Brightly colored, tart tasting, and packed of nutrients – berries are some of the finest fruits this world has to offer, but which berry is the healthiest?
We will look at strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, the most commonly found berries at the grocery store.
I’ve always found the easiest way to analyze these is to compare them to one another.
In this article we’ll be looking at each berry’s nutritional profile including calorie content, sugar level, and nutrients provided.
Of course we’ll take taste into consideration too!
We’ll also go over some of the best ways to incorporate berries into your weight loss journey from a Registered Dietitian’s perspective.
Let’s get started!
Blueberries vs Blackberries
Known for their smooth navy blue skin with a silver frosted hue, blueberries have a greenish clear pulp with a few tiny seeds on the inside.
With a taste that is sweet and rather juicy relative to its size, blueberries are a very versatile fruit.
You can eat blueberries alone, as toppings, blended, stewed, or baked. They also pack quite a nutritional punch.
One cup of blueberries contains only 85 nutrient-dense calories, and about 21 grams of carbohydrates (aka sugar).
Blackberries are the largest of the wild berries.
As their name suggests, blackberries have a black/purplish color and are made up of clusters of tiny sacs containing lots of juice and seeds.
Blackberries have a tarter taste compared to blueberries, but are still sweet enough to be ate alone.
Blackberries are used in jams and jellies, but can also be treated like blueberries as well; as toppings, stewed, or even baked.
One cup of blackberries contains 62 calories, and 14g of carbohydrates.
So Which is Healthier, Blueberries or Blackberries?
Well comparing calorie and sugar content – blackberries are lower in sugar and therefore calories.
Blackberries also have a higher fiber content due to more “skin” of the berry and larger amount of seeds.
Blackberries are also higher in vitamin C than blueberries, a necessary antioxidant.
So when comparing these two darkly colored berries, blackberries are more nutrient-dense providing less sugar per serving as well.
Raspberries vs Strawberries
Similar to blackberries, raspberries are made up of clusters of tiny sacs that are heavy in the seed department.
They are also one of the most fragile berries because they spoil fastest and are easily bruised or squished.
While delicate these red berries may be, bland they are not. Raspberries are intensely flavored for their size. Their tartness makes for good baked products or as toppings.
One cup of raspberries provides 64 calories and about 15 grams of carbohydrates.
For the same reason as blackberries, raspberries are an excellent source of fiber due to their high seed and skin content.
Strawberries are also a brightly colored red berry, though not quite as frail as the raspberry.
They are one of the largest berries with juicy red skin that’s speckled with exceptionally tiny seeds.
Strawberries can be used as toppings or in baked goods, but are most often eaten as is.
One cup of strawberries provides 53 calories and about 13 grams of carbohydrates. Strawberries are also loaded with vitamin C.
So Which is Healthier, Strawberries or Raspberries?
While strawberries have a slightly lower sugar content and therefore calories, raspberries provide more vitamins and minerals comparatively by volume.
So depending on what you’re looking for in your red berries; a lower calorie snack (strawberries) or a nutrient packed fruit (raspberries) can help you decide which berry to pick.
Strawberries vs Blueberries
Now let’s compare strawberries to blueberries. The two most commonly eaten berries in American are ironically the “losers” from the above analyses.
So of the two berries that are most likely to be in our shopping cart, which berry is healthiest?
Well for starters, strawberries are still the lower calorie option as they have less sugar content in the form of carbohydrates than blueberries.
Of the two berries nutritional profiles, where one seems to lack the other is packed.
For example, strawberries have more; fiber, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C, and folate.
While blueberries provide more vitamin A, carotene, and vitamin K.
So when comparing these two popular berries, strawberries come out on top!
Best advice is to go ahead and throw both blueberries and strawberries in your shopping cart for a more balanced intake to prevent any vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
Which Berry is the Healthiest?
Alright, so we’ve compared similar berries to one another, and the two most popular berries to each other, but which berry comes out on top overall?
Out of the four berries discussed in this article; blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries – blackberries win the award for healthiest berry!
Blackberries are one of the healthiest berries you can eat because of their low caloric value and high nutrient and fiber content.
Of course a varied diet is the best diet. So be sure to switch up which berries you choose to purchase to reap all the different benefits that each berry has to offer.
Not to mention the taste!
How Berries Can Help With Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss, the key is optimal nutrition and health.
There is no secret to losing weight sustainably. It really is all about just a healthy diet and lifestyle.
As said here in Culinary Dietetics quite a bit, Eat foods in their most whole form and in moderation.
If you fully embrace and live by that rule I promise you, you will lose weight.
So where do berries come into play?
Well as berries are a part of the fruit group, they can help us meet our requirements of choosing foods from the five main food groups for an overall healthy diet.
And as just discussed, an overall healthy diet is all we need in order to lose weight.
Incorporating Berries Into Your Diet
You can very easily incorporate berries into your diet. Eating more berries in your day-to-day life by simply using some of these ideas.
On their own! Most berries are sweet enough to be eaten as is for a great snack.
Smoothies are an excellent way of incorporating berries (whether fresh or frozen) into your morning breakfast routine.
Berries make great toppings to just about anything; oatmeal, salads, waffles, yogurt, ice cream, toast, cereal, etc.
Don’t underestimate the power of berries in savory cooking as well. The intense tartness of raspberries pairs very well with lean meats such as chicken or pork chops.
Dried berries! Whether you dry them yourself or purchase dried berries, these make excellent keep-at-your-desk snacks or added to your favorite granola/trail mix for a burst of flavor.
Comparing raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries – blackberries are the healthiest berry!
Due to the high fiber content and low caloric value, blackberries are one of the best and tastiest snacks you can pack for the day.
However, the healthiest most commonly consumed berry is the strawberry.
Berries can be a great intervention in your weight loss journey! Have berries cleaned and ready to grab for those moments when you are just craving something sweet.
Pair them with some dark chocolate and you have yourself a very satisfying, low calorie and antioxidant-rich snack.
When following the mantra of Eat Foods in their Most Whole Form and in Moderation, berries are one of the #1 choices for an excellent and healthy snack.