23 Types of Berries: List of Different Kinds of Berries and Their Benefits

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Types of Berries: List of Different Kinds of Berries and Their Benefits
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There are many types of berries which are extremely good for your health. Many berry varieties are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Some of the healthiest types of berries are blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. There are also some exotic types of berries such as goji and acai berries that are praised for their health benefits.

But just what is a berry? We usually think of a berry as any type of small edible fruit. Actually, by definition in botanical terms, a berry is “a simple fruit with seeds and pulp produced from a single ovary of a single flower.” This means that botanically, grapes, cucumbers, tomatoes, oranges, watermelons, pumpkins, and even bananas can be also classed as berries. (1)

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However, according to the definition of a “true” type of berry, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries technically aren’t berries.

Because most people think of berries as small, pulpy, edible fruits without a stone or pit, we will refer to them as such in this article. That means that the list of berries in this article is based on the definition given to berries in the culinary world rather than the botanical definition.

Types of Berries You Should Try to Eat (With Pictures)

Let’s look in more detail at some of the most popular types of berries you should try to include in your diet.

Cranberries

Cranberries are a sour-tasting type of red berry that are rich in vitamin C and are packed with fiber and antioxidants.

In the wild, cranberries grow on vines near ground level in bogs. Cranberry fruits are used to produce juice, jams, and are also sold as dried berries. Because cranberries have a very tart taste, cranberry products often contain added sugar.

Being a red berry, cranberries are rich in antioxidants such as flavanones, anthocyanins, and flavanols.

One of the most common uses of consuming cranberry juice is to help prevent urinary tract infections. It seems that cranberries have a mild antibacterial effect and may help to address issues with the urinary system. (2)

cranberries picture

Blueberry

Blueberries are usually top on the list of dark-colored berries because of their juicy flesh and sweet taste.

As with most dark berries such as blackberries, blueberries contain a lot of vitamins and antioxidants. Studies have shown that anthocyanins (the pigment that gives berries its color) in blueberries help promote good eye health. Blueberries are also low in fat and high in fiber as well as vitamins C and K. (3)

Studies have also shown that dark berry fruits such as blueberries and blackberries have a good effect on cardiovascular health. One of the reasons why eating blueberries is good for you is that they help lower cholesterol. (4)

blueberries image

Huckleberry

You could easily mistake huckleberries for blueberries as they look very similar. In fact, in some countries, they are called the European blueberry and are also referred to as bilberries.

Huckleberries are a type of wild berry that is rarely cultivated.

The notable difference between blueberries and huckleberries is the seeds. Compared to blueberries, huckleberries also have less sugar and, therefore, fewer carbs. However, just like most types of dark berries, huckleberries are rich in fiber and antioxidants. (5)

You can use huckleberries in your diet in place of blueberries if you are looking to reduce your carb intake.

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huckleberry

Chokeberries

Chokeberry (Aronia berry) is a type of sour berry that looks similar to blueberries but have a darker, almost black color.

The reason why chokeberries are one of the bitter-tasting berries is due to their high levels of tannins. Eating a few of these dark types of berries can leave your mouth feeling dry and bitter.

Because of their astringent taste, most people don’t eat fresh chokeberries. Rather, they use them to make jams, teas, syrups or put into baked goods.

Although chokeberries are a type of black-colored berry, you can also get red chokeberries.

According to some studies, chokeberries could be one of the healthiest berries for improving cardiovascular health. The antioxidants in these dark berries help reduce inflammation, blood pressure, and cholesterol. (6)

If you find chokeberries too bitter to eat, then you can buy chokeberry extracts in the form of powder.

type of berry

Elderberry

Elderberry is another berry on the list of dark berries that are healthy for you. However, unlike many of the other healthy berries, these tiny black fruits shouldn’t be eaten raw.

Elderberries may be among some of the healthiest berries to consume. Elderberries are rich in vitamins C and A and are a good source of healthy minerals. (7)

To incorporate these small dark berries into your diet, you can make elderberry tea or syrup. In fact, there is some evidence that elderberry syrup can help treat colds and other upper respiratory infections. (8)

Similar to the health benefits of other dark berries, the anthocyanins in elderberry are good for your heart health and can help boost your immune system. (9, 10)

Read my article about the proven benefits of elderberry and elderberry syrup (including elderberry syrup recipe).

elderberry picture

Gooseberry

Gooseberries are a type of sour berry that grows on small bushes and are usually a green type of berry.

Even though gooseberries may be among the sourest berries you can eat, they are still not as sharp and tangy as lemons. There are also varieties of gooseberry bushes that produce red, purple, yellow, and white berry fruits.

