I grew up eating dried white mulberry, which I refer to as toot. I didn’t know other colors existed (white, red, and black) until l saw the Dr. Oz show where he features the berry and speaks to its powerful health benefits. What are those magical powers? Well, the most interesting one to me (and scientists) is that the WHITE mulberry LEAVES can help prevent diabetes by inhibiting sugar digestion through a compound called 1-deoxynojirimycin (DNJ) so that most sugar is not absorbed into the bloodstream and is instead excreted. Interesting, so what does that mean? Unfortunately, it means you cannot simply munch on the dried fruit and obtain the DNJ benefits; you need the leaves for that. BUT, YOU CANNOT SIMPLY EAT THE RAW LEAVES EITHER! So what’s a person to do? Answer = tea.
May I have it in tea form please? Why yes, yes you may. It’s hard to find at a typical market or grocery (unless you are in Iran of course), but specialty health food and tea stores are sure to carry it. I decided to try the white mulberry tea, which I got from a place called David’s Tea near my home. Wasn’t sure how it would taste, but I fell in love! It was sooo good. As I was buying the tea, the lady behind the counter asked me why it’s good for you, which inspired me to write this post 🙂 Thanks David’s Tea lady!
Why do I love this fruit? For one, it tastes good, even in tea form as I recently discovered. As a kid it was both the taste and texture that kept me coming back for more and more. Mulberries are so fun to chew! People compare the consistency to that of raisins, but the texture is slightly different. It’s a bit gummier in my opinion. I still love the texture, but I also really like that the fruit is lower in sugar compared to other dried fruits, and high in fiber and protein. Why is high fiber good for you? High fiber helps regulate cholesterol and digestion. I think digestion is self-explanatory, but for those of you curious as to the importance of cholesterol, here’s why: High cholesterol increases your chances of getting heart disease (i.e., heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes), so you want to keep it low.
For those of you thinking: ”Type 2?!?! I didn’t even know there was a type 1!”… Type 1 is primarily genetic, acquired from birth, and not really preventable. The more treatable or preventable diabetes is type 2. Type 2 is what you commonly hear about on the news when people speak to increased rates of obesity, lack of physical activity, sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, stress, urbanization, and so forth.
I sort of want to top my greek yogurt with dried white mulberry, with some cinnamon and unsweetened cocoa powder sprinkled on top, WITH a side of mulberry tea!