Blueberries vs Cranberries – Which is Healthier?
Berries have proven themselves to be nutritional “superfoods.” Full of antioxidants and packed with vitamin C, it’s safe to assume that berries make powerful additions to a healthy diet. All forms of berries consistently rank higher than most other fruits in vitamin, mineral and antioxidant content, and lower in glycemic load. We take a look at two of the top varieties of berries eaten for health: cranberries and blueberries. Both have their benefits, but which one is healthier for you?
It’s smart to watch one’s sugar intake, and both types of berries carry a low glycemic load. A food’s glycemic load lets us know how much the food impacts blood sugar levels. A higher glycemic load generally causes a greater spike in one’s blood sugar level. The glycemic load of raw blueberries is 6, while raw cranberries have a glycemic load of 2. Both are rated on the low end of the glycemic load spectrum and make healthy choices as snacks in one’s diet.
Most people are aware that all berries contain high amounts of antioxidants, the free-radical fighting components of many fruits and vegetables, but which type of berry has more? In a video showing the antioxidant content of common fruits and berries, nutritionfacts.org shows us that cranberries once again come out on top! The cranberry contains a level of 493 compared to the blueberry’s level of 367. Both berries come out far ahead of non-berry fruits, but cranberry is once again the better choice if antioxidant content is important to you.
What about vitamin and mineral content? A direct comparison of blueberries and cranberries through the USDA’s Food Composition Database gives us clear results. Cranberries have a higher fiber content, along with calcium, potassium, and sodium. Blueberries contain greater amounts of phosphorus, iron, and zinc. Both berries contain equal amounts of heart-healthy magnesium. The vitamin C content of cranberries comes out slightly ahead of blueberries at 14mg/cup versus the blueberry’s 9.7mg/cup.
Both types of berries make excellent, nutrition-packed additions to one’s diet. If you’re looking for an extra health boost, try adding some extra cranberry into your diet. Make sure to consume these berries in their most natural state in order to gain all of the many benefits these super berries have to offer.