scientists have found that a chemical compound in white mulberry prevents the big sugar spikes in our blood, which are common after eating a meal. The compound is called DNJ. DNJ, or deoxynojirimycin, is an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor. This means that DNJ can decrease an enzyme’s ability to break up large carbohydrates and move glucose into our blood. Summing up, white mulberry is rich in antioxidants, fiber and protein, and most importantly, this fruit helps battle diabetes and high cholesterol levels. So, yes, white mulberry certainly has earned the title of superfood.

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