Some types of gooseberry (botanically a currant) have been crossed with black currants to produce a dark berry called jostaberries.

As with most edible berries, gooseberries contain fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients. Various gooseberry cultivars are also a good source of antioxidants, although darker varieties of gooseberries typically have higher levels of anthocyanins. (11)

gooseberry image

Lingonberry

Another type of red berry is the lingonberry which has a bitter taste and grows on small bushes.

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Because of their tart taste, these small red berries are often used to make jams, syrups, compotes, or added to smoothies. Their rich vitamin C content and trace minerals can help to improve the nutritional content of many foods. (12)

To enjoy its health benefits, you should consume fresh lingonberries rather than powdered supplements. Studies have shown that the fiber content in lingonberries helps prevent blood sugar spikes. However, lingonberry supplements didn’t have the same positive effect. (12)

kind of berry

Boysenberries

A hybrid berry called the boysenberry is a cross between a loganberry, blackberry, raspberry, and dewberry.

Boysenberries are a type of dark red or maroon berry that looks similar in shape to a blackberry. Although these red berry fruits don’t have as many vitamins as blackberries, they have just as much fiber. Boysenberries also contain many important nutrients, vitamins minerals. (13)

Studies indicate that eating these soft juicy red berries may help to lower blood pressure and help prevent fat absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. (14, 15)

hybrid type of berry

Red Currants and Black Currants

Red currants are a type of vibrant red berry which grows in clusters like grapes.

Redcurrants are similar in size to blueberries and these shiny red berries have a tart, tangy taste that still has some sweetness. The astringent taste of these currant varieties can leave your mouth feeling somewhat dry, although not as dry and bitter as chokeberries.

Being a good source of antioxidants, red currants are extremely good for your health. However, studies have shown that black currants contain significantly higher levels of anthocyanins than redcurrants. (16)

black and red currants

Delicious Fruits We Think of as Berries

Let’s look in more detail at some delicious small soft fruits that we use as berries in the culinary world, but are actually not true berries botanically. These berry-type fruits are called aggregate fruits because they grow from a single flower when several ovaries merge together.

Strawberries

Fresh varieties of strawberries are some of the most popular types of summer fruits in the world. Strawberries can also grow to become some of the largest types of berries you can buy.

Strawberries are an aggregate fruit that are usually red in color. However, there is a type of white strawberry called a pineberry that you can read about later in the article.

Most of the benefits of eating red fruits such as strawberries come from the high levels of vitamin C. For example, 5 medium-sized strawberries can provide you with 60% of your vitamin C daily requirements. (17)

Strawberries are delicious berry fruits to eat whole as a dessert. They are also delicious berries in to put in smoothies, make into jam, or just blend and pour over desserts.

Although not classed as a type of true berry, some people put strawberries on the list of superfoods. Eating strawberries is good for lowering inflammation, blood pressure, and improving cardiovascular health. (18, 19)

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strawberry image

Blackberry

Although not a true berry, for many people blackberries are one of the tastiest berry fruits that they can eat.

What is it that makes this dark-purple berry a super fruit? Similar to blueberries, blackberries are an amazing source of healthy antioxidants and vitamins. Blackberries contain a number of phenolic compounds and are rich in fiber and vitamin C. (20)

The best blackberries to eat are ones you pick in the wild. As with most black and purple berries, eating blackberries has a positive impact on your cardiovascular health. In fact, compared to berries such as blueberries, cranberries, and red raspberries, blackberries are one of the healthiest berries you can eat. (21, 22)

berry variety

Red, Black, Golden and White Raspberry

Raspberries are another berry-type of fruit that many people class as a super fruit with amazing health benefits.

Red raspberries are popular summer berries that are packed full as vitamin C. In fact, from all the fruits on the list of healthy berries, raspberries come out top in terms of dietary fiber. (23)

Consuming red raspberries has been linked to reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. (23) You can find more details in my article about the scientifically proven health benefits of raspberries.

raspberries pictures

Did you know that there are other types of raspberries which may be even healthier for you than the red varieties?

Black raspberries

Black raspberries may look like blackberries but they are in fact a black variety of raspberry. As you would expect from a black type of berry, they are rich in anthocyanins. Studies have shown that black raspberries varieties are good for lowering inflammation and cholesterol. They have even been linked to cancer prevention. (24, 25)

types of wild raspberries

Types of wild raspberries

Golden raspberries

Golden raspberries are an unusual type of golden berry with many health benefits. Scientists describe this kind of raspberry as a yellow raspberry with “super antioxidant” activities. (26)

White raspberries

One rare type of raspberry is a variety of white raspberry. Although there technically isn’t a botanical variety of raspberry that is completely white, some yellow raspberry varieties may be so pale that they appear almost white.

golden raspberries image

Olallieberry

A hybrid fruit called an olallieberry is a dark type of berry that looks like a plump blackberry or black raspberry.

