Cultivated throughout India, Mulberry ‘Shahatoot’ are consumed as a fruit, fruit juice, herbal tea, jam, tincture, as a food additive and as a snack.
Along with the mulberry fruit, its leaves are also used in various cuisines for their culinary applications and traditional medicine due to their potential health benefits.
Mulberries ‘Shahatoot’ are the fruits of mulberry trees. Technically, these fruits are not single berries. Each mulberry is a concentrated fruit. They are long and cylindrical fruit with a sweet and slightly tart taste. Depending on the type of tree, mulberries can be red, white, black, or purple. Mulberry has abundance of nutrients and can be consumed in the dry form.
Nutritional facts of Mulberry
As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 100 gm of mulberries contains 43 calories, 1.44 gm of proteins, 9.8 gm of carbohydrates, 1.7 gm of fibre, 1.85 mg of iron, 10 mg of sodium, 39 mg of calcium, 0.12 mg of zinc, 194 mg of potassium, 38 mg of phosphorous, 18 mg of magnesium, 0.62 mg of niacin, 36.4 mg of vitamin C, and 0.87 mg of vitamin E.
Potential Health Benefits of Mulberry
1/5. Reduces cancer risk
1. The high content of antioxidants in mulberries helps fight harmful free radicals and protects the cells from damage.
2. The phytonutrients and antioxidants of mulberries help in arresting the growth and spread of tumor cells.
3. The anthocyanins of mulberries help in keeping the cancer cells away.
4. The resveratrol content possesses anti-cancer properties. It helps prevents cancers of the skin, colon, prostate, and thyroid.
2/5. Strengthens Bones
The Vitamin K, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, and calcium content of mulberries helps in strengthening the bones and building bone tissues.
These nutrients aid the bones in reversing the signs of bone degradation, speeds the healing process, and in preventing bone conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis.
3/5. Improves Immunity
The alkaloids and vitamin C present in mulberries activate the macrophages thus, improving immunity.
4/5. Improves Vision
1. Zeaxanthin content of mulberries helps in reducing oxidative stress in cells that form our eyes. It prevents damage to the retina, caused by free radicals.
2. The carotenoid content of mulberries helps in preventing macular degeneration and cataract.
3. The high content of vitamin A present in mulberry is beneficial for improving eyesight and reducing eye strains.
5/5. Other possible benefits…
Mulberry produces several health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces few more such as improves digestive health, lowers cholesterol, controls blood sugar levels, improves blood circulation, cures anaemia, promotes heart health, promotes brain health, prevents flu and cold and improves liver health,.
Mulberry fruit also helps prevent inflammation, effective anti-aging agent, reduce dark spots and blemishes, treat dry and sensitive skin, make skin soft and radiant, promote hair growth, help retain natural hair colour, prevent cavities, promote brain health, and also promote weight loss.
One must point out that unripe mulberries ‘shahtoosh’ can be mildly toxic and hallucinogenic in nature.
How to incorporate Mulberry into the Diet?
Mulberry ‘Shahatoot’ can be eaten either raw or dried. The entire fruit is edible. They can be incorporated into the diet in various ways. Some of which are as follows…
- Added to granola.
- Added to desserts.
- As a filling for pies.
- As an energy snack.
- To make mulberry juice
- Made into wines and cordials.
- As teas and other beverages.
- Added to several baked recipes.
- Used to make pancakes and sauces.
- To garnish oatmeal, yogurt, or salads.
- Used in smoothies, yoghurt, and ice creams.
- Used to make jams, jellies, sherbets, and fruit tarts.
How to prepare Mulberry Sorbet?
Take 5 cups mulberries, clean them and keep them aside.
Boil 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a container on medium heat. Simmer it for 3 to 4 minutes.
From the mulberries, pick off all the green stems and turn the heat off. Let it cool.
Blend the mulberries ‘shahtoosh’ and pour the sugar syrup over the mulberry paste. Make it into a puree. Sieve the puree to eliminate any seeds or stems.
Pour 2 tablespoons of Port Wine into it. Chill the mixture in the freezer for over an hour.
Pour the port wine mixture into an ice cream maker and whip up a sorbet.