A glass of blackberry wine will not top a list of health foods, but early research shows it could have some health benefits. Much like grapes, blackberries are full of antioxidants, and an occasional glass of blackberry wine may be a good-for-you indulgence.
A lot of nutrition is packed into these tiny berries. Blackberries are a source of vitamin C, which boosts your immune system and protects you from disease. Anthocyanins give these fruits their distinct blue color. These pigments are also powerful antioxidants, which may protect you against cancer, memory loss and the effects of aging. Blackberry wines retain these beneficial chemicals. A study published in the "Journal of Medicinal Food" showed that anthocyanins in blackberry wines reduced blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels.
A study published in the "Journal of Food Science" revealed that blackberry wines contain high levels of several beneficial chemicals. Resveratrol, an antioxidant in blackberry wines, may lower cholesterol, control blood clots and reduce the risk of a heart attack. In one study, resveratrol also inhibited cancerous growth in cell cultures. While this research is promising for wine lovers, most of these studies used high levels of resveratrol to achieve these results. Researchers still need to determine if the levels of resveratrol in blackberry wines provide these same benefits.
Several components of blackberry wine provide promising benefits against chronic diseases. The University of Illinois discovered that compounds in blackberry wines controlled carbohydrate absorption. These berry-wine compounds could manage blood sugar and provide an effective treatment for diabetes. The alcohol in blackberry wine may offer some protection against heart disease. In several studies, moderate alcohol use caused slight increases to HDL levels, the "good" cholesterol that removes unhealthy cholesterol from the blood. Older adults and people with a high risk for heart disease may experience the greatest benefit.
An occasional glass of blackberry wine may offer a small health boost, but overdoing it will have the opposite effect. Excessive alcohol use contributes to heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and liver damage. If you are not a wine drinker, don't uncork a bottle just for the health benefits. Fresh blackberries provide the same antioxidants as wine, and regular exercise promotes healthy HDL levels. If you do drink, stick to a maximum of one drink per day. For wine lovers, one drink equals a 5-ounce glass of wine.
- National Cancer Institute: Red Wine
- Mayo Clinic: Red Wine and Resveratrol
- National Institutes of Health: Comparison of Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Capacity of Commercially Available Blueberry and Blackberry Wines in Illinois
- American Heart Association: Alcohol and Cardiovascular Disease
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Go True Blue for Nutrition
- University of Illinois: A Drink From Berry Wines May Provide a Tasty Drug for Diabetes
- Mayo Clinic: If You Drink, Keep It Moderate
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: Antioxidant and Vasodilatory effects of Grape and Blackberry Wines
Jennifer Dlugos is a Boston-based writer with more than 10 years of experience in the health-care and wellness industries. She is also an award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter who teaches screenwriting and film production classes throughout New England. Dlugos holds a master's degree in dietetics.