Favorite Berries: A Nutritional Comparison


Hands down, nearly every nutritionist would tell you that berries, categorically, are the most healthful nutrient-dense fruits we can eat. They also have a lower glycemic load than many other fruits, and we tend to eat them as they were meant to be eaten, whole and unprocessed with fiber in tact. Oranges, on the other hand, are often consumed in juice (from concentrate) which is highly processed and spikes blood sugar levels.  As has been frequently stated, “you wouldn’t eat five pieces of fruit at once, but you can easily drink them.” Dr. Mark Hyman, Eat Fat, Get Thin.


Berries, and in particular, blueberries and blackberries have a high anthocyanin content which is the flavonoid that gives the fruit its blue pigment. Anthocyanin is an anti-oxidant and can protect our cells from damage. Many varieties of blackberries have more anthocyanin than blueberries, with the possible exception of wild blueberries. Loganberries, boysenberries, and marionberries are varieties of blackberries, achieved by hybridization.


On the top of the list for me are blackberries. I used to favor blueberries, but when I compared the vitamin and minerals and the difference in sugars and fiber I switched to blackberries as my fruit of choice. According to the Oregon State Agriculture Department of Food, Science, and Technology, blackberries have some the highest antioxidant levels of any fresh fruit. I keep a bag of frozen organic blackberries from Cascadian Farms in my freezer for when I need a fruit snack. They tend to be more satisfying and are like a little nibble of sorbet.


If berries are flash frozen they are comparable in nutrition to fresh berries. Eating on the Wild Side, J. Robinson. Of course, fresh are fantastic, but often they are expensive and not available, and they don’t keep for more than a few days. Eat them up as soon as possible!










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