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Berry Fruit Guide

Posts EditorJanuary 17, 2012

Strawberries

Berries have many health benefits you may have never heard of. Not only do they taste amazing, but they also provide nutritious value and whole lot of antioxidants. We’ve compiled a list of berries along with their health benefits below.

Raspberry
The raspberry is actually a composite fruit, not a true berry. This fruit blends sweet and tart flavors, making it useful for baking, making fruit salads and topping oatmeal or cereal. The raspberry has several health benefits because it contains antioxidants, which are substances that help prevent cancer. Raspberries are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin C and manganese.

The raspberry looks similar to the blackberry, but is softer and smaller in size. These composite fruits grow in fields and forests, especially in areas where fires have created free space for growth. The two types of raspberries available to consumers are wild raspberries and ever-bearing plants. The wild berries bear fruit during the late summer and early autumn. The ever-bearing plants have a summer crop and a fall crop. Horticulturists have also grown a golden raspberry, which has a pale yellow color. The raspberry plant is sometimes preyed upon by several species of caterpillar.

Health Benefits of Raspberries

Wineberry
Wineberries are a type of raspberry that originated in China, Japan and Korea. Even though the name of this berry contains the word “wine,” it is not suitable for making wine due to its tart flavor. Wineberry is found in New Zealand, Europe, and the eastern part of the United States. In New Zealand, the wineberry plant is actually invasive in some areas. This is due to the moist soil and other ideal growing conditions. This berry has health benefits similar to those of the raspberry. Because wineberries contain antioxidants, they may be useful in fighting the cell damage that causes some types of cancer. This fruit is used in fruit salads, compotes, sauces, jams, and desserts.

Wineberries

Cloudberry
The cloudberry is rich in vitamin C and acts as a preservative due to its benzoic acid content. The fruit starts out as a pale red color, but it turns amber in the fall. When the berries are fresh, they have a very tart flavor. In Finland, people eat the cloudberry with sugar and a local hard cheese. Some Swedish people use cloudberries as an ice cream topping. Canadians use cloudberries in several ways, most notably for flavoring beer and making jam. This fruit has antibacterial properties that may inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella infections. Ancient Scandinavian medical practitioners also used the leaves of the cloudberry to treat urinary tract infections.

Berry Phenolics for Functional Foods

Blackberry
The blackberry is easy to find due to its widespread growth. This berry is often used to produce wine, desserts, and jams, but it is also ideal for eating raw or serving with a little sugar and whipped topping. Because it is so easy to cross blackberry bushes with other plants, there are many types of hybrid blackberries available. Some of the hybrid crosses available include marion berry, loganberry, youngberry, and dewberry.

The flowers of the blackberry plant appear from May to August. The health benefits of the blackberry come from the same substances that give the fruit its dark color. Anthocyanins are a type of antioxidant that can actually reverse cell damage. This makes blackberries useful for preventing cancer, heart disease, and strokes. Herbal medicine practitioners use blackberry leaves to treat throat inflammation and diarrhea.

Blackberry Benefits (PDF)

Huckleberry
Some people use the term huckleberry to describe the plants that belong to family Ericaceae. Some of the Vaccinium species are also called huckleberries, but other species are called blueberries. In Europe, some Vaccinium species are called bilberries. The huckleberry is another good source of antioxidants, making this fruit ideal for any diet aimed at preventing cancer or other conditions linked to cellular damage.

Huckleberry Report (PDF)

Bilberry
Bilberries grow on shrubs belonging to the genus Vaccinium. The most popular bilberry species is the Vaccinium myrtillus L., which is called whortleberry, myrtle blueberry, blueberry, and whinberry. In Scandinavia and Poland, people gather wild bilberries from bushes that grow on public lands. This fruit is more popular in places like Sweden and Finland than it is in the United States. Bilberries contain anthocyanides, which may strengthen the walls of the blood vessels, improve vision, reduce inflammation, and stabilize the ligaments, cartilage and tendons.

Bilberry

Barberry
Barberries grow on approximately 500 species of shrubs. These shrubs have thorny shoots and grow to up to 5 meters tall. The barberry shrubs grow in subtropical regions of North America, Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. The shrubs have long shoots that form the plant’s structure. These long shoots have shorter shoots that are only a few millimeters long. Some species turn pink or red in the autumn. Several species from China have a brilliant white base, making them suitable for landscaping and horticulture purposes. Indian folk medicine practitioners used barberry to treat digestive problems, reduce fever and improve appetite. One of the substances found in barberry, berberine, inhibits the growth of bacteria, so it may help the body fight infection.

Barberry

Blueberry
Blueberries are one of the most well-known berries in the United States. This berry belongs to the same genus as bilberries and cranberries. The fruits start out as a white color and eventually turn blue when they are ripe. People use blueberries for wine, pies, jellies, jams, and other foods. The most common species of blueberry in North America is V. corymbosum, or the Northern Highbush Blueberry. Wild blueberries have a very intense color and flavor. Blueberries have a lot of vitamin C and a significant amount of fiber in each serving. These berries also contain antioxidants and manganese.

Health Benefits of Blueberries

Gooseberry
The gooseberry is a very well-known berry, but many people do not know much about this fruit. This bush belongs in the same genus as different types of currants. Other experts put gooseberries in their own genus. There is some disagreement about which classification is appropriate. Wild gooseberry bushes have sharp spines and bell-shaped flowers. The fruit produced by the wild gooseberry bush produces an intense flavor that makes the berry suitable for pies, jams, jellies and other foods. This berry contains substances that help lower cholesterol. Gooseberries also have high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C and several B vitamins.

Lesser-Known Berries

Mulberry
The taste of the mulberry fruit is not for everyone, but the mulberry bush makes a beautiful ornamental plant. The tree has a round head and, in some cases, finely-cut leaves. Birds enjoy the taste of mulberries, making this tree an ideal addition to bird sanctuaries. The mulberry tree actually entices birds away from strawberry beds and cherry trees, making it useful for fruit growers. The black mulberry, which is found in southwest Asia, usually has the best flavor. The red mulberry, a North American native, also produces a good flavor. Mulberries contain resveratrol, a substance that may fight cancer or help prevent cancer.

Mulberry Fruit Facts

Nannyberry
The nannyberry grows on a large shrub or small tree. These bushes and trees are native to southern Canada and the northeastern United States. Other names for this berry include sheepberry and sweet viburnum. The nannyberry plant has small white flowers that are around in round clusters. The fruit itself has a blue-black color and a sweet taste. The term “sheepberry” developed because over-ripe nannyberries smell like wet sheep wool. This berry is used for making tea, jam, jelly and dried fruit. Nannyberries may also have medicinal benefits.

Nannyberry Fact Sheet

What is your favorite type of berry? Let us know below!

 

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