Being a variety of black berry-like fruit, olallieberries probably are high in anthocyanins. However, there is no information on its nutritional content.

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Mulberry

Mulberries are berries that look like long raspberries or blackberries and come in a variety of colors. Mulberry varieties come in black, purple, red, and even white types of berries.

Mulberries are a fairly sweet berry-type fruit that have a slightly astringent and tart taste. You can eat mulberries fresh, or you can use them in recipes as you would use blackberries or raspberries.

Because mulberries are very fragile summer fruits, it is difficult to buy them fresh. You can buy these types of berries frozen or you can grow a mulberry tree in your garden.

The healthy nutrients in these berry fruits have been linked to improving cardiovascular health, helping to manage type 2 diabetes, and helping to prevent obesity. (27)

mulberry picture

Types of Exotic Berries

Let’s look at varieties of exotic berries, many of which are rightly on the list of berries that are classed as superfoods.

Açai Berries

Açai berries are small black-purple berries that look like a grape and grow on the açai palm tree.

Although it is difficult to buy these super berries fresh, açai berries are becoming more popular due to their fantastic health benefits. One of the most common ways of benefiting from this dark berry is to buy it in powder form.

Studies have shown that açai black berry powder has very high levels of polyphenols and other antioxidants. (28)

acai berry

Goji Berries

Goji berries (wolfberries) are a red type of exotic berry that are better known in Western countries than açai berries.

Goji berries are among the types of berries that are classed as superfoods. It is difficult to buy fresh goji berries and they are usually sold as red dried berries. Just an ounce (28 g) of these super berries gives you half of your daily vitamin A needs and 10% of your fiber requirements. (29)

Because goji berries are usually sold dried, they have a very sweet taste with a slight bitterness. Some people use goji berries in baked goods to cut down on sugar and increase nutritional value.

Researchers have found that the high levels of antioxidants, such as in goji berries, can help to slow down aging, boost immunity, and improve blood health. (30)

dried goji berries

Dried Goji berries

Physalis (Cape Gooseberry)

Physalis is an orange type of berry that belongs to fruits in the nightshade family. Physalis berries are also called groundcherries, golden berries, or Cape gooseberries.

Physalis berries are low in fat and high in fiber. The health benefits of these golden berries are quite impressive due to their antioxidant content. They can help to reduce inflammation, strengthen your immune system, and they have nutrients that are good for vision. (31, 32, 33)

These orange berry fruits have a sweet taste that some people say is similar to tropical fruits such as mangoes or pineapples. You can eat these orange berries raw or you can chop them up in a smoothie or add to a savory salad for some sweetness.

cape goosberry

Unusual Types of Berries You Can Eat

Apart from typical berries such as blueberries, cranberries, and redcurrants, there are some unusual varieties of berries that are definitely worth trying.

Cloudberries

Cloudberries are winter berries that look like tiny orange raspberries and have a sharp, tart taste. Some say that cloudberries taste like a cross between redcurrants and red raspberries.

It is quite rare to find these healthy golden berries for sale in many countries. However, these are highly nutritional berries that are enjoyed by Scandinavians, where the berries grow naturally.

Interestingly, compared to other berries, cloudberries are a good source of plant protein. (34)

The goodness in cloudberries comes from the rich antioxidant content in the form of vitamin A, citric acid, and anthocyanins. (35)

cloudberry picture

Pineberries

Pineberries are an unusual type of berry because they look like a white strawberry but taste like a pineapple.

Pineberries look stunning with their pale white flesh and bright red seeds. This white berry fruit is also very good for you. They have a similar fiber content to strawberries and contain trace amounts of vitamins and minerals.

If you want to try these “albino strawberry” fruits, you can learn how to grow your own pineberries in containers or your garden.

pineberry white strawberry

Salmonberry

Salmonberries are a bright golden or orange type of berry fruit that looks like an orange raspberry.

Despite their unusual appearance, salmonberries are very good for your health. As with all berries, salmonberries are low in calories and fat but high in fiber and vitamins.

Adding salmonberries to desserts creates a splash or orange or reddish-orange color depending on their ripeness. These orange berries also taste sweet and have a very juicy flesh.

salmonberry

Berries are true super-foods that have medicinal qualities essential for our health. You can find more information about berries, including easy and nutritious berry recipes, in my e-Book The Healing Berry Guide which is a must for berry lovers.